by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjong and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Parliament House on Tuesday, 10.3.1987:
Call on the Gerakan-led State Executive Council to adopt a resolution declaring its apposition to any attempt to declare Penang as Federal Territory
Penang UMNO Youth, through its leader Ahmad Saad, has called on the Federal Government to declare Penang as Federal Territory to protect the interest of the Malays in Penang.
This is the most ridiculous call and argument, taking the politics of race to a new height.
The declaration of Federal Territory had been used as an undemocratic means to deny the Opposition from gaining popular support, as happened in Kuala Lumpur in 1974.
At the rate things are going in Malaysia, the whole country may have to be declared a Federal Territory, the Federal dissolved, and the parliamentary system of government replaced by a one-party dictatorship.
Democracy-loving people of Penang and Malaysia must not allow Penang UMNO Youth and UMNO to build up pressure behind the scenes on the Barisan Nasional component parties like Gerakan and MCA to arm-twist them to agree to a Federal Territory for Penang.
For this reason, I call on the Penang State Government and in particular, the Penang State Executive Council, to adopt a resolution firmly committing it to appose any more or proposal to declare a Federal Territory in Penang.
This should be further reinforced by the State Government bringing a motion in the next Penang State Assembly meeting to make clear the entire Penang Assembly’s Opposition to the declaring of a Federal Territory in Penang.
The Federal Government, under the Malaysian Constitution, cannot make use of its brute majority in parliament to declare a Federal Territory in Penang, and deprive the people of Penang or a portion of Penang from the right to Penang State Assembly representation and State Government.
Article 2 of the Federal Constitution makes it clear that any more to declare Federal Territory in Penang requires two-third majority vote in Parliament, as well as two-third State Assembly vote in Penang, and thirdly, the consent of the Conference of Rulers.
It is most fortunate that there are now 10 DAP State Assemblymen in Penang who will provide the bulwark to the opposition in any attempt to erode the rights of the people of Penang, and in particular to declare a Federal Territory in Penang. It is impossible for UMNO, with its 12 seats, to declare a Federal Territory in Penang unless there is support from all the other Gerakan and MCA Assemblymen.
In politics, we must think and work for the future, and it is for this reason that I call on the Gerakan and MCA Executive Councillors and Assemblymen to take the first step to get the Penang State Executive Council to adopt a resolution firmly opposing any Federal Territory for Penang.
Penang Gerakan leaders at all levels must immediately put pressure on the Gerakan Chief Minister, Dr. Lim Chong Eu, on the Gerakan Executive Councillors and Assemblymen to make this stand on the question of a Federal Territory in Penang, instead of indulging in irresponsible politicking, as trying to give the impression that I advocate a UMNO Chief Minister for Penang, based on a distorted report of my speech to the United Kingdom MCA Club in London last month.