Call on Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to explain whether the government is preparing a new batch of Constitutional amendments for the first meeting of the new Parliament

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Induction Ceremony for 400 new party members in Penang held at Anson Road, on Sunday, Sept.14,1986 at 3pm

Call on Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to explain whether the government is preparing a new batch of Constitutional amendments for the first meeting of the new Parliament.

The induction ceremony for some 400 new members in Penang, the first batch of members who join the Party after the August 3 general election, is the first serious step of the DAP in Penang to expand and prepare for our political tasks and challenges in the next five years.

With six MPs and 10 Assemblymen, we have emerged as the biggest political party in the Penang State, and we must provide leadership, to the people of Penang.

As Dr. Lim Chong Eu pointed out two nights ago, the votes of DAP matches the total votes of the for Barisan Nasional component parties of Gerakan, UMNC, MCA and MIC in the August 3 general elections.

So far, the Gerakan and MCA leaders have refused to learn the lesson of their defeat in the August 3 general elections to find out why the people voted against them and to respect the views and aspirations of the people.

I must warn the Gerakan and MCA leaders that if they persist to ignore and disregard the legitimate rights and aspirations of the people, they will suffer an even greater defeat in the next general elections.

Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, said in a newspaper interview yesterday that the DAP will disappointed the voters, and that in the next general elections the Gerakan will be able to win back the people’s support.


Firstly, I do not know whether Dr. lim Keng Yaik will be around in the next general elections in 1990, for he is likely to face a very stiff contest for the Gerakan Presidency in the next year’s Gerakan presidential elections, and the chances are that Dr. Lim Keng Yaik may not be able to successfully defend his seat. If Dr. Lim Keng Yaik cannot defend his Gerakan presidency, then he will have to vacate his Ministerial seat as well, which he had succeeded in regaining after 13 years dream and lust.

We are prepared, however, to compete with the Gerakan in the next five years to serve the interests of the people. In Penang, we are prepared to compete and co-operate with the Gerakan to remove the injustices of the PDC flat purchases arising from the reduction of PDC prices from $5,000 to $3,000. We hope the nine Gerakan Assemblymen in Penang will be prepared to sit down with the DAP Assemblymen in Penang at the Penang State Assembly on Saturday 20th sept.1986 at 10 a.m. to work out a joint stand to get PDC to refund the monies concerned to the PDC flat-dwellers.

Nationally, the DAP has taken a clear stand on the government’s duty to salvage the 540,000 depositors and members of the 24 co-operatives in the $1.6 billion Co-operative Finance Scandal. Dr. Lim Keng Yaik is in the Cabinet, and the DAP hopes that the Gerakan would be courageous enough stand up for the rights of the 540,000 depositors and members to ensure that any government rescue plan would not caused any financial losses to the innocent depositors.

Furthermore, on Datuk Abdullah Ahmad’s extremist speech in Singapore, I hope Dr. Lim Keng Yaik would have the courage to work together with DAP to ‘internally respond the external move’ by pressing in Cabinet and Parliament for firm action to be taken against Datuk Abdullah. Up to now, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik had not dared to raise his voice to say a single word about Datuk Abdullah’s Singapore speech although two Cabinet meetings had been held already. Can Dr. Lim Keng Yaik explain why?

In the Mingguan Malaysia today, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathri Mohamad, said Datuk Abdullah Ahmad’s Singapore speech is not the view of UMNO. If this is the case, can Dr. Mahathir explain why Datuk Abdullah’s Singapore speech was given the treatment in the Bahasa Malaysia and English newspapers which is reserved only for the Prime Minister himself?

Is Datuk Dr. Mahathir prepared to direct Datuk Abdullah to apologies to all Malaysians for his most offensive and provocative speech in Singapore, which has done great harm to national unity and integration in Malaysia?

Dap suggests all proposed constitutional amendments should allow for at least one month of public debate and feedback before submission to Parliament

I want here to ask the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to clarify whether the Barisan Nasional Government has started work on various amendments to the Malaysian Constitution, and whether these constitutional amendment proposals would be presented to the first meeting of the newly-elected Parliament which starts its meeting next month for adoption.

It is the government’s habit in the post to work in the greatest secrecy on proposal amendments to the Constitution or for that matter on any legislation, which may take a few months or several years, but invariably, they would be dumped in Parliament in matter lays debate and approve. In most cases, there would not be time for MPs to study, digest and understand the legislative proposals before debate.

The DAP calls on Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir to operate a more open and responsive government. All legislative proposals and constitutional amendments should be given to members of the public for one month to discuss and give their feedback before they are submitted to Parliament except in legislative or constitutional proposals warranting emergency action.

In this connection, I call on Dr. Mahathir to tell the Malaysia public what are the constitutional previsions which his government intends to amend, and allow the public to give their input and ideas as well.

There are of course several areas in the Malaysian Constitution which should amended to make democracy more meaningful and the people’s basic rights more assured. Off-hand, I can think of five constitutional amendments for this purpose:

(1) Constitutional provision that there shall be no discrimination against Malaysians on grounds of political opinion, as in the provision of minor development funds for Barisan Nasional controlled areas but which are up till now, denied to Opposition areas.

(2) Constitutional provision that any elected MP or Assemblymen who defects or resigns or is expelled from the party on whose ticket he is elected, should vacate his seat, so that the Politics of corruption, Dishonesty and Money could be curbed.

(3) Amendment to the provision on the disqualification of an Member of Parliament to raise the disqualifying fine for a criminal from $2,000 to $10,000 because of the inflationary changes in the past 30 years and to provide that anyone jailed for one year for criminal breach of trust or any crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude in any part of the world is disqualified as MP in Malaysia.

(4) Provision for a really independent Elections Commission, which is not subject to the interference and influence of the government as happened in the recent general elections, as in the following instances:

(i) conspiring with the government to fix nomination and polling dates even before its actual dissolution of Parliament;

(ii) the short undemocratic and unfair minimum campaign period of 9 days for the general elections;

(iii) The raising of Parliamentary deposits of candidates from $2,000 to $5,000 and State assembly candidates from $500 to $3,000

(5) Constitutional amendment to provide that there is a tree coherence to the democratic principle of ‘one man, one vote’, instead of the present undemocratic rural weight age where constitutionally, ten urban votes can have less weight than one rural vote!

Declaration of Tanjung II 1990

At the 20th anniversary 30,000 People Dinner arganised by the Penang DAP State Committee at Esplanade on Saturday, 20th Sept 1986, the DAP will release in important political document, to be known as ‘The Declaration Of Tanjung II 1990’.

This Tanjung II Declaration will not only lay down the political objectives of the people and the DAP in Penang, but for the whole of Malaysia, for the next four years in the run-up to the next general elections in 1990.

This declaration of Tanjung II 1990, is not only a political declaration of the DAP, but must be the declaration of political principles and objectives of the Malaysian people as well.