Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the National Joint DAP-Semangat 46 Ceramah in Selangor held at Dewan Civic, Petaling Jaya on Friday, 2nd March 19890 at 9 p.m.
Four scacred objectives of DAP and Semangat 46 co-operation for the next general elections: Defend parliamentary democracy, restore human rights, ensure socio-economic justice and create national unity
When the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Azlan Shah, officially opened Parliament last Monday, he called on all Malaysians to uphold their patriotism to preserve the system of Parliamentary Democracy and Constitutional Monarchy.
We must ask: Who are the greatest threat to the system of Parliamentary Democracy. It is those who have been systematically eroding and undermining the democratic freedoms of the people, making Parliamentary Democracy less and less meaningful in Malaysia.
It is the Mahathir Government who, in particular for the past four years since the 1986 general elections, had been the greatest threat to Parliamentary Democracy with the remorseless attacks and destruction of fundamental democratic rights, principles and institutions.
Malaysia is getting to be worse then South Africa
Malaysia is getting to be worse than South Africa in terms of human rights. South African freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, after his release after 27 years of incarceration, could address public rallies in Cape Town with crowds of 50,000 and even 100,000, but in Malaysia, public rallies have been banned for 12 years for no good reason. Only Dr. Mahathir could hold illegal public rallies.
Press freedom suffered a great blow in 1986 with the amendments to the Official Secrets Act and in 1987 when four newspapers were closed under Operation Lalang, when 106 Opposition Mps, leaders and other government critics were locked up without trial under the Internal Security Act.
In 1988 and 1989, the Judiciary and the Rule of Law became the next target of attack, with the sacking of the Lord President, Tun Salleh ABas, and two other Supreme Court judges, and the amendments to the Internal Security Act to remove the powers of the Courts to review and check the abuses of power of the Home Minister in detaining political opponents without trial.
Why is Dr. Mahathir not prepared to similarly honour the integrity, honesty and patriotism of those he decribed as the “the anti-government Malaysians”, like Tun Suffian, Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, Raja Aziz Addruse, Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy, Dr. Chandra Muzaffar and Encik Chooi Mun Sou, not to mention the leaders of Semangat 46 and DAP!
Co-operation for Freedom, Justice and Unity
The DAP and Semangat 46 are joining political forces for the next general elections for four sacred and noble objectives. They are to:
1. Save Parliamentary Democracy;
2. Restore Human Rights;
3. Ensure Socio-Economic Justice;
4. Create National Unity.
If Parliamentary Democracy cannot be saved in the next general elections, then in the 1990s, whatever there is left of human rights would be taken away, and there will greater governmental abuses and scandals, causing grave socio-economic in justices and national division.
Clearly, the Barisan Nasional way to create national unity has failed, and this is why Dr. Mahathir is now faced with an ever-lengthening list of people whom he calls ‘anti-government’. It would be more correct to describe them as ‘anti-Mahathir government’.
The co-operation between the DAP and Semangat, based on the four noble objectives to save democracy, restore human rights, ensure socio-economic justice and create national unity, can offer the people of Malaysia the opportunity to achieve freedom, justice and unity in Malaysia which the Mahathir Government has not been able to fulfill.
In the next general elections the people will decide whether these four noble objectives could be achieved with the beginning of a new political area in Malaysia for the 1990s.