Speech by DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjong and Assemblyman for Kampong, Lim Kit Siang, at the First meeting of 24 DAP Mps and 37 Assemblymen at Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, August 8, 1986 at 10 a.m.
DAP calls on Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohmad to start the process of national reconciliation between Urban Malaysia and Rural Malaysia as reflected by the 1986 General Elections Results
The 1986 General Elections has made it clear that there is a great divide between Urban Malaysia and Rural Malaysia. From the seats won by the parties, UMNO can claim that it has never been more representative of Rural Malaysia than in the 1986 General Elections, where the pas challenge was crushed, with only one PAS MP elected.
However, Urban Malaysia had also spoken loud and clear that it reject the Barisan Nasional policies, for never before in Malaysian electoral history has any Opposition party won 24 parliamentary seats as the DAP did in the 1986 General Elections.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed claimed on the morning after the election count that the Barisan Nasional had won a great landslide victory, and that there is no need for the government to change its policies.
This will be the greatest political fallacy of the 1986 general elections. Although the Barisan Nasional won 148 out of 177 parliamentary seats, which represent 83.6 per cent of the parliamentary seats, it won only 55 per cent of the total votes cast. This means that half of the total voters reject the Barisan Nasional policies.
Although PAS managed to win only one seat in Parliament, it secured 15 per cent of the votes. Something is very wrong with our electoral system whereby PAS’s 15 percent of total vote cast could not secure even one per cent of the parliamentary seats.
But the greatest rejection of Barisan Nasional policies come from Urban Malaysia. The DAP has emerged as the country’s second largest political party in terms of votes polled, having polled close to a million votes in Malaysia.
The order of parties having the greatest electoral support in the 1986 general elections are as follows:
1. UMNO – 1,474,063 votes – 31.06% of total votes cast
2. DAP – 968,009 votes – 20.30% of total votes cast
3. PAS – 718,891 votes – 15.15% of total votes cast
4. MCA – 589,289 votes – 12.42% of total votes cast
5. Gerakan – 149,644 votes – 3.15% of total votes cast
6. MIC – 104,701 votes – 2.21% of total votes cast
The result showed that the DAP’s total votes cast exceeded that combined votes of the MCA, Gerakan and MIC, and that the MCA, Gerakan and MIC have forfeited the right to be the spokesman and champion of the non-Malays, and in particular Urban Malaysia.
How could Dr, Mahathir claim that Barisan Nasional policies had received the overwhelming support of the Malaysians, when in actual fact, the entire Urban Malaysia rejected its policies, while half of the rural areas voted against them?
I call on Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir to start the process of national reconciliation between Urban Malaysia and Rural Malaysia and close the divide between them as reflected in the 1986 general elections results.
Urban Malaysia has spoken loud and clear that they have had enough of the Barisan Nasional policies of injustice, inequality and lack of democracy.
In actual fact, if the 1986 general elections had been more fair and democratic, and we had another two or three days of campaigning, the DAP would not only have achieved its target of 35 parliamentary seats, we would have knocked out MCA President, Tan Koon Swan, in Gopeng; Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik in Bruas; and MIC President, Datuk Samy Vellu in Sungai Siput; and Gerakan Deputy President, Paul Leong in Taiping.
This is another reason for shame for the MCA, Gerakan and MIC for in a fair and democratic elections, where the campaign period is say two weeks, they would all be defeated!
I have no doubt that if the 1986 general elections campaign period had been at least 14 days, would have won the following 11 parliamentary seats:
Seat Votes lost by DAP
1. Kelang 667 votes
2. Kluang 2,009 votes
3. Teluk Intan 1,443 votes
4. Beruas 1,015 votes
5. Lumut 1,508 votes
6. Sungai Siput 4,436 votes
7. Taiping 5,644 votes
8. Tapah 5,985 votes
9. Gopeng 6,135 votes
10.Sibu 546 votes
11.Sarikei 519 votes
If Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir is a real democrat, who respects the democratic will of the people, he must acknowledge that the Barisan Nasional policies must be reviewed and changed to accommodate the aspirations of the about half of the entire electorate!
The DAP is a responsible, patriotic and constructive party, whose sole aim is the betterment of the life and future of Malaysians of all races. This is why we are prepared to co-operate with the Barisan Nasional and Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir if it is for the good of the country, but will not shirk from our duty to criticize and denounce policies and actions which are detrimental to the interest of the people and nation!
Crisis of Confidence undated
Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir and the Barisan Nasional called general elections in 1986 in a crisis of confidence in Malaysia. The 1986 general elections results have not resolved this crisis of confidence, for despite the superficial landslide victory of the Barisan Nasional in the general elections, the fact remains that half of the electorate reject the Barisan Nasional policies.
During the general elections, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir said that if the Opposition wins power in Malaysia, the stock market will collapse. He should know that the Malaysian stock market had already collapsed under his administration, and despite the Barisan Nasional’s so-called ‘landslide’ victory, the Malaysian stock market has not recovered at all!
This is a clear reflection that the 1986 general elections results have not resolved the crisis of confidence in Malaysia.
The crisis of confidence in Malaysia has deepened for the following reasons:
(1) the clear rejection of Barisan Nasional policies by Urban Malaysia, and half of the total electorate in the country;
(2) the proposed appointment of Tan Koon Swan into the Cabinet despite his 15 Pan El charges of breach of trust, cheating and fraud and the appointment of Alex Lee as Deputy Finance Minister despite the Development and Commercial Bank scandal when Alex Lee was general manager and executive director in 1984.
(3) The unreasonable bid by Penang UMNO for the Penang Chief Minister’s post;
(4) The government freeze of the assets of 23 co-operatives and their directors, to prevent a run on the co-operative finance companies and their total collapse, which could amount of $ 2 billion of hard-earned savings of small-timers throughout the country.
It is clear that the co-operative finance scandal had been known by the Government for a long time, but it had not taken any positive action to protect the $ 2 billion savings of the small-timers until after the 1986 general elections, solely for its own political interest. This is the height of irresponsibility and negligence on the part of the Barisan Nasional government,
The Development and Commercial Bank scandal and the Co-operative Finance scandal have joined the long list of scandals under the Mahathir government, like the $ 2.5 billion BF scandal, EPF scandal, UMBC scandal, $ 1 billion mysterious tin buying scandal through the $ 2 company, Maminco; Pan El scandal, MPH scandal, etc.
From the list of co-operatives and directors involved, which include Multi-Purpose and top MCA leaders like Tan Koon Swan and Kee Yong Wee, as well as the Gerakan Co-operative, Malaysians have no confidence that the government would be fair and impartkal in conducting investigations as to whether there had been fraud, abuse of power and breach of trust in the 23 co-operatives concerned.
The DAP proposes that a special investigating committee, headed by former Auditor-General, Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, to established to take over all investigations into the 23 co-operative finance organizations.
DAP Central Executive Committee resolves to give Dr. Lim Chong Eu full support as Penang Chief Minister
The unreasonable and highly insensitive bid by Penang UMNO for the Penang Chief Minister’s post has greatly shaken public confidence in the Barisan Nasional.
Although UMNO has won 12 seats in the Penang State Assembly, as compared to Gerakan’s and MCA’s 2, UMNO should not forget that DAP has won 10 seats in the Penang State Assembly in the August 3 general elections.
UMNO should realize that although it won 12 seats, it did so as the result of a most unfair, inequitable and undemocratic electoral delineation of constituencies which have deprived Penangites of the ‘one man, one vote’ principle.
UMNO Penang has questioned the right of the DAP to interfere in the Penang Chief Ministership question. From the August 3 election results, the DAP have more right than UMNO to decide who should be the Penang Chief Minister!
UMNO, with its 12 Assembly seats, won only 66,746 votes, while the DAP, with our 10
Assembly seats, secured two and a half times more with 147,641 votes. Gerakan secured 62,799 votes while MCA secured 54,179 votes.
The DAP Central Executive Committee, at its meeting last night, adopted unanimously a resolution moved by Deputy DAP Chairman, Sdr. Karpal Singh and seconded by DAP Director of Political Bureau, Sdr. Sim Kwang Yang, that the DAP give full support to Dr. Lim Chong Eu to continue as Penang Chief Minister for the full term.
If the UNMO disregards the political sensitivities of the Penang Chief Ministership and insists on having its man as the Chief Minister, Gerakan should leave the Barisan Nasional, and the DAP will support Dr. Lim’s position as Penang Chief Minister.
The Penang Chief Ministership issue has highlighted the grave disparity of political power in Penang and Malaysia, to the extent that Penang UMNO could bid for Penang Chief Ministership when Malay voters only constitute 34% in the State; as compared to 57% Chinese and 9 per cent Indians.
The crisis of the Penang Chief Ministership is not because of the August 3 election results, but because of Gerakan’s betrayal of the democratic rights of the people of Penang in 1974 and 1984 constituency delineations, where the Gerakan agreed to the drastic erosion of the political power of the people of Penang.
For instance, the 1974 constituency delineation moved the gravity of political power in Penang state from the more populous island to the mainland.
Before 1974 redefinition of constituencies, Penang island had 14 state seats while the mainland had 10 state seats; but in the 1974 redefinition, the island’s state seats were reduced to 12 while the mainland’s state seats were increased to 15!
The 1974 redelineation of constituencies, followed by another redrawing in 1984, is the root cause of the Penang Chief Ministership crisis today, for which Gerakan and MCA must bear full responsibility.
The DAP, however, is prepared to come to the rescue of Gerakan and Dr. Lim Chong Eu, for we do not regard the Penang Chief Minister’s post as a issue concerning Dr. Lim or the Gerakan only. It is an issue which concerns the political rights and place of non-Malays in Malaysia!
Role and responsibility of DAP MPs and Assemblymen
The DAP Central Executive Committee last night discussed the role and responsibility of DAP MPs and Assemblymen.
The DAP leadership will demand the highest standards of performance by DAP MPs and Assemblymen, so as not to disappoint one million voters who have put their trust and faith in DAP.
All DAP elected representatives will be required to be effective spokesmen of their constituents and the people, as well as to provide satisfactory constituency services.
All MPs and Assemblymen will be required to establish constituency offices which are regularly manned to serve the people.
The DAP Central Executive Committee has formed a Constituency Service and Monitoring Committee, headed by DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Bukit Bintang, to supervise and assess the constituency performances of DAP MPs and Assemblymen, and to submit half-yearly reports to the Central Executive Committee.
DAP MPs will also be required to specialize in different fields, so that they can become knowledgeable and expert, and can debate authoritative on their respective subjects in Parliament.
The DAP will be the sole Opposition voice in the Seventh Parliament, with PAS reduced to one seat. The DAP is conscious that we have not only to speak up for Urban Malaysia, who have convincingly rejected Barisan Nasional policies, we have also to speak up for Rural Malaysia, where half the voters also rejected the Barisan Nasional policies.
One of the priorities of the DAP in the next five years will be to attempt a breakthrough into the Malay masses, so that the DAP can become more multi-racial and representative off all communities in Malaysia.
DAP leaders are conscious of the difficulty of this challenge, but we have decided to give this our priority attention!
The DAP has also set up a 1986 Elections Post-Mortem Committee, headed by Sdr. Dr. Tan Seng Giaw (DAP National Vice Chairman), Fadzlan Yahya (National Vice Chairman), Sdr. P. Patto (Deputy Secretary-General) and Sdr. Chian Heng Kai (National Organising Secretary), to conduct investigations into the DAP’s election performances in the various constituencies.
A 1986 elections legal committee, headed by Sdr. Karpal Singh (National Deputy Chairman), has also been set up to look into complaints about election irregularities to decide whether to challenge the legality of the election results. Top on the list of constituencies which this Committee is considering are Kluang, Triang, Raub, Gopeng, Batu Pahat.
Election petitions have to be filed within 21 days of the gazette of election results.
All DAP MPs and Assemblymen are also required to be fluent in Bahasa Malaysia. MPs and Assemblymen who are fluent in Bahasa Malaysia will be required to undergo immediate Bahasa Malaysia lessons, and the DAP Central Executive Committee will conduct periodic checks on the progress of Bahasa Malaysia proficiency of DAP MPs and Assemblymen.