MCA and Gerakan leaders seem to be in a panic at the tumultuous public response to the first DAP-Semangat 46 joint national ceramah in Penang last Saturday

By DAP National DAPSY Chairman and Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka, Lm Guan Eng, in Penang on Friday, 23.2.1990:

MCA and Gerakan leaders seem to be in a panic at the tumultuous public response to the first DAP-Semangat 46 joint national ceramah in Penang last Saturday

Barisan Nasional leaders, especially MCA and Gerakan leaders seem to have gone into panic stage at the tumultuous public response of 25,000-people to the first DAP-Semangat 46 Joint National Ceramah held at Dewan Sri Pinang in Penang last Saturday.

In the past week, both MCA and Gerakan had concentrated their attacks on the DAP for out co-operation with Semangat 46. Suddenly, the MCA and Gerakan leaders have become the guardians and custodians of the political struggle of the DAP of the past 24 years, accusing the DAP of betraying what it had stood for in the past 24 years.

In the first place, if the MCA and the Gerakan national leaders are so concerned about the DAP betraying our political principles, believing that they are the best for the people and country, why then had the MCA and Gerakan been attacking the DAP for the past 24 years?

Secondly, what are the MCA and Gerakan leaders doing in their respective parties, when they are now declaring that the DAP’s political struggle, principles and policies in the past 24 years are better than those of the MCA and Gerakan, to the extent that the MCA and Gerakan leaders are publicly defending them – and accusing the DAP of betraying these good DAP political struggles, principles and policies.

Let me tell MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, and Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik that if the MCA and Gerakan national leaders are not to be seen and exposed as political hypocrites, claiming to be the defenders and keepers of the DAP political principles, image and integrity, then they should first of all dissolve the MCA and Gerakan, declare their acceptance of the DAP policies and apply to join the DAP.

When MCA and Gerakan leaders want to be seen as public defenders and guardians of the DAP political principles and policies, then clearly these MCA and Gerakan leaders never had any faith in their own political actions and beliefs.

Of course, it is not just the MCA and Gerakan who are very nervous and worried by the DAP-Semangat 46 co-operation to restore democracy, defend human rights, ensure socio-economic justice and build a fair and united Malaysian nation.

Even UMNO Baru leaders are worried, especially because at least 30 per cent of the over 25,000 crowd at the DAP-Semangat 46 Joint National Ceramah are Malays.

This is why the Barisan Nasional component parties have resorted to the panicky and ridiculous attack on the DAP-Semangat 46 co-operation, with MCA and Gerakan accusing the DAP of betraying the Chinese while the UMNO Baru accusing Semangat 46 of betraying the Malays with our co-operation.

If the accusations of MCA, Gerakan and UMNO Baru are true, that in the DAP-Semangat 46 co-operation, the Chinese and the Malays are being betrayed, then there will be nobody left!

What the DAP and Semangat 46 are co-operating is to restore democracy, human rights, socio-economic justice and a united Malaysian people. The 34-year record of the DAP and its leaders is there for all Malaysians to judge as to whether DAP leaders are men and women who betray the interests of the people and political principles for self-gain.

DAP Secretary-General, Sdr. Lim Kit Siang, had been accused of betraying the rights of Malaysian Chinese in supporting Malay special rights. It is the MCA and the Gerakan who are responsible for the amendment to the Constitution which make Malay special rights unchallengeable and unquestionable – a sensitive issue entrenched in the Malaysian Constitution.

The MCA and Gerakan leaders are hoping that the DAP Secretary-General would make a statement declaring opposition to Malay special rights, so that he could be arrested, prosecuted and convicted of an offence of sedition for questioning the entrenched sensitive issue of Malay special rights, whereby he would automatically de disqualified from being a Member of Parliament as well as a State Assemblyman, and all forms of elective office. In fact he would also lose his right to cast his vote in an elections if he is convicted of questioning the sensitive issue of Malay special rights as entrenched under the Constitutional amendment of 1971, which had the full support of MCA and Gerakan.

The DAP has been accused of being anti-Malay. This is a lie. The DAP supports all special government efforts to uplift the socio-economically backward people in the country. We recognize that numerically, the majority of the poor in Malaysia are Malays, although it is important to be recognized by all that the poor in Malaysia are not confined to any one racial group only. We support all public and private efforts to uplift Malay socio-economic backwardness; in the same way that we believe that it is the government responsibility to redress socio-economic backwardness and poverty of all Malaysians regardless of race.

What we had been opposed to, and what we will continue to oppose, is the use of special provisions in the Constitution meant to benefit the socio-economically backward Malays for the rich and politically well-connected Malays.

Similarly, we will oppose government neglect of the socio-economic problems of the non-Malays, for the simple reason that all Malaysians are entitled to fair play, justice and human dignity.