Challenge to Mahathir to TV debate on whether it is good for Malaysian democracy for the Barisan Nasional to continue to have two-third majority in next elections

Press Conference Statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for KOTA MELAKA, Lim Kit Siang, at DAP JH headquarters on Monday, April 28, 1986 at 12 noon.

Challenge to Mahathir to TV debate on whether it is good for Malaysian democracy for the Barisan Nasional to continue to have two-third majority in next elections

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, said in Kepong UMNO Delegates meeting yesterday that the Barisan Nasional needed a strong majority in order to serve the people. He said if the Barisan Nasional had a small majority, it would be so busy to trying to ensure that its MPs did not switch camp that it would not have the time to serve the people.

The Prime Minister was clearly responding to the DAP’s nation-wide movement to get the people the support its ‘Deny Barisan Nasional Two-Third Majority’ Campaign launched in Malacca on Friday, April 25, 1986, and which would be taken to the entire country in the next few months until the general elections.

The Prime Minister’s reasoning, however, is faulty, for if his worry is about opportunistic, unscrupulous, and unprincipled MPs who could ‘switch camps’ depending on the highest bidder or offer, then this problem could be easily solved by passing a law to require every MP to vacate his seat should be resign of defect from the party on whose ticket he was elected. The DAP is even prepared to publicly support the Barisan Nasional for an amendment to the Malaysian Constitution to bring such a law into effect, for this will go a long way to cleanse Malaysian politics of the corruption and immorality of the ‘buying and selling’ of MPs and Assemblymen.

With such a law, the stability of the ruling party will not be easily upset by ‘defecting’ MPs.

The Prime Minister, however, has avoided the real issue, as to why the Barisan Nasional Government continues to need at least a two-third majority in Parliament in order to govern.

After the delineation of the constituencies, there are now 177 parliamentary constituencies. If Barisan Nasional wins 89 seats, it would have a simple majority of one to govern the country. the DAP is campaigning for the people to deny the Barisan its two-thirds majority – which means that the Opposition should win at least 60 Parliamentary seats, with the Barisan Nasional getting at most 117 seats.

Is Dr. Mahathir suggesting that if the Barisan gets just short of two-third majority, i.e. 117 seats, or even bess, say 100 seats, he could not govern the country and could not remain as Prime Minister?

I challenge Dr. Mahathir to a series of TV or public debates on whether it is good for Malaysian parliamentary democracy for the Barisan Nasional to continue to have two-third parliamentary majority in the next general elections.

It is precisely because the Barisan Nasional, and previously Alliance, government had been so accustomed to a two-third, and even fourth-firth parliamentary majority, that it had bred in the government an arrogance of power leading to the tyranny of the majority.

As a result of this arrogance of power and tyranny of majority, the Barisan Nasional Government trampled on the right of the Opposition inside Parliament, and disregarded the legitimate rights and aspirations of the people in the entire gamut of nation-building policy.

The Government’s handling of the BMF scandal, which is a long story of ‘cover-ups’, is again attributable to the two-third majority of Parliament. Parliament will be more meaningful and the rights of the people more secure if this two-third majority of Barisan is slashed in the next elections.

Dr. Lim Keng Yaik’s denial statement is more a confirmation of Gerakan’s inspiration of PCCC

Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, yesterday denied that his [arty was behind a plot to undermine the DAP’s election chances by inspiring the formation of the Perak PAS Chinese Consultative Committee (PPCCC) and other PCCCs in other states, so that DAP’s voter could be split to eventually benefits the Gerakan and other Barisan component parties.

But anyone reading Dr. Lim’s so-called ‘denial statement’ will find that it reads more like a confirmation, for he was justifying the PCCC’s stand and actions.

Dr. Lim also correctly pointed out that should PCCC field candidates in the Kinta Valley, it would only benefits the Barisan Nasional, to split what he called ‘anti-establishment’ voters. He also remarked that the PCCC was not working in Gerakan’s constituencies in Bruas, Taiping and Teluk Intan.

From Dr. Lim’s statements, one can see the ‘special’ relationship between the Gerakan and the PCCC.

In 1982, Gerakan played the ‘Tung Chiau Chhung card’ to split the DAP voters causing the DAP to suffer the greatest electoral defeat, and the most serious erosion of the rights of the Malaysian people, in particular the Malaysian Chinese,, resulting in the proclamation of the ‘One Language, One Culture’ Policy and implementation of the Islamisation campaign.

In the next general elections, the Gerakan is playing the ‘PAS card’ through it front-men like Foo Wan Thot of Perak, to again try to split the DAP’s voters to enable Barisan to win and save its two-third parliamentary majority.

This is why we have the peculiar spectable of Foo Wan Thot masterminding the formation of the PAS CCC in Perak, while he goes to Penang to openly campaign for the Gerakan against the DAP. What better proof of the Gerakan’s ‘hand’ in the formation of the PAS in Perak and the various states?

Dr. Lim Keng Yeik should have the courage to own up instead of giving a weak and tame denial as he did yesterday. However, I concede that Dr. Lim is not the ‘brain’ behind the Gerakan’s inspiration of the PAS CCCs, from the man behind it is the Gerakan Secretary-Generak Ker Choo Ting, and his Gerakan/Tung/Chiau Chung ‘braintrust’.

Surely Dr. Lim is not suggesting that he does not know what Ker Choo Ting and the Gerakan/Tung/Chiau Chung is doing behind his back?