Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Kepala Batas DAP Branch Anniversary Dinner on Sunday, 4th March 1990 at 8 p.m.
Gerakan preparing a million-poster campaign to try to provoke me to commit a sedition offence so that I could be jailed and disqualified from standing for elections
The 25,000-people Joint DAP-Semangat 46 National Ceramah at Dewan Sri Pinang on February 17, which launched off the national series of such ceramahs throughout the country, has clearly shaken the Gerakan leadership to its very core.
The Gerakan leaders seem to be in a panic-stricken state after the Dewan Sri Pinang Joint DAP-Semangat 46 ceramah. This is why after the Penang ceramah, Gerakan leaders have been issuing not one, but several statements, every day attacking the DAP for betraying the Malaysian Chinese in our co-operation with Semangat 46.
From these statements, it would appear that my colleagues and I in the DAP leadership had sold out all our political principles and convictions just to team up with Tengku Razaleigh and the Semangat 46 leaders to deny the Mahthir Government its two-thirds parliamentary majority to save democracy and restore human rights in Malaysia.
All these Gerakan statements even accuse DAP leaders of sacrificing our political beliefs just for an opportunity to get government positions.
If DAP wants to be in government just for power’s sake, Gerakan leaders would stand no chance to be Minister, Deputy Minister, Parliamentary Secretary or Political Secretary today
Firstly, let me thanks the Gerakan leaders for their back-handed compliment and admission, that DAP leaders had been fighting for our political beliefs and principles. Gerakan leaders, however, do not qualify to be the guardians of DAP principles, when the Gerakan leaders are publicy admitting that they have to sacrifice political principles and convictions to be in the Barisan Nasional government.
Let me tell the Gerakan leaders that if the DAP wants to be in government just for power’s sake, Gerakan leaders would stand no chance to be Minister, Deputy Minister, Parliamentary Secretary or Political Secretary today.
The DAP with 24 Parliamentary seats, could join the Barisan Nasional and promised Dr. Mahathir that we will be as compliant as MCA, or even more obedient like the Gerakan, and all the MCA and Gerakan leaders who are now holding these posts of Minister, Deputy Minister, Parliamentary Secretary and Political Secretary, will never have a chance to retain these posts.
I advise the Gerakan leaders not to assume that just because they have proved to be leaders who are prepared to sacrifice political principles and beliefs to be in government, the same yard-stick applies to other people. Just because there is a Dr. Kang Eng Seng in Gerakan, for instance, does not mean that there is a Dr. Kang Eng Seng in the DAP!
Lim Keng Yaik looking for a safe seat to shift
The Gerakan leaders have suddenly realized that they may lose popular support, not only in Penang, but throughout the country. Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, for instance, is very worried whether he could get re-elected in Bruas, and is secretly preparing to shift to another safer parliamentary constituency – just like MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik.
Dr. Kang Eng Seng is at last getting his dream fulfilled to stand for parliamentary elections, except he has not confidence that he could win!
This is why the Gerakan leadership has embarked on a campaign of lies, distortions and falsehoods against the DAP, accusing the DAP of having sold out the rights and interests of the Malaysian Chinese and the non-Malays.
I have been informed that the Gerakan has decided on a million-poster campaign throughout the country to provoke me to commit a sedition offence so that I could be convicted and jailed as well as disqualified from standing for elections, whether Parliamentary or State.
The million posters the Gerakan is planning to launch throughout the country accuse me of having sold out the rights of the Chinese in Malaysia, that I am a champion of Malay Special Rights and that I have accused Dr. Lim Chong Eu, in his 20 years of government, of having excessively cared for the Chinese resulting in the Malays in Penang being backward.
This is a downright lie, as I had never made any statement that the Lim Chong Eu government had excessively cared for the Chinese in Penang resulting in the Malays being backward.
Last month, a Watan reporter phoned me up on the DAP’s stand on Malay special rights. I said that the DAP supports any government effort to give special priority to the redressal of socio-economic and educational poverty and backwardness among the Malays, just as it must be the primary duty of any government to give special priority to resolve the socio-economic backwardness and poverty of all non-Malays.
When asked on my views on the backwardness of the Penang Malays, I said that the DAP is aware of the problem of the poverty and backwardness of the Penang Malays, I said that the DAP is ware of the problem of the poverty and backwardness of the Malays in various sectors in Penang which should be addressed, but I never said that the backwardness and poverty of the Malays in Penang is because of the excessive care and protection of the Chinese by the Lim Chong Eu Government.
Gerakan has decided on the one-million poster campaign to paint me as having sold out the rights and interests of thje Chinese and that I am a champion of Malay Special Rights. This is an irresponsible, malicious and utterly contemptible campaign by Gerakan to provoke me to commit an offence of sedition so that I could be prosecuted, convicted and jailed, and then disqualified from standing for any elections, whether for Parliament or State.
Gerakan knows fully well that Malay Special Rights is one of the four subjects which have been entrenched in the Malaysian Constitution as sensitive and unquestionable, and that any person who questions these four sensitive issues would be committing an offence of sedition which automatically disqualifies a person from being an MP or Assemblyman, and bans him from standing for elections for five years.
Gerakan gave full support to entrench Malay Special Rights as an unquestionable sensitive issue
It was Gerakan which gave full support to such a constitutional amendment in 1971, making Malay Special Rights an unquestionable sensitive issue. I know who has thought up this Gerakan million-poster campaign to provoke me to commit an offence of sedition and remove me from Parliament and the Penang State Assembly.
If Gerakan has so much money as to print one million posters, they should use it for greater national purpose, as in printing one million posters to remind all Malaysians to register as voters before March 27, and to protest against the interference by UMNO Baru against the independence of the Election Commission and attempt to rig the next general elections.
I expect the Gerakan to intensify its campaign of lies, falsehoods and distortions against the DAP leaders in the months to come in the run-up to the next general elections. When the Gerakan leaders become more desperate, their tactics will become dirtier. I will leave it to the people to judge, on the basis of the political record of the DAP in the past 24 years, with DAP leaders walking in and out of jail and courts, whether we are men of political convictions and principles, or no different from the Gerakan leaders.