Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 25.4.1987:
Dr. Mahathir’s wafer-thin victory in UMNO Presidential contest highlight the grave problem of crisis of confidence which should be the first item of national agenda
Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed must be the first Prime Minister in the world to scrape through to victory in party elections, and saved the Prime Ministership by a whisker!
His wafer-thin 43-vote majority, or three per cent of the votes, speaks volumes especially after last year’s general elections, and must be the paramount concern of all leaders, including Dr. Mahathir himself, who have the national welfare at heart.
The most important message from Dr. Mahathir’s narrow majority is that the problem of crisis of confidence in the country must be recognized as the greatest problem today, and should be th first item of the national agenda.
In the last general elections, although Barisan Nasional won fourth-fifth parliamentary majority, the election results could not camouflage the fact that the nation was wracked by an acute crisis of confidence unprecedented in Malaysian history. Barisan Nasional secured only 55per cent of the total votes cast although it won 84 per cent of the total parliamentary seats.
The government ignored the 45% of the Malaysian voters who voted against the Barisan, and in particular their city for government recognition of the fundamental problems which had created the protracted crisis of confidence. This has further compounded the crisis of confidence.
In the UMNO Supreme Council and Presidential elections, the problem of crisis and confidence was the main issue. The UMNO Presidential and Deputy Presidential election results demonstrate that the crisis of confidence in Malaysia cannot be ignored any further, and must be addressed courageously if Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir is not to lose legitimacy as the Prime Minister in Malaysia.
The nations’ prolonged and acute crisis of confidence stem from the wide gap between government promise and actual performance, in particular with regard to the government’s
Promise to have a government of honesty, integrity, efficiency, accountability & justice.
The DAP hopes that Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir would take courageous steps, not only to unite UMNO, but to unite the Malaysian people, to resolve the nation’s prolonged crisis of confidence,. He should put an end to the scandal-ridden government by giving a gull and open accounting to all scandals and controversies, and those responsible or involved in such scandals should be brought to book. He should restore local and international confidence in Malaysia, and in particular arrest and reverse the dangerous process of racial and religious polarization in the country. He should respect human rights and democracy and dismantle laws and government mechanisms which stifle democracy and threaten human rights. Finally, he should work to regain the confidence of the 45 per cent of the national electorate and the 48.5 per cent of the UMNO who had shown in no uncertain terms in the last eight months their grave reservations about his leadership and government.