By Parliamentary Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, on Tuesday, 2.9.1986 in Penang.
Advice to Ghaffar Baba and other top Barisan leaders to stop governing Malaysia by threats and warnings, but by winning the hearts and minds of Malaysians.
Deputy Prime minister, Ghaffar Baba, warned at the Penang UMNO Convention yesterday that the government will ‘track down and destroy’ those who discredit the New Economic Policy, for they are frightening off foreign investors.
After the August 3 general elections which Dr. Mahathir Mohamed and other top UMNO leaders claimed was landslide victory for Barisan Nasional, there seems to be a tendency to government Malaysia by threats and warnings rather than by winning the hearts and minds of Malaysians. Ghaffar Baba’s threat and warning in Penang yesterday is the most recent example.
The one million voters who voted for the DAP on August 3 are clearly disenchanted with the New Economic Policy, which created new inequalities and injustices in the name of frying to solve historic wrongs, and is the government going to ‘track down and destroy’ the one million voters? Or is the government going to show it is a democratic one, which understands the purpose and meaning of a general elections, and will make a serious attempt to reach out to the one million voters in the urban areas who supported the DAP, or the total 45 per cent of the electorate who voted against the Barisan Nasional?
Implicit in Ghaffar Baba’s warning and threat is that the DAP is one of the ‘culprits’ frightening off the foreign investors with our stand that the MP is become the single most divisive force in the country, aggravating racial polarization in Malaysia.
This is not a new argument or stand of the DAP propounded only during or after the 1986 general elections. If Ghaffar Baba cares to read the DAP speeches, whether in Parliament, the State Assemblies or outside, he will find that DAP leaders have been making this argument in the early seventies.
Why didn’t Ghaffar of other top UMNO leaders accuse us of ‘frightening off’ foreign investors in the last 15 years, and why the sudden new accusation?
Clearly, the Cabinet is looking for scapegoats as to why foreign investors have reservations about their investments in Malaysia. This brings us back to the problem of the crisis of confidence, which has not been resolved despite the ‘landslide’ victory of the Barisan Nasional on August 3.
I would urge Ghaffar Baba and other top government leaders to be rational and statesmen like to deal the complex problems of multi-racial Malaysia. The best way to resolve the problem of crisis of confidence, by Malaysians internally as well as by foreigners is to win the hearts and minds of Malaysians so that a basis for a united, purposive and progressive nation-building and development effort could be established.
I therefore advice Ghaffar Baba and other top government leaders to stop trying to govern Malaysia by threats and warnings, but by wining the hearts and minds of Malaysians. In the August 3 general elections, the Barisan Nasional could win the hearts and minds of only 55 per cent of the electorate. Is the Barisan Nasional capable of wining over the other 45 percent and be a government of all Malaysians rather than of half the population?