Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secreatry-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblymen for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Sunday, 7.9.1986 at 11am.
DAP accepts Tunku’s challenge to be a good and responsible Opposition to check excesses of the ruling government.
Malaysian’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, said in Penang on Friday that an effective opposition party is needed in a democratic country to check excesses of the ruling government and that a good and responsible opposition party would help create a more stable society.
Tunku said the DAP should take up this challenge after its victory in the recent general elections.
The DAP accepts the Tunku’s challenge to be a good and responsible Opposition to check the excesses of the ruling government and to help create a more stable Malaysia.
The DAP had consistently in the past, and will continue in the future, to fearlessly speak out against all government excesses and abuses, which undermined the integrity of the political system and the nation.
This was why the DAP had taken such a strong stand on the $2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance scandal, the UMBC scandal, the $1 billion mysterious tin buying scandal in 19841 through a $2 company, Maminco; the EPF scandal; etc.
The government excesses the DAP will fight against, however, are not confined to government mismanagement of the economy, but also in the sphere of nation building resulting in greater racial polarization and national disunity.
We in the DAP are fully conscious of the great responsibility not only to speak up for Urban Malaysia, which decisively rejected the Barisan Nasional, but also to give voice to Rural Malaysia which now does not have any voice of dissent in Parliament, except for a single PAS MP.
For this reason, all DAP MPs and Assemblymen had been instructed to familiarize themselves with the problems, aspirations and grievances of the Rural Malaysia, and in particular of the Malay poor, so that their voice would be heard in the Parliament and the State Assemblies.
It is for this reason that I will be visiting Alor Star afterwards to understand at first-hand the problem of the padi farmers in Kedah and Perlis who may lose up to $25 million because of the incompetence of the National Padi and Rice Board (LPN)
So that the DAP could be a more effective Opposition, the DAP will allocate to our 24 DAP MPS specific areas of responsibility for them to be specialize in, and this allocation of portfolios to the MPs will be announced at the 20th Anniversary Dinner organized by the Penang State DAP at the Esplanade on Saturday, Sept.20, 1986.
The DAP Mps and Assemblymen in each state have also been asked to meet at least once a month to review developments, plan for the future, and constantly act as a team to develop greater cohesions and solidarity to discharge our role as a ‘good, effective and responsible’ Opposition.
Call for Parliamentary reforms to enable Parliament to play its meaningful
Parliamentary democracy can only work succeed if both the government and the opposition respects each other’s role and function and co-operate to make the system a success. The Opposition should not be an unthinking obstacle, or to be reduced to ‘An Opposition for Opposition’s sake’; but the Government should not similarly be reduced to mentality of ‘Opposing the Opposition for the sake of opposing’.
If the MCA and Gerakan Ministers are afraid to raise the speech of Datuk Abdullah in the Cabinet on Thursday, just because they are afraid of Datuk Abdullah’s political influence, then what can the people expect of them in the next five years or in 1990?
In this connection, Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik seems to have become dumb and deaf as well, for there is not a squeak from him on Datuk Abdullah’s speech.
I want to ask Dr. Lim Keng Yaik what is a use of becoming a Minister if the price is to become deaf, blind and mute, as in this case of Datuk Abdullah’s speech in Singapore?