Speech by DAP Secretary-General, Parliamentary candidate for Tanjong, Assembly candidate for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, at the Nordin St.Flats, Tanjong, on Sunday, July 27, 1986 at 1 pm
DAP condemns Dr.Mahathir for his bad leadership by example in using May 13 threat, and called on him to cancel the general elections if he is afraid of the free vote of the electors
The Prime Minister, Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, had been using the May 13 threat to frighten the voters and his irresponsible action should be condemned by all Malaysians.
When I visited the Chowrastra market this morning, many voters expressed their indignation at Dr.Mahathir threat, which is an insult to the voters and democracy. If Dr.Mahathir dare not face the free voter of the electors, then he might as well cancel the 1986 general elections, and become a second Marcos by declaring himself Prime Minister of life!
Malaysians must regard those who go around raising the May 13 threat as the nation’s Public Enemy No.1, for they are the real threat to democracy and freedom in the country. They are trying to use the politics of fear and blackmail to prevent the voters from exercising their vote freely.
This tactics was used in Sabah but failed miserably. I call on the voters of Penang and Malaysia to show Dr.Mahathir that his May 13 threat could not cow them from electing the party and candidate they want.
In fact, all responsible candidates, from whatever party, should condemn Dr.Mahathir and all the Barisan leaders who have been using the May 13 threat to frighten the voters. Why is the Barisan Nasional Candidate for Tanjong, Dr.Koh Tsu Koon, completely quiet about the May 13 threat uttered by Dr.Mahathir?
Dare he join me in condemning Dr.Mahathir for his May 13 threat and in demanding that the Prime Minister should make an unconditional apology to the people, and direct all other Barisan Nasional leaders to stop using this May 13 threat.
This is another example why although Dr.Koh Tsu Koon is a good man, he cannot change one whit of the undemocratic, racialist and extremist policies of the Barisan Nasional , as set by UMNO.
This was why when in October 1982, the Barisan Nasional Government proclaimed the ‘One Language, One Culture’ Policy, the DAP was the only voice in Parliament to declare our opposition to it. Dr.Koh Tsu Koon did not object at all to the ‘One Language, One Culture’ Policy in October 1982. As Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba, said, every Barisan policy had the full support of all Barisan component parties, for of there is any one single objection, such policies or proposed legislation would be withdrawn.
Can Dr.Koh Tsu Koon explain why in October 1982 he supported the ‘One Language, One Culture’ Policy in
Parliament by his silence on the subject, when he should have stood up the DAP to declare our uncompromising opposition to it?
Again in October 1982, I moved a motion to get the government to recognise the illegal Indonesian immigrant problem as a national problem, with a special programme to resolve it, but this motion was opposed by Barisan Ministers and MPs, including Koh Tsu Koon.
Recently, because the general elections is around the corner, the Barisan Minister are making sweet noises about the need to take firm action against the illegals, when they are the ones who are responsible for the influx of 1.5 million illegal immigrants into Malaysia, many of these illegals have easily acquired citizenship and voting rights wile 300,000 red identity card holders continue to be denied citizenship, although they have been waiting for 20 or 30 years!
When the Official Secrets Act was amended to tighten government control over information, and the Printing Presses and Publications
Act was passed, both very repressive pieces of legislation, Dr.Koh Tsu Koon gave full support.
When the Government asked Parliament to give retrospective legality to the unlawful Petronas take-over of the $2.5 billion BMF bad loans in Hong Kong, as in acquiring Bank Bumiputra, the first to put up his hand in support is Koh Tsu Koon.
The various Mahathir amendments to the Constitution to usurp the powers of Parliament and Judiciary by the Executive also get ready support from Dr.Koh.
I can give a long catalogue of Koh Tsu Koon’s full support for the undemocratic, unfair and even extremist government policies. But the point is very clear, that Koh Tsu Koon may be a good young man, there is nothing he could do to alter the basic nation-building policies of the Barisan which has denied to Malaysians an equal citizenship status for all.
In fact, Koh Tsu Koon is being made used of by the UMNO and Barisan Nasional to lead respectability to their repressive, unfair and extremist policies.
Koh Tsu Koon should be hones enough to admit that there is nothing he could do to get the Barisan Nasional and in particular UMNO to re-appraise and reformulate its nation building policies, as in abandoning the One Language, One Culture Policy; the National Cultural Policy; the National Education Policy which refused to give to Chinese education, whether Chinese primary schools, Chinese Independent Schools, or the proposed Merdeka University, their rightful place under the Malaysian sun; the National Fishereis Policy; the
National political Policy which is to regressive reduce the political power and influence of the non-Malay through an increasing unfair delineation of parliamentary and state assembly constituencies; the National Economic Policy, which has been extended to 2,000 in the various Town Master Plans, etc.
Dr.Mahathir will like to have 20 Koh Tsu Koons so that the people will forget about the relentless erosion of their basic political, educational, economic, cultural, religious and citizenship rights.
The true problem of Malaysians are the Barisan Nasional’s national policies which have deprived Malaysians of their basic rights, deducing them second or third class citizens in Malaysia.
Dr.Mahathir will like to have 20 Koh Tsu Koons so that the people will forget or be distracted from the relentless erosion of their basic political, educational, economic, cultural, religious and citizenship rights.
This is why I said that the Battle of Tanjong is not a Battle between Lim Kit Siang vs Koh Tsu Koon, and a battle of Lim Kit Siang vs Mahathir Mohamed.
In the 1986 General Elections, the DAP would have failed, and people would have also failed, if we cannot make Dr.Mahathir and the UMNO to recognise and accept that their national policies must be changed, for they have departed too far from the aspirations and hopes of all Malaysians.
When I visited the Chowrastra market at about 6 a.m. this morning, soon later I returned from Perak after attending three ceramahs in Kampar, Gopeng and Ipoh last night, I was asked by one stallholder of the difficulty of the voice for voters in Tanjong.
The issue in Tanjong is very clear cut. It is not a question of Koh Tsu Koon or Lim Kit Siang, but the future of 15 million Malaysians, in particular five million Malaysian Chinese in 10 or 20 years!
The question is how Dr.Mahathir and UMNO could be forced to recognise the grievances of the people for 29 years at being given an unequal and unjust place.
Koh Tsu Koon’s re-election will convince Dr.Mahathir that the UMNO policies are all acceptable and should be implemented even more radically. The only way is for all Malaysian voters to give full support to the DAP candidates to deny the Barisan Nasional two-third majority.
The Tanjong Battle is a Battle between the DAP and Barisan Nasional. I do not want to see other forces get involved in Tanjong battle, for it would do a lot of harm to everyone concerned. I understand for instance that over a thousand strong ‘army’ is being assembled from all over the country to come to Tanjong to help Koh Tsu Koon and ensure my defeat.
In standing in Tanjong, I have already accepted the fact that I could lose in Tanjong, and terminate my 17-year parliamentary term. The people of Tanjong will decide my future, but they must exercise it for the right reasons. If the people of Tanjong feels that the struggle or first class citizenship rights for our children is not important, then I accept the verdict.