By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, Nov.28, 1989:
DAP wants agreement with CPM tabled in Parliament for debate and calls for an All-Party Parliamentary Committee to recommend repeal of repressive laws which had been justified on the ground of the CPM armed struggle
Dap WELCOMES THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, that the 41 year-old armed struggle of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) would end on Saturday (Dec. 2), when the CPM concludes an agreement with the
Malaysian and Thai governments in Thailand.
The CPM is laying down its arms because it has finally realized the futility of its armed struggle, and the impossibility of its getting support from the people of Malaysia – apart from a very in hospital world scene which is witnessing the rapid collapse of the communist ideology and system.
I call on the Prime Minister to table the agreement with CPM in Parliament next week for debate, and the formation of an All-Party Parliamentary Committee to recommend repeal of repressive laws which had been justified on the ground of the armed CPM struggle.
While welcoming the laying down of the armed struggle by the CPM after 41 years, Malaysians would be interested to know whether the government is prepared to restore them the democratic rights and freedoms which were curtailed and restricted because of the CPM armed struggle.
The 41 year-old armed struggle of the CPM had caused many undemocratic and repressive measures to be enacted on the ground that these powers were necessary for the government to deal with the armed communist threat.
Over the past four decades, government leaders had repeatedly promised that when the communist armed threat is over, the democratic rights and freedoms taken away from the people would be returned to them.
For instance, is the government prepared to life the ban on public rallies, which were banned before the 1978 general elections on the ground that the police expected bomb explosions and other acts of urban sabotage on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the CPM armed struggle. In the event, there had been no such incidents but public rallies to this day are still banned – apart from rallies which are held by the Prime Minister himself.
The lifting of curfew in certain areas from Friday, Dec. 1, is the first sign of return to normalcy for Malaysians. But more is needed to ensure that Malaysians enjoy the full benefits of a termination of the CPM armed struggle, in particular in the repeal of a whole host of extraordinary laws and powers which had been justified on the ground of the grave security threat posed by the CPM.
DAP proposes the formation of an All-Party Parliamentary Committee to study and make recommendation for the repeal of the various laws and extraordinary powers which had been passed in the past 41 years to give the government these emergency powers to deal specifically with the CPM armed threat.
A month ago, Malaysia hosted the CHOGM with Dr. Mahathir Mohamad presiding over the Commonwealth heads of government to produce the Kuala Lumpur CHOGM Communique, which made a strong call for all member nations to uphold and promote democratic processes and to observe human rights.
The laying down of arms by the CPM on Dec. 2 is an excellent occasion for Malaysia to restore fully to all Malaysians the democratic freedoms and rights taken from them because of the 41 year-old armed struggle. For a start, the Malaysian government should return Malaysia to a normal state of government by revoking then four Proclamations of Emergency which are all still operative in Malaysia.
Secondly, repressive laws like the Internal Security Act should be repealed.