Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjong and Assemblymen for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, at the thank-the-voter ceramah in Bukit Mertajam held at Hokkien Huay Kuan, B.M. on Monday, August 11, 1986 at 9 p.m.
The first action of MCA and Gerakan Ministers is to convince Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir and Cabinet that the 1986 general elections result is a clear-cut vote for reappraisal and reformulation of nation-building policies
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, today announced his new Cabinet line-up. Gerakan President, Datuk Lim Keng Yaik, has at last achieved his 12-year ambition to return to the Cabinet by ditching the Gerakan Deputy President, Datuk Paul Leong from the Primary Industries Ministry.
What concerns the people of Malaysia, and in particular the five million Malaysian Chinese whom MCA and Gerakan claim to represent, is not who are the MCA and Gerakan Ministers, but whether they could effectively represent their voice, rights and aspirations in Cabinet and Government.
After the 1986 general elections results, MCA and Gerakan leaders were united in their lament that the Chinese voice and influence in Government would be greatly weakened. This was Dr. Lim Keng Yaik’s immediate statement, and another MCA leader even said that the MCA would not be able to oppose the extension of the New Economic Policy after 1990.
The MCA and Gerakan leaders are behaving in a most childish, negative and destructive manner, just because the voters in Urban Malaysia made it very clear that they have had enough of Barisan Nasional policies.
In actual fact, a responsible, dedicated and courageous MCA and Gerakan leadership has been presented with the opportunity of a life-time to convince Dr. Mahathir and the UMNO that the 1986 general elections result is a clear-cut demand for basic policy changes.
The MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders should let Dr. Mahathir and UMNO know that the disastrous election results of Barisan Nasional in the urban areas is solely the result of the unjust, unfair and undemocratic Barisan Nasional policies, and assert that unless these policies are changed to respect the election verdict of the people, there is not much point in their remaining in Cabinet or Barisan Nasional. For they would be going against the expressed will and wishes of the people on August 3 general elections.
Instead of taking this opportunity as created by the 1986 general elections to ‘respond from within the external pressures’ of the DAP, the MCA and Gerakan leaders are just crying that they have no more influence or voice in Cabinet or Government.
MCA and Gerakan Ministers should search their conscience whether they have not betrayed the interest of the people, and in particular the five million Malaysian Chinese, if they accepted Ministerial appointments when they are convinced that they are ineffective and irrelevant in affecting Barisan Nasional national policies?
I suggest that at their first cabinet meeting, MCA and Gerakan Ministers should hold a pre-Cabinet meeting to present a united front to present the following demands:
1. Cabinet approval for a wide-ranging review of the whole range of national policies to be conducted by an independent Commission of Inquiry to find out the political, economic, educational, cultural and religious causes of racial polarization in Malaysia;
2. Cabinet decision that the Government provides full backing to the 23 deposit-taking co-operative societies to assure the 540,000 co-operative members that their $ 1.5 billion deposits will be safe; and that co=operative directors guilty of fraud, breach of trust or other offences would be prosecuted without fear or favour, regardless of their political position or influence.
3. Directive to the Universiti Kebangsaan authorities to take immediate action to restore the UKM Chinese Community Committee (CCC), which had been arbitrarily dissolved by the UKM Students’ Union, leading for further racial polarization in the UKM.
4. Repeal Section 21 (2) of the 1961 Education Act, for the verdict of the Urban Malaysia in the 1986 general elections made it very clear that the people would not compromise in their demand for a total repeal of Section 21 (2) of the 1961 Education Act, and would not be satisfied with a mere amendment, s proposed by MCA.
I hope the MCA and Gerakan Ministers can speak with one voice in Cabinet, for if they cannot do so in the interest of the Chinese community, they are themselves undermining Chinese rights and interests.
Penang Chinese Town Hall officials should review their political role during the general elections before they seek to tell DAP what to do
In the past week after the August 3 election results, certain officials of the Penang Chinese Town Hall, who had actively campaigned for my defeat in Tanjong and the defeat of DAP candidates elsewhere, suddenly are trying to instruct and direct DAP leaders what to do.
One of them is the Penang Chinese Town Hall Youth Leader, Dr. Kang Eng Seng, who had done his utmost in his Gerakan capacity to destroy the DAP in Penang, and myself in Tanjong.
Let me tell those Penang Chinese Town Hall officials like Dr. Kang Eng Seng, who have shown that they are not politically independent of the Barisan Nasional and wanted to ‘kill’ the DAP during the elections, that they have forfeited the right to public respect and attention. The DAP will have no time for them, unless they are prepared to review their political role and wrongs during the general elections. It they continue to be the voice of the Barisan Nasional, them they will continue to be red by the people. They should realize that the Barisan Nasional defeat in Urban Malaysia on August 3, is as much their defeat.