Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung. Lim Kit Siang, at the Penang DAP Ceramah to launch the 1990s Movement held at Penang Chinese Town Hall on Friday, 4.9.1987 at 9 p.m.
DAP warns of a group which wants to escalante racial tensions to create conditions to justify government action to suppress democracy and stifle dissent
The DAP is today Lunching a nation-wide 1990s Movement to raise the political consciousness of all Malaysians so that they could actively influence the decisions shaping the Malaysia of the 1990s.
For the last 30 years, the majority of Malaysians showed interest in polities once in every four or five years during the general elections when they cast their votes. But this is not enough, for equally important political decisions are being made throughout the period in between general election with great reperoussions on their lives and that of future generations, and these are decisions which ordinary Malaysians must influence by playing a more active role in polities.
The DAP has decided to launch the 1990s Movement, because the year 1990s has come to mark a new phase in the nation’s development, and many are looking towards it with worry and apprehension. But to worry and fear about 1990 and the decade after is negative and self-defeating.
There are groups which are now actively moulding and shaping public opinion to determine the Malaysian nation in the 1990s, and the Malaysian public must not allow this small group of people the monopoly of this political power and decision-making.
This is why the DAP is launching this nation-wide movement to mobilize the political energies and power of Malaysians to have a greater say on political, social, economic, educational and cultural events in between general elections.
We must not allow a situation where when the year 1990 arrived, all the important political decisions about the economic, social, educational, cultural and government shape of things had already been decided and set in a mould, which could not be broken and changed.
For the next three years, the DAP hopes to make Malaysians more and more aware, not only of their political rights, but also their political responsibilities. The easiest way to lose our political rights is not to shoulder our political responsibilities to defend our political rights. For we are then losing our political rights, and that of future generations, by sheer apathy and default.
The country recently celebrated our 30th National Day anniversary, but the country has never been plagued with so many political, economic, educational, cultural, religious and other nation-building problems as now.
The DAP must warn that there is a group of irresponsible political desperadoes who wants to escalate racial tensions in the country to create conditions which will justify the government resorting to undemocratic and repressive actions, leading to suppression of democracy and stifling of dissent.
Last few weeks and months, so many divisive issues of language, culture and education, had occupied the front-stage, and if we examins their causes, we find that they are caused by a group of people who seem to have one common aim – to escalate racial tensions by disregarding the rights and sensitivities of the other communities on issues of language, education and culture.
These people are very slick operators. They create issues which raise sensitivities with other communities over question of language, education and culture, and put the blame on the aggrieved groups who protest about their sensitivities.
I know the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, is very engrossed about the power struggle going on in UMNO, but must exercise firm leadership in the UMNO, Barisan Nasional and government not to allow this group of political desperadoes who want to build their political future on worsening ethnic relations in the country. Dr. Mahathir Mohamed will be failing his duty to the nation and people of Malaysia if he is so obsessed about proving himself to be a better UMNO Leader Tengku Razaleith or Datuk Musa Hitam, forgetting his higher responsibility to be the model Malaysian leader.
I therefore call on Dr. Mahathir to smack down and hard on this group of ‘wolves in sheep clothing’ in UMNO ranks who have done so much harm to Malaysia in recent weeks and months, setting back the government’s efforts to win back confidence of foreign investors and to get the country onto the road of economic recovery.
Penang DAP has set up a group headed by Sdr. Gooi Hock Seng to look into the legality of the MPPP’s decision to ask the State Government to decide whether to sell Council land to KGN at less than 25 per cent market price
In the past two months, the people of Penang has been rocked by the national UEM scandal of the North-South Highway privatization project, and the $10 million MPPP Batu Ferringi sewerage projection Penang.
Now there is another MPPP scandal, the proposal to sell MPPP Council land at Jalan Air Itam to the UMNO associated Koperasi Gabungan Negeri (KGN) at less than 25% of the market price.
The four hectares of land is believed to worth $15.5 million ($430 per square metre) while KGN is bidding for it for $3.6 million ($100 per square metre). When did the MPPP become a charitable organization to help co-operatives or companies of component parties of Barisan Nasional to make profits. Or has the spirit of the UEM deal in the North-South Highway scandal also come to Penang, for the KGN issue is Penang’s UEM scandal.
There is here conflict of interest, for how could UMNO MPPP Councillors take part in decisions which will benefit their own party, which is associated with KGN. Secondly, under what section of the Local Government Act 1976 does the MPPP have the power to pass the decision-making on whether to sell the land to KGN to the State Government.
The DAP must warn the Penang State Government that it would be guilty of gross impropriety if it approves the sale of the four hectares of MPPP land to KGN at below 25 per cent of market price, and must expect to be challenged inside and outside the Penang State Assembly.
What the MPPP should do, if it decides to sell the land, is to offer the land to the highest bidder.
The Penang DAP has set up a group headed by Sdr. Gooi Hock Seng, MP for Bukit Bendera, to study the legality of the MPPP decision to ask the State Government to decide whether to sell the Council land to KGN at less than 25 per cent market price, and to recommend whether this decision should be challenged in the courts.