by DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, July 20, 1986
Barisan Nasional campaign slogan is a confession that Malaysia’s future is bleak unless people decide for major political changes by denying Barisan Nasional two-third majority
Barisan Nasional Chairman, Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, has announced that the Barisan Nasional slogan for the coming general elections is Tradisi Membela Rakyat (Tradition of Championing the People).
It is significant that the Barisan Nasional had initially decided on a different slogan which, when tried out, proved to be unfavourable, and it decided to drop the original campaign slogan.
This original campaign slogan was “Kita Yakin Masa Depan Anda Amat Cerah’. In fact, in several places in the country, billboards bearing the Prime Minister’s picture and a child with the slogan were put up, and as suddenly as they appeared, they were dismantled.
Barisan Nasional leaders must have now realised that they could now convince Malaysian voters that their future is bright, with the deepest economic recession to his the country, massive unemployment and retrenchment.
It has decided to forsake the future for the past, trying to convince the people that the Barisan’s past record is good enough reason for another two-third majority blank cheque for it to rule at its whim and fancy for the next five years.
If the tradition of the Barisan Nasional Government is to champion the rights of the people, there would not be a crisis of confidence in Malaysia today, to the extent that the Deputy UMNO President, Datuk Musa Hitam, himself is not prepared to continue as Deputy Prime Minister.
What the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, should do in the general elections is to ask the people to decide whether the Barisan 1982 general elections slogan of ‘Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy’ Government had been honoured, or had been betrayed.
An objective and dispassionate assessment of the record of the Barisan Nasional Government in the past 52 months on the Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy’ Government must give it very low marks, with a report card of dismal failure rather than success.
In going for the slogan, ‘Tradisi Membela Rakyat’, the Barisan Nasional is in fact asking the people to endorse a the tradition of scandals, corruption, misuse of power and breach of trust rampant in high political places.
What the Barisan Nasional is now promising is that there would be more of the same as in the last 52 months: scandals, corruption, disregard of the people’s rights and interests, attempt to demolish Bukit China, destroy democracy in Sabah, one Language/ One Culture Policy, Islamisation, etc.
If the people of Malaysia want to have more of the BMF, EPF, UMBC, Pan El, Multi-purpose, Maminco scandals for the future, then they should endorse the Barisan’s slogan of, ‘Tradisi Membela Rakyat’. If they wan t a change to check the government’s undemocratic excesses, then they should support the DAP’s call for denial of two-third majority to Barisan Nasional, with the one common national cry: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! NO MORE TWO-THIRD MAJORITY!