DAP has become the largest political party in Penang after the 1986 general elections

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjong and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, at the Penang DAP State Committee meeting on Sunday, August 17, 1986 at 2.30 p.m.

DAP has become the largest political party in Penang after the 1986 general elections

The DAP has emerged as the largest political party in Penang after the 1986 general elections, bigger than MCA and Gerakan combined together in terms of total votes polled by the various parties.

In the 1986 parliamentary elections, the DAP won 6 out of the 11 parliamentary seats in Penang, polling 147,641 votes, which is more than the total votes of the MCA and Gerakan combined.

The total votes polled by each political party in Penang state in the August 3 Parliamentary elections is as follow:

DAP – 147,641 votes
UMNO – 66,746 votes
Gerakan – 62,799 votes
MCA – 54,179 votes
PAS – 24,053 votes
PSRM – 13,901 votes
NASMA – 1,219 votes
SDP – 1,075 Votes

As a result of the 1986 general elections, the DAP has not only become the only legitimate voice of the Urban Malaysia, where one million voter supported the DAP, we have also become the legitimate voice of Penang, where the DAP votes are more than those of the Gerakan and MCA combined, and almost equal of three parties, Gerakan, MCA and UMNO added together!

Battle of Tanjong II in 1990

During the 1986 general elections, the Tanjong battle captured the imagination of the people in Malaysia for it focused in the happiest possible manner the DAP’s message that the general elections must be a battle over the larger questions of national policies and nation-building direction. General elections cannot be a battle of personalities but must be a battle over policies and nation-building alternatives.

Tanjong symbolised the DAP’s determination to spark off a nation-wide political movement for change, to make every Malaysian realise that he or she need not be the helpless victims of other people’s policies, but could actively shape the country’s future and our own destiny.

This is why although the DAP won the Tanjong fight with over 11,000 majority, the political struggle has only started.

Malaysians must not only show political interest during general elections once in five years, but must sustain their political interest and translate them into direct political action if we want to assure for ourselves and our children a Malaysia where we are all forts class citizens, and where there is greater equality, justice and democracy.

This is because politics affect every day of our life, and not just once in five years, during general elections.

Having won six Parliamentary and 10 State Assembly seats, the DAP’s political work has only started in Penang. There are high expectations of the people on DAP Mps and State Assemblyman, as well as the Party, and we must not fail them.

We must be able to continue to lead and inspire the people of Penang to provide political leadership in Malaysia.

This is why although we have just fought and won the Battle of Tanjong, we cannot rest on our laurels, but must immediately summon the people to prepare for the Tanjong II Battle in the next general elections in 1990.

The Tanjong Ii Battle in 1990 must break the law of the pendulum which states that the general election swings back and forth every round from Opposition to Government and back. This is why many MCA and Gerakan leaders feel that next general elections is going to be their round – as sure as the sun rises.

We must break this law of the pendulum to ensure not only that the pendulum does not swing back to the Barisan Nasional in the next general elections, but swings even more powerfully for the DAP to take the DAP to greater success in Penang and Malaysia.

DAP leaders in Penang have a difficult, but great and challenging task – which is to maintain Penang as the front-line state for the DAP in Malaysia. As the Chinese saying goes, ‘it is easier to create, more difficult to maintain’.

DAP leaders in Penang have now the great challenge, not only in DAP but Malaysian political history, that they could not only create but maintain Penang as the front-line political state in the country!

Only then, can we hope for a great victory in the Battle of Tanjong II in 1990, to take the struggle for greater equality, justice and democracy in a Malaysia where every citizen knows that he is first-class, or there are no other classes of citizens in Malaysia.