DAP changes Ipoh venue of Party National Delegates Conference on Sunday to Kuala Lumpur

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, after visiting the NUJ and NUNW picket protesting against the Official Secrets Act Amendment Bill at Jalan Riong, Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 1986:

DAP changes Ipoh venue of Party National Delegates Conference on Sunday to Kuala Lumpur in last minute to enable Party leaders, delegates and members to participate in the Drive For Democracy programme in Kuala Lumpur organized by Freedom of Information Campaign Group

The great turn-out by newspaper workers of four newspaper, New Straits Times, Berita Harian, Nanyang Siang Pao and Sin Min Daily News, demonstrate the deep-seated opposition of Malaysians from all walks of life to Official Secrets Act Amendment Bill.

The third amendment bill to the Official Secrets Act this year, although claimed by the Minister to the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Ajib Ahmad, as the result of the Goverhment’s sensitivity to the views of the people, does not really make it anyway more acceptable or palatable to the principles of democracy and freedom which we must uphold and cherish in Malaysia.

The latest OSA Amendment Bill violates the Rukunegara commitment to maintain a democratic way of life in Malaysia, and the pledge to uphold the fundamental liberties in the Malaysian Constitution.

When the latest OSA Amendment Bill is made into law on Friday, a darkness will descend over the democratic system in the country, and the warning of the Chief Justice that “excessive encroachments, restraints and interference with the guarantees of fundamental liberties” will render these guarantees and liberties meaningless, would come nearer to the truth.

If the Barisan Nasional is determined to use its brute four-fifth parliamentary majority to force through the highly obnoxious and repugnant OSA Amendment Bill, then Malaysians must get ready for a long-term struggle to defend the right of freedom of information in Malaysia.

This is why the call by the Freedom of Information Campaign Group, headed by former Auditor-General, Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, for a ten-thousand people Drive for Democracy for Malaysians from all over the country to come into the Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, Dec.7, 1986 at 2 p.m. for a People’s Assembly for the Defence of Democracy should get the support of all Malaysians who are concerned about the gross erosion of our democratic rights.

The DAP urge all Malaysians to come to Kuala Lumpur by all forms of transportation to let the Prime Minister, the Barisan Nasional Government, the whole country and world know how strong are the people’s feeling about their democratic rights and their determination to defend democracy.

For this reason, the DAP Party leadership has taken the unprecedented decision to make a last-minute change of the venue for the DAP’s National Delegates Conference 1986 scheduled to be held in Ipoh on Sunday, Dec.7, 1986, to Kuala Lumpur instead. The time for the opening and business session remain the same. This change is to enable DAP leaders, delegates and members to take part in Sunday’s Drive for Democracy, for all Malaysians must make Sunday’s People’s Assembly for the Defence of Democracy a national event in the fullest sense of the word.

All DAP delegates are hereby notified that the DAP National Delegates Conference would be held at Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, and not Hotel Excelsior, Ipoh, as originally planned. I also call on all organizations and societies which have conflicting functions on Sunday to cancel these programmes to allow them and their members to participate in the Drive for Democracy and People’s Assembly in the
Defence for Democracy at the Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.