Proposal for a DAP-MCA-Gerakan Council to present to Cabinet a report why Urban Malaysia rejected the Barisan Nasional in 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 thank-the-voters ceramah in Malacca held at Pay Fong Independent Chinese School hall on Wednesday, 20th August 1986 at 9 pm

Proposal for a DAP-MCA-Gerakan Council to present to Cabinet a report why Urban Malaysia rejected the Barisan Nasional in the 1986 General Elections

In the August 3, 1986 general elections, Urban Malaysia had never been so united in rejection of the Barisan Nasional policies.

Both in terms of parliamentary seats and total votes cast, the DAP beat MCA and Gerakan combined. This DAP won 24 parliamentary seats while MCA won 17 and Gerakan 5, with a total of only22. DAP secured 968,009 votes which is more than MCA and Gerakan combined, which are respectively 589,289 votes and 149,644 votes.

After the MCA’s elections debacle, MCA Secretary-General, and Labour Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, said the New Economic Policy, the economic recession and the MCA’s 22-month-long power struggle were among the causes of the MCA’s election defeat.

This was immediately rebutted by UMNO Youth leaders, like Tamrin Ghaffar who said MCA leaders had only themselves to blame and that the MCA had failed to explain government policies to the Chinese community.

This is most pathetic, for the professed second largest party in the Barisan Nasional has even lost the right to determine what is the cause of its general elections setback, without interference from UMNO or UMNO Youth leaders!

However, Tamrin Ghaffar’s statement has hit the MCA problem on the head, for is the MCA’s role to explain UMNO policies to the Chinese community, or to convey the aspiration of the Chinese community to the Government.

Let us take the August 3 elections results, where the Urban Malaysia, and in particular the Chinese community, have voted decisively against the MCA, Gerakan and Barisan Nasional.

Isn’t MCA’ and Gerakan’s first and foremost duty after the August 3 general elections to let the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, and UMNO leaders fully understand the real meaning of the Urban Vote on August 3? Or is MCA and Gerakan’s paramount duty after the August 3 to tell the Malaysia Chinese (as some MCA leaders like Gan Boon Leong has done) the message that they would be punished for voting for the DAP?

This is why MCA and Gerakan leaders must decide, in the post-l986 general elections, whether they are going to be the spokesmen of the Urban Malaysia and the five million Malaysian Chinese they claim to represent, or they are UMNO’s spokesman to the Urban Malaysia and the Chinese community.

I personally feel that the MCA and Gerakan leaders would be gravely failing in their political responsibility to the community, people and country if they go against the wishes of the people, and in particular the Chinese community, by failing to convey to Dr. Mahathir and the UMNO leaders in the strongest possible fashion the real meaning of the August 3 general elections.

The urban electorate had spoken loud and clear that ‘Enough is Enough’ and that they want review and change in the government’s nation building policies, and the MCA and Gerakan leaders must now take up the people’s call in the Cabinet and Government.

In the MCA’s analysis of its election defeat, it dared not pinpoint all the causes of one million voters of Urban
Malaysia turning their back on MCA and Gerakan.

Why are MCA leaders afraid to state clearly that one of the causes of their defeat is because of the Barisan Nasional’s dishonouring of its l982 general elections pledge of ‘Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy’ Government, and the numerous scandals which had rocked the country like the $2.5 billion BMF scandal, the UMBC scandal, the $200 million EPF shares scandal, the $l billion mysterious tin-buying scandal through the $2 company, Maminco; the Pan E1 scandal which wiped out $10.8 billion from the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange; and the $200 million Multi-Purpose Holdings Scandal, etc!

The very fact that no single MCA or Gerakan leader dare to publicly blame these scandals as one of the chief causes of their electoral defeats show that they are not ‘equal and separate’ partners in the government coalition, but completely dependent on UMNO for government favours!

Lest MCA leaders are fearful of speaking up and antagonize UMNO leaders, let me speak up for the MCA as to some of the causes of the great MCA defeat in 1986 general elections:

 Barisan Nasional division of Malaysians into bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras which has aggravated racial polarization;

 Barisan Nasional’s One Language, One Culture Policy promulgated in October 1982 which refused to accord to all races, languages and cultures their rightful place and status in Malaysia;

 Disregard of the sensitivities of a multi-religious society by the implementation of Islamisation programmers after the 1982 general elections;

 The 12 Black Days in Sabah in March 1986 where the democratic right of Sabahans were threatened with illegal demonstrations, bomb blasts, arson and riots;

 The influx of illegal Filipino and Indonesian immigrants turning Malaysia into a haven for illegal immigrant crime, with the massive acquisition of fraudulent identification, citizenship and voting rights by the illegal immigrants;

 Inequality in the distribution of political power in Malaysia by disregarding the principle of ‘one man, one vote’ in the 1984 redelineation of electoral constituencies;

 Mismanagement of the Malaysian economy, resulting in a $ 40 billion external debt, massive retrenchment and unemployment and widespread poverty.

If MCA and Gerakan leaders are honest political leaders, then they must dare to give the reasons for the urban rejection of the Barisan Nasional publicly and courageously.

I suggest that the DAP, MCA and Gerakan form a Joint Council to study and present a report to the Cabinet to explain why Urban Malaysia rejected the Barisan Nasional in the 1986 general elections.

For the interest of the people and country, the DAP is prepared to co-operate with MCA, Gerakan, just as we are prepared to co-operate with UMNO and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, or with PAS and other opposition groups.

The question is whether MCA and Gerakan dare to co-operate with DAP or not, or they are afraid of UMNO’s reactions and disapproval? Or do they have first to seek the permission from UMNO?

Foo Wan Thot has told enough lies and should respect the verdict of the Chinese voters in the 1986 general elections

In yesterday’s Sin Chew Jit Poh, Foo Want Thot of Ipoh continued his attack on me. Foo Want Thot has told enough lies, and should respect the verdict of the Chinese voters on August 3 instead of trying to set himself against Chinese will as expressed in the 1986 general elections.

Actually, I must thank my 11,000-plus majority in Tanjong to Foo Wan Thot, whose irrational and senseless attacks on me, and in particular his ‘Denounce Lim Kit Siang Meeting’, during the general elections ensured more support for me, both in Tanjong and throughout Malaysia.

Solely for personal reasons, I would not mind Foo Want Thot continuing his irrational and senseless attacks on me, for it will be a constant reminder to the people as to the price DAP leaders must pay to carry out their fearless battle to represent and champion the people’s rights and interests.

However, I do not want Foo Want Thot’s lies to be regarded as truth because they are not rebutted, and for the interest of historical accuracy, I want to expose Foo’s lies in Yesterday’s statement.

Firstly, Foo had said many times that in the 1982 general elections, I deliberately dispatched Tan Dr. Tan Seng Siaw to flight in Kepong and Chian Heng Kai to contest in Tanjung, after we knew that Ker Choo Ting and Koh Tsu Koon would be standing on Gerakan ticket in Kepong and Tanjung respectively. This is a lie, because Dr. Tan Seng Giaw and Chian Heng Kai were assigned to contest in Kepong and Tanjung long before Tung Chiau Chung’s entry into Gerakan and Barisan Nasional.

Secondly, Foo said that the DAP gave an undertaking to the Civil Rights Committee that I would not be contesting against Koh Tsu Koon in the 1986 general elections. This is another lie, or ‘closing door and making car’ of Foo Want Thot.

Thirdly, Foo alleged that the slogan of ‘Attack into the Barisan to rectify the Barisan’ was first mooted and proclaimed by me 17 years ago, allegedly during the time when I was negotiating to join MCA. I feel great pity for Foo Wan Thot, that he could seriously believe such nonsense and lies.

I really must ask Foo Wan Thot: Are you sure you are still right?