Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Fourth Joint DAP-Semangat 46 National Ceramah held at Dewan Perbandaran Seremban on Wednesday, 21st March 1990 at 9pm
Mahathir has a narrow six-vote margin for its two-third majority to pass the Constitution Amendment Bill last week- Very good chance of depriving Barisan Nasional government of two-thirds majority in next general elections
For the first time in Malaysian electoral history, Malaysians stand a very good chance of depriving Barisan Nasional government of two-thirds majority.
As it is, the Mahathir government is beginning to find it a problem to muster the two-thirds majority to change the Constitution at its whim and fancy.
Last week, for instance, when Dr.Mahathir wanted a amend the Constitution for the frivolous purpose of providing that a MP who resigns his seat would be disqualified from standing for re-election for five years, he could only muster 124 votes-which is a narrow six-vote margin over the two-third Parliamentary majority.
It is the fist time Malaysian parliamentary history that a Constitutional amendment has been passed with such a narrow majority.
If seven Barisan Nasional Mps had been absent in the Dewan Rakyat last Wednesday for the voting on the Constitution Amendment Bill,
Dr.Mahathir would have suffered a defeat in Parliament and by parliamentary conventions and traditions, he would have to resign as Prime Minister when defeated on such an important matter as an amendment to the Constitution.
The removal of he Barisan Nasional’s two-thirds majority would create a new political scenario, and the government would be forced to be more democratic, accommodating, responsible and accountable to the people.
This would be translated into greater respect for democratic freedom and human rights of Malaysians, and a greater regard for the goals of socio-economic justice and genuine national unity.
The DAP is co-operating with Parti Semangat 46to fight the next general elections for the four great objective of saving democracy, restoring human rights, ensuring socio-economic justice and creating genuine national unity.
DAP and Semangat 46 have agreed to abolition of Internal Security and Official Secrets Ace
All over the world, democracy and freedom is on the march. The cataclysmic developments in communist countries in Eastern Europe should be a lesson to all autocrats and dictators that the human aspirations for freedom and justice can be suppressed only for a time, but no forever. Malaysia is no exception.
This is why the DAP and Parti Semangat 46 have agreed that there must be an end repressive and undemocratic laws in the country, like the Internal Security Act and the Official Secrets Act.
DAP to move a motion to revoke the four Proclamations of Emergency in June meeting of Parliament if they are not annulled
We also want an end to the four Proclamations of Emergency in Malaysia. I had brought up the four Proclamations of Emergency during the debate on the Constitution Amendment Bill in Parliament last week, and I welcome the reply by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, that the government was reviewing these Emergency Proclamations.
I do not know whether Dr.Mahathir made the statement off-the-cuff, being unable to rebut the cogency of my contention that all the four Emergency Proclamations should be annulled, for the reasons and situations for which they were made, going back to 1964, have all ceased to exist, and to continue these Proclamations is to abuse Constitutional provisions for Emergency Proclamations.
In actual fact, there is no nothing for the government to review about the four Emergency Proclamations, for they should simply be annulled, as the situations which have gave birth to these four Proclamations between 1964-1977 have long ceased to exist.
For instance, can the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, explain why the Emergency Proclamations made in September 1964 because of the Indonesian Confrontation had ended a quarter of a century ago? Is Malaysia going to continue to have such a Proclamations of Emergency in the 21st Century?
Parliament is scheduled to meet for two weeks from June 11 to 22, unless it is dissolved earlier for general elections. If the June meeting of Parliament is held, and if by that time the four Proclamations of Emergency have not been annulled, I would table a motion to revoke the four Proclamations of Emergency.
Mohamed Rahmat should resign as UMNO Baru Secretary-General and Information Minister as the Prime Minster had openly told Parliament that he had lied in his circular to all UMNO Baru divisions last year
Ethics and morality have been favourite topics of Barisan Nasional leaders, which have as their slogans ‘Leadership by Example’ and ‘Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy Government’.
Only last week, at the opening of the two-day Petronas Management Ethics Seminar (Permata)m jointly organised by Petronas and Universiti Utara Malaysia, and attended by about 150 senior civil servants, captains of industries and intellectuals, Dr.Mahathir said that institutions of higher learning should give emphasis to ethics to ensure a high standard of morality in future generations.
The Prime Minister said that until now, tertiary educational institutions only stressed academic achievements without any attention to moral quality. He said:”The time has come that emphasis should be given to ethics and testing methods to determine the moral quality of graduates.”
However, the biggest failure in instilling moral and ethical values in the young generation of Malaysians is the bad example set y the present batch of government leaders.
When the young generation sees the present government responsible for the rampant corruption and moral decadence in the country, how could they be impressed or influenced by teachings or speeches by Cabinet Ministers about the importance of ethics and morality in forming human character?
The Vijandran pornographic videotapes scandal, and the manner the Cabinet and Government had been trying to defend D.P.Vijandran- as in the destruction of the videotapes, photographs and negatives by the Attorney-General; the refusal of the Cabinet Ministers to remover Vijandran as Deputy Speaker although the Government was fully aware of the nature of the contents of the Vijandran videotapes when the issue was first made public; the refusal of Barisan Nasional Government to allow a debate in Parliament on my motions for the expulsion of Vijandran from Parliament and for the removal of Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman as Attorney-General for destroying the videotapes- cannot convince Malaysians and in particular the young generation of students that the government is serious about morality and ethics.
I will give another example as to how Government is constantly setting bad example which resulted in reinforcing the conviction of the young generation of Malaysians that the Ministers and the government preach morality and ethics but do not practise them.
Last Wednesday, the Prime Minster, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, was forced to admit in Parliament that the circular sent out by UMNO Baru Secretary-General, Datuk Mohamed Rahmat, to all UMNO Baru Divisions dated Sept.15, 1989, that UMNO Divisions could nominate persons to be appointed as assistant registration officers by the Election Commission for the voters’ registration exercise, and that the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba, would deal with such appointments by the Election Commission, was “baseless and irresponsible”.
Did Mohamed Rahmat write the truth in his Sept.15 circular and someone else had lies?
Here is a case where the Prime Minister had openly declared that one of his Cabinet Minister (as Datuk Mohamed Rahmat is Information Minister) had lied in his circular issued in his capacity as UMNO Secretary-General in implying that the Election Commission is not independent, and must say obey the directives of UMNO Baru.
Of Mohamed Rahmat is a man of honour with self-respect and high moral and ethical principles, he would have tendered his resignation, not only as UMNO Baru Secretary-General but also as Minister of Information. If the Barisan Nasional government values highly morality and ethics in its Minister, then the Prime Minister would have asked for Mohamed Rahmat’s resignation if he is not prepared to honourably and voluntarily step down.
But up to now, Mohamed Rahmat has done nothing. He had not even said a word, or apologised for his circular of Sept.15, 1989, whether to all UMNO Baru division, or to the Election Commission and the people of Malaysia for his circular which holds up the Election Commission as a body subserbient to UMNO Baru.
Of course, we do not know whether Datuk Mohamed Rahmat had actually lied, and that his circular of Sept.15 was really “baseless and irresponsible.” It could very well be that Datuk Mohamed Rahmat had not lied at all, that his circular was not “baseless and irresponsible”. This could be the reason why he is not prepared to admit his mistake or to resign as UMNO Baru Secretary-General and Minister of Information.
If Mohamed Rahmat did not lie, and his circular was not “baseless and irresponsible”, then it was someone else who had made “baseless and irresponsible” admissions in Parliament.
Parliament and the people are entitled to know the truth, but this sorry affair is a good example why all the government’s talk about the importance of ethics and morality have failed to strike a chord, as the government leaders are not setting a good example themselves.
Of course, another bad example set by the government leaders in this regard id their support for the Barisan Nasional Pantai Merdeka by-election candidate who was an undischarged bankrupt on Nomination Day, although this is prohibited by the Constitution.