Advice to Datuk Abu Hassan and other UMNO leaders not to make wild, extremist and chauvinistic statements just for the coming UMNO elections in April 1987

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 15.12.1986

Advice to Datuk Abu Hassan and other UMNO leaders not to make wild, extremist and chauvinistic statements just for the coming UMNO elections in April 1987.

There can be two reactions to the astonishing accusation by Federal Territory Minister, Datuk Abu Hassan Omar, that the Dap, PAS and five other groups are out to destroy the country’s political and social fabric.

The first reaction will be one of anger that a Cabinet Minister should be making a wild allegation completely without basis and which can only create more political problems and uncertainties in the country.

The second reaction will be to pity Datuk Abu Hassan who clearly has been bitten by the UMNO party election bug and must have felt very insecure about his election chances in April 1987 that he had to make very wild and extremist statement.

I hope this is not the beginning of all sorts of wild and irresponsible statements by UMNO leaders in the next 4 months in their preparation for the UMNO party contest for it will mean 4 months of political turmoil and problems when the country must take grip of itself if it is to resolve the Crisis of Confidence which has been the most inhibiting factor to economic recovery.

If Abu Hassan is really serious about his accusations that the seven named groups are out to destroy the social and political fabric in the country, he should substantiate his allegations and the DAP is prepared to meet any UMNO leader at any forum to rebut such allegations.

UMNO leaders must realize that in a democratic country, politics is not the monopoly, prerogative and special preserve of political parties and politicians, Every citizen has the right and duty to take part in the political process and the country should welcome more organisation to follow the examples of Aliran, CAP, Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia, Selangor Graduates Society and the
Bar Council because Parliamentary democracy would have no meaning if there is no public participation in the decision making process through the articulation and formation of public opinion.

I must warn the UMNO leaders that they must be more restrained and responsible in the next 4 months and no t to sacrifice the national and public interest at the altar of UMNO delegate – vote catching. Its not enough to have a code of ethics in the UMNO party elections in an attempt to put a stop to the politics of money. It is even more important to have an ethical code for the politics election where the contestants do not resort to wild, extremist or chauvinistic statements or actions to gain popularity while doing irreparable harm to the democratic process and nation-building. Datuk Abu Hassan’s outburst is one such example. Let it be the last.