Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, to a DAPSY meeting in DAP Hqrs, Petaling Jaya, on Thursday, 4th January 1990 at 8 p.m.
Malaysians must be prepared to think of the unthinkable to make the 1990s a decade of hope and promise
The year 1989 has ended with many changes. The year saw the end of the 40-year old Cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union, the end of the Brezhnev Doctrine, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the East European communist governments and the attempts at reform by Gorbachev in Russia itself.
While the 1990s are full of uncertainly, especially in the East European nations which are struggling to experiment with democratic and freedom, the world will have to grapple with many complex problems which hitherto would have been unthinkable issues, for instance, the reunification of Germany.
Malaysians themselves must be prepared to think of the unthinkable in the 1990s to keep abreast of changes taking places, both inside and outside the country.
In Malaysia, the 41-year old communist insurrection has ended with the Haadyi Pearce Agreements on Dec 2. We must think of a Malaysia without an Internal Security Act, without detention without trial laws and with no political detainees. We must think of a Malaysia where there is meaningful freedom of speech, expression, assembly and association. We must think of a Malaysia where there is no Official Secrets Act but where there is a Freedom of Information Act.
Malaysians should also be prepared to consider whether the Communist Party of Malaya should be legalized, with the MCP forswearing all forms of unconstitutional violent means of struggle.
Ever since Independence, the government had always commanded a two-third parliamentary majority. The time has come for Malaysians to remove this two-third parliamentary majority to restore democracy and human rights. Malaysians should even dare o think of having a new Government.
For the past 32 years of nationhood, Malaysia had been deeply divided by the politics of race, and in particular by the separation of Malaysians into bumiputra and non-bumiputras. Malaysians must dare to think of a Malaysia where race politics does not play so overpowering a role, and where Malaysians are not divided into bumiputra and non-bumiputras.
Three decades ago, Malaysia was second after Japan in economic position, and we are now trailing far behind the four little dragons, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, and hard pressed by Thailand. We must dare to think of a Malaysia which could fully exploit its immense natural and human resources to catch up with the nations which had left us so far behind.
Malaysians must dare to think of a unthinkable and have a common vision for the future, whereby all Malaysians are united as one people. It is only then that the 1990s will be a decade of hope and promise for Malaysians, and not a decade of disappointed or despair.