Co-operation between DAP and Semangat 46 heralds a new break through in Malaysian politics


Part II of Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the first of a series of DAP-semangat 46 National Ceramahs Dewan Sri Pinang on Saturday, February 17, 1990 at 8 p.m.

Co-operation between DAP and Semangat 46 heralds a new break through in Malaysian politics

For the purpose of ushering in the decade of change in the 1990s, the DAP has decided to co-operate with the Semangat 46 so as to ensure that Malaysians can start on the road to restore democracy, human rights, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, economic justice and national unity by the removal of the two-third parliamentary majority of Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.

In this sense, the co-operation between DAP and Semangat 46 heralds a new breakthrough in Malaysian politics.

DAP and Semangat 46 are co-operating not so much because of what we separately could benefit out of it, but because of the need for all political forces in the country to take a common stand to restore democracy, human rights, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, economic justice and national unity in Malaysia.

The Barisan Nasional are very worried about such an understanding between the DAP and Semangat 46, and the component Barisan Nasional leaders are resorting to a very communal line to try to destroy the understanding or frighten the people by arousing the communal fears of the people.

For instance, the DAP is accused by the MCA and Gerakan of selling out the interest of the Chinese, and this line of communal attack could be found in the Chinese newspaper of the past few days. On the other hand, UMNO leaders are accusing the Semangat 46 leaders of selling out of the Chinese. In Penang, the UMNO leader spearheading such a communal line of attack is none other than the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, who should be setting an example to the new generation of students under his charge of taking a broad Malaysian, rather than a narrow communal, approach.

I suggest that the Barisan Nasional component parties should hold a policy meeting to resolve their differences and decide whether the DAP-Semangat 46 understanding is a sell-out of the interests and rights of the Chinese or a sell-out of the interests and rights of the Malays – for any eight-year-old will know that it is impossible for anyone to do both!

I would rather, of course, that the Barisan Nasional component parties grow up and take a stand on democracy, human rights, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, economic justice and national unity instead of endlessly pandering to communal emotions to protect their vested economic interests.

The DAP-Semangat 46 understanding will not be sell-out of legitimate Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban rights and interests, but wil be a promotion of the best and highest interests of all Malaysians.

In fact, the DAP is prepared to invite UMNO Baru, MCA, Gerakan, or the Barisan Nasional, to commonly work for the restoration of democracy, human rights, economic justice and national unity in Malaysia. Is UMNO Baru, MCA, Gerakan or the Barisan Nasional, for instance, prepared to repeal the numerous amendments to the Constitution and the laws which nullify the fundamental rights of freedom of speech, expression, assembly, press freedom, freedom of information, the liberty of the person, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law?

If Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Datuk Samy Vellu are prepared to agree, for a start, to the repeal of the amendments to the Constitution, the Internal Security Act, the Official Secrets Act, the Police Act, the Printing Presses and Publicatons Act and the Societies Act rammed through Parliament since 1986, I, for one, am prepared to meet them any place and anytime.

Or if any of the Barisan Nasional component parties is prepared to work in unison in the AG/Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal by removing D.P. Vijandran as Deputy Speaker of Parliament and refer him to the Committee of Privileges for a full investigation, and the removal of Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman as Attorney-General for destroying the eleven Vijandran videotapes and 2,000 photographs, I am also prepared to meet them any place anytime.

MCA wants to have a half Chief Minister while Chong Eu is preparing to be a non-Gerakan Barisan Nasional Chief Minister

Recently, the Barisan Nasional component parties seems to be obsessed with the question of the Penang Chief Minister. Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, publicly told Dr. Lim Chong Eu that the party has designated Dr. Goh Cheng Teik and Dr. Koh Tsu Koon as his possible successors should he not contest in the next general elections. It was a clear signal by Dr. Lim Keng Yaik that as far as Gerakan is concerned, Dr. Lim Chong Eu had overstayed his welcome.

But Dr. Lim Chong Eu has refused to get the signal from Dr. Lim Keng Yaik. On the contray, Chong Eu has sent his own signal to the Gerakan. When Keng Yaik first made the surprise announcement that Gerakan had designated possible successors to Dr. Lim Chong Eu (surprising and frightening Cheng Teik in particular), Cheng Eu made the cryptic remark that Keng Yaik was very ‘brave’ to make such an announcement.

Chong Eu has clarified his position further yesterday, and he made several remarkable points:

Firstly, he made it very clear that it is not for the Gerakan to decide who is to be the next Penang Chief Minister, but the Barisan Nasional, as after the 1969 and 1974 general elections, the Gerakan had less seats than the other component parties which had allowed him to continue as Chief Minister.

This means that Gerakan’s designated successors for the Penang Chief Ministership need not be Chong Eu’s designated successor or even the Barisan Nasional’s designated successor. This is where Bernama reported Chong Eu as saying that the designated successor to him as Chief Minister of Penang need not be a Chinese.

Secondly, Chong Eu said that he was not sure whether he could retire as Chief Minister in the next elections as he had many commitments. Clearly these are not commitments to the Gerakan, as the Gerakan did not seem to know about them.

From this, it seems that Chong Eu’s counter-signal to Keng Yaik that it was time for the former to retire as Gerakan Chief Minister was that he was prepared to become a non-Gerakan Barisan Nasional Chief Minister of Penang.

There is then the MCA proposal by the former Gerakan leader, Khor Gark Kim, that the Penang Chief Ministership should be equally shared between the Gerakan and MCA.

I do not think anyone in Gerakan is prepared to agree to the CMA proposal of being a half Chief Minister.

Be that as it may, it will finally be the people of Penang who will decide who will form the next Government of Penang.

I want to take this opportunity to rebut the wild statements which are being made by Anwar Ibrahim that the DAP is anti-Malay, and that we oppose all efforts to uplift Malays from socio-economic poverty and backwardness.

This is a downright lie. I am very disappointed that a national leader of the caliber of Anwar Ibrahim should resort to such falsehoods. Anwar should know that the DAP supports all efforts to help the Malay poor, to redress their socio-economic and educational backwardness. What the DAP is opposed is the misuse of government resources allegedly meant for the upliftment well-connected Malay leaders which had produced so many financial scandals in Malaysia.

The Malays in Penang have no reason to fear for the DAP, for the DAP is not anti-Malay, anti-Indian or anti-Chinese, but pro-Malaysians. Given a chance, the DAP will prove that we are fully committed to the advancement of the interests of all Malaysians, regardless of race. I am sure that all right-thinking Malaysians will agree that Malaysians who are poor and backward deserve special government programme and attention to redress such a socio-economic injustices.

We are aware that we have some differences of opinion about what the co-operation between the DAP and Semangat 46 can achieve in the next general elections. The DAP is targeting for the removal of the two-thirds parliamentary majority of the Mahathir government, while Semangat 46 is working for the toppling of the Barisan Nasional government.

In the final analysis, there is no conflict between us. This is because the decision will finally be in the hands of the voters, as to whether to deprive the Barisan Nasional government of its two-third majority in the next general elections, or to go one step further, a “two-thirds plus” target of toppling the Barisan Nasional government.

In that eventuality, the DAP fully supports Tengku Razaleigh as the fifth Prime Minister in Malaysia.

Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal

While MIC President, Datuk Samy Vellu and Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, are trying to turn the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal into a farce, four Sarawak Barisan MPs have come out with a clear stand for the resignation of Vijandran as Deputy Speaker.

The call of the four Sarawak Barisan Mps, namely Datuk Peter Tinggom (SNAP – Saratok), James Jimbun (PBB – Kapit), Mutang Tugal (PBB – Bukit Mas) and Douglas Uggah (PBB – Betong) – however has not made clear whether they would support any motion in Parliament for the removal of Vijandran as Deputy Speaker, as well as whether they support the demand for the removal of Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman as Attorney-General for ordering the destruction of the eleven Vijandran videotapes and four envelopes of 2,000 photographs.

I call on every Barisan MP, whether in UMNO, MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PBS, USNO, PBB, SNAP, SUPP, PBDS to declare his or her stand on whether Vijandran should be removed as Deputy Speaker and Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman removed as Attorney-General.

Cabinet Ministers not asked to pre-judge Vijandran but to act on information in the possession of government about contents of the Vijandran videotapes

MIC President, Datuk Samy Vellu, said he could ask Vijandran to resign as Deputy Speaker any time, but if he did so, he would only be pre-judging the issue. What is even more significant is Datuk Samy Vellu’s statement that if leaders of Barisan Nasional component parties must be prepared to step down when accused of being involved in similar circumstances, “finally there may be no one left in the BN”.

I do not know what Datuk Samy Vellu meant, but he should be privy to a lot of information about the Barisan Nasional leaders which are not public knowledge, and Datuk Samy Vellu may have very good reason to make this prediction.

This is probably why the gerakan seems to be backing down from the fury of Datuk Samy Vellu, who has threatened to unearth “a lot of accusation” against Gerakan leaders.

Whatever the antics between the Gerakan and MIC leaders, the people must not be misled by Datuk Samy Vellu that in removing Vijandran as Deputy Speaker, the Cabinet Ministers would be pre-judging the guild of Vijandran.

In demanding the removal of Vijandran as Deputy Speaker, the Ministers are not asked to pre-judge Vijandran, but to act on the information in the government’s possession with regard to the nature of the contents of the eleven Vijandran videotapes and four envelopes of 2,000 photographs stolen from Vijandran’s house in August 1988.

The Police and Attorney-General know the contents of the eleven Vijandran videotapes and 2,000 photographs, and if there is nothing wrong or pornographic about them, why should Vijandran go on leave as Deputy Speaker, MIC Secretary-General and MAIKA Holdings Chairman?

Is every Cabinet minister prepared to swear that he or she has not seen the Vijandran videotapes?

Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, said in Jasin yesterday that the claim that the Cabinet had a viewing of the pornographic videotapes before Vijandran went on leave on leave was “nonsense”.

Nobody had ever said the Cabinet had met in a special session to have a special viewing of the Vijandran tapes, but I had said that I have reasons to believe that certain key Ministers had seen the videotapes. Is every Cabinet Minister prepared to make a statement on oath to swear that he or she has not seen the Vijandran videotapes at all?

Call on Anwar to declare that he does not know the contents of the Vijandran videotapes

Furthermore, key Cabinet Ministers, including Anwar Ibrahim, know very clearly the contents of the Vijandran videotapes. Is Anwar Ibrahim going to deny that he know the nature of the contents of the Vijandran videotapes, that he was not interested and was never told about the contents of the Vijandran videotapes, that the Cabinet has no interest whatsoever to know what are on the Vijandran videotapes from the Police and the Attorney-General?

Is this why Anwar had given full support to Vijandran in the December meeting of Parliament, personally moving the ministerial motion to suspend DAP MP for Jelutong, Karpal Singh, from the House for raising the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal issue?

Anwar told the press yesterday that the Vijandran pornographic videotapes issue should be left to the court to decide. Is Anwar declaring that he is opposed to the resignation or removal of Vijandran as Deputy Speaker?

The MCA Presidential Council meeting yesterday was again another disappointment, with the MCA Deputy Secretary-General, Dr. Ting Chew Peh, saying that the Vijandran issue should be solved through the proper Barisan Nasional channels.

The MCA national leaders, from its President Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, downwards, seem to have made it their open policy to make it clear to all and sundry that it has absolutely no stand or view whatsoever on the Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal.

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