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 organized by Perak DAP held at Tou Boo Kong, Ipoh on Friday, 15.8.1986 at 9p.m.
The three national leaders of MC, Gerakan and MIC, Tan Koon Swan, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Datuk Samy Vellu would have been defeated in the 1986 general elections if it had been a fairer elections campaign with at least 14 days
The 1986 general elections was the most unfair, unjust and undemocratic elections in Malaysia’s 29-years electoral history, designed to give the Barisan Nasianal and its component parties maximum advantage to knock out the Opposition, namely DAP and PAS.
During the general elections, the Barisan Nasianal misused government resources for political party campaigning, with the Prime Minister and other Barisan Ministers flying around in government jets, helicopters or at government expenses to campaign for their respective parties.
The Barisan Nasianal monopolized newspaper space to give a wholly one-sided picture of Barisan Nasianal propaganda, which is worst in Bahasa Malaysia and English press; and taking up pages of pages of advertisements in sloganeering indecent centering.
On polling day on August 3 itself, the MCA took a whole-page advertisement in almost Chinese daily to warn the Chinese voters not to listen to the DAP’s call for denial of two-third Barisan Nasianal parliamentary majority-which flouts the elections law prohibiting campaigning during polling day.
The DAP 1986 General Elections Analysis Committee, which is headed by DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Kepong, Dr. Tan Seng Siaw, will be studying this and other election law infringements by the Barisan Nasianal parties and candidates, as well as studying the full effect of the unfair and undemocratically-short election campaign on the results.
Be that as it may, it is clear that despite the most unfair, unjust and undemocratic elections in Malaysian history, the MCA and Gerakan were unable to escape the judgement of the people.
In a way, it is remarkable that the DAP could win 24 Parliamentary and 37 State Assembly cand seats in such an unfair general elections.
I have no doubt that if the general elections campaign had been fairer, with a minimum of say 14 days campaigning, the DAP would have won 35 Parliamentary and 50 State Assembly seats in Malaysia.
In fact, with another two or three days, the three national leaders of MCA, Gerakan and MIC, would have been defeated in the general elections, for there would have been no way for Tan Koon Swan to win in Gopeng, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik in Bruas and Datuk Samy Vellu in Sungei Siput. We could have won other seats in Teluk Intan, Lumut, Taiping and Tapah in Perak.
Tan Koon Swan of MCA, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Datuk Samy Vellu therefore have to thanks their lucky stars that the election campaign was so short, or they would not have been elected to Parliament, and Dr. Lim Keng Yaik would not be able to fulfill his 13-year dream to return to the Cabinet.
Before the 1986 general elections, Gerakan President Dr. Lim Keng Yaik used to ridicule MCA President, Tan Koon Swan, as not fit to represent the Malaysian Chinese, implying that the Gerakan is the only legitimate spokesman of the Malaysian Chinese.
The August 3 results have shown that this was ‘fifty steps laughing at 100 steps’, for both Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Tan Koon Swan were just lucky to be elected in the 1986 general elections. An analysis of the Gopeng and Bruas elections results show that both Tan Koon Swan and Dr. Lim Keng Yaik’s influence among the Chinese voters are almost equal-i.e. equally dismal!
I estimate that both Tan Koon Swan and Dr. Lim Keng Yaik did not win very much more than 1,000 Malaysian Chinese voters in each of their constituencies, and they had to win basically on UMNO’s Malay voters. Gopeng has over 16,000 Chinese voters while Bruas has over 18,000 Chinese voters. Having got a Cabinet Minister who became a criminal, are we to have a criminal who becomes a Cabinet Minister?
In the Singapore district court yesterday, MCA President Tan Koon Swan said that he would plead guilty to the amended charge of abetment of criminal breach of trust in the Pan El scandal.
It is significant that when the Singapore district court conducted a preliminary inquiry into the amended charge of abetment of criminal breach of trust, Tan Koon Swan’s counsel successfully applied to the district court judge that the preliminary inquiry proceedings should not be reported.
Can Tan Koon Swan explain why he is afraid that the preliminary inquiry into his amended charge of abetment of criminal breach of trust should not be fully reported, considering that he is MCA President and Malaysian Member of Parliament. In the event, the Singapore district court found that a prima facie case had been made out against Tan Koon Swan and the case was committed to the Singapore High Court on August 25.
Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, the Prime Minister, has indicated when announcing his new Cabinet line-up that a MCA Cabinet vacancy is being left for Tan Koon Swan. He even suggested that Tan Koon Swan may be made Justice Minister!
Malaysia has the unenviable record of a Cabinet Minister becoming a criminal, in the case of former Cabinet Minister Mockhtar Hashim murdering the former Negeri Sembilan State Assembly Speaker, Mohamed Taha.
Are we going to have the even more unenviable record of a criminal (which Tan Koon Swan will become when he pleads guilty to abetment to criminal breach of trust) becoming a Cabinet Minister?
For the sake of the self-respect and honour of the Malaysian people, and in particular the five million Malaysian Chinese whom he claims to champion, I would call on Tan Koon Swan to resign both as MCA President and Member of Parliament in Malaysia when he pleads guilty to the criminal charge of abetment of criminal breach of trust.
Tan Koon Swan should spare the government, the MCA, the nation and the five million Malaysian Chinese the agony of having him as MCA President, Minister, Mp!