Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-¬General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, to Johore DAP Branch leaders in Muar on Sunday, 27th May 1990 at 2 p.m.
MCA leadership has betrayed KSM and Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd and the MCA members in Johore who had been the staunchest supporters for these MCA projects
The next general elections is very near, probably within the next 75 days. The next general elections will be the most histor¬ic and unprecedented in Malaysian history.
If there is a 12 per swing of the Barisan Nasional voters to the Opposition, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, will lose two-¬third majority in Parliament. If there is a 20 swing of the voters, then Dr. Mahathir may lose power altogether.
Barisan Nasional leaders openly talking about the possibility of UMNO losing power
Already, Barisan Nasional leaders are admitting openly that UMNO Baru may lose power. In Penang last Sunday, Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, said that PAS may win 25 MPs in the next general elections.
If PAS can win 25 MPs in the next elections, then Semangat 46 which is going to contest more parliamentary seats than PAS, should easily win more seats, say around 40 – giving a total of 65 MPs, all at the expense of UMNO Baru.
In the 1986 general elections, UMNO contested and won all the 82 parliamentary constituencies in Peninsular Malaysia. But if in the next elections, PAS wins 25 MPs and Semangat 46 wins say 40 MPs, then UMNO Baru and Dr. Mahathir would be lift with some 20 MPs. This means that UMNO Baru and Dr. Mahathir has lost power.
This is not my calculation, but the scenario presented by Dr. Lim Keng Yaik when he opened the Penang Gerakan Assembly list Sunday. It is very significant that Barisan Nasional leaders are now publicly talking about the possibility of UMNO Baru and Dr. Mahathir losing power – which had never happened in the 33-year history of Malaysian elections.
No wonder Dr. Mahathir is so indecisive about when to dissolve Parliament and call the next general elections.
No wonder MCA and Gerakan are in panic and are resorting to the politics of lies and fear to frighten the voters from supporting the DAP. MCA and Gerakan have nothing positive to appeal to the Voters to support them, but can only think of negative tactics like the Islamic state scare campaign to frighten the voters from voting for the DAP.
DAP aims to win at 1east four Parliamentary and six State Assembly seats in Johore
The next general elections in Johore will be the most intense elections battle in Johore history.
Except for the Kluang parliamentary seat which was repre¬sented for one term by Sdr. Lee Kaw for the DAP in the 1978 general election, UMNO and MCA had been able to exercise near monopoly of political power in Johore politics, especially in terms of Parliamentary representation.
However, although the DAP lost in all the seven Parliamentary seats it contested in the 1986 general elections, we did creditably well in several of them.
For instance, in the Kluang Parliamentary constituency, we polled 46.5 per cent of the votes cast, in Bakri 45.8 per cent, Senai 38.7 per cent and in Segamat 38.4 per cent.
DAP regards its chances of winning all these four Parliamentary seats in the next general elections as good, particularly with the co-operation between the DAP and Semangat 46.
DAP contested 10 State Assembly seats in Johore in the last general elections. We won Bandar Maharani, and in five other states seats, we polled more than 38% of the votes cast, namely Kulai (48%), Paloh (45%), Bekok (44.9%), Tenggaroh (41.6%) and Pulai Sebatang (38.4%). We should aim to win at least six State Assembly seats in Johore in the next general elections.
Although the DAP reckons that we have good chances of winning four Parliamentary and six State Assembly seats in Johore in the next general elections, we have not decided on the total number of seats we will be contesting as we are still discussing with Parti Semangat 46 on the allocation of seats.
The Johore State leaders of DAP and Semangat 46 met in Johore Bahru yesterday for another round of discussions, and when these are completed, they will he referred to the national leaders for final decision, taking into account the national political perspectives.
Johore is no more the strongest state for UMNO and MCA
DAP chances of making major breakthroughs in Johore State in the next general elections are bright. Apart from the national factors which will favour a major political change in the next general elections, there are factors which are specific to Johore.
Johore has always been regarded as the strongest state of both UMNO and MCA in Peninsular Malaysia. But the situation is now very different. With the formation of Semangat 46, UMNO Baru in Johore is a pale shadow of the old UMNO.
Recently, further cracks have developed in Johore UMNO Baru, with the Musa Hitam faction finding out that there is an attempt to uproot Datuk Musa Hitam’s influence in Johore altogether.
It has been reported that Datuk Musa Hitam returned from the United Nations in early May to find that he and his lieutenants, Shahrir Abu Samad, Ajib Ahmad and Mohamed Tawfik Tun Ismail are being dropped from the list of UMNO Baru candidates for the next general elections.
This has caused Datuk Musa Hitam to cut short his stay in Malaysia and fly back to the United Nations in a huff!
MCA in Johore is also at its lowest ebb of influence, especially as the MCA Johore members have been the worst victims of the Politics of criminal and political breach of trust of the MCA leadership.
The MCA members in Johore suffered the most in the $1.6 billion Co-operative Finance Scandal immediately after the 1986 gener¬al elections. The Government should have taken urgent steps to prevent the collapse of the Co-operative Finance companies in early 1986, but it failed to do so, because of the fear that it would adversely affect the MCA in the August 1926 general elections.
As a result, the government just watched as the co-operative finance companies tottered one after another and immediate¬ly after the August 1986 general elections, froze 24 co-operatives, including those which were healthy and sound.
This is a classic case where the hard-earned savings of the ordinary MCA members were sacrificed so that the MCA leaders could be elected in the 1986 general elections.
The MCA members in Johore had been the staunchest support¬ers for all the various MCA ‘Save Chinese’ projects like the KSM, the various MCA-related co-operatives, the Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd. (MPHR), the Matang Holdings, etc. bringing out all their hard-earned saving to respond to the call of the MCA leaders.
But today, they find that their trust in the MCA leaders had been completely misplaced. These ‘Save Chinese’ projects were not mean to save the ordinary Chinese, but the high-and-mighty MCA leaders!
The co-operative finance scandal had not only been a bitter lesson to them, they found that KSM, MPHB and the other MCA projects had been betrayed, resulting in the loss of their hard-earned savings and the cause of great sufferings and hardships to them and their loved ones.
If the MCA members in Johore ask the important questions as to who had betrayed the KSM, the Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd., the KSM-MPHB Investment Fund, there can only be one answer: That it is the
MCA leadership which betrayed the KSM, the MPHB, the KSM-MPHB Invest¬ment Fund and other MCA projects.
MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, nearly sacrificed the rights and interests of 50,398 KSM-MPHB Investment Fund unitholders if the DAP had hot intervened. This was why I went to, the MCA Headquarters to reason with Liong Sik in March this year.
It is sad that the MCA leadership had deteriorated to a stage where the PAP leaders had to rescue the ordinary MCA members from the MCA leaders themselves!
Although at that time, the MCA tried to paint the picture that my visit to the MCA Headquarters was a ‘farce’, it is now admit¬ted by all, including MCA national leaders, that if not for the DAP intervention, the interests of the 50,398 KSM-MPHB unitholders to get the highest price for their bloc of 19.7 per cent stake in the MPHB by block sale would have been sacrificed for the interest of one person and one company!
Sale of KSM’s 29.9%.stake in MPHB to Kamunting not in the best interest of either KSM members or
Similarly, the sale of KSM’s 29.8 per cent stake to Kamunt¬ing Corporation Bhd in May 1980 was also not in the best interest of the KSM members, or the MPHB shareholders – who are primarily loyal MCA members. This was one of the issues which the Lee Kim Sai faction used against Liong Sik in their flying letters attacking the MCA President recently, before Dr.Mahathir intervened to stop the Liong Sik-Kim Sai fight for the MCA Presidency.
When the MCA leadership could even sacrifice the interests of hundreds of thousands of ordinary MCA members as shown in the numerous co-operative, KSM, MPHB and other scandals, how could the MCA leadership expect the Chinese to have confidence in such a leadership?
Johore, together with the rest of Malaysia, is on the threshold of a major political change to restore to the people their basic human rights, democratic freedoms, socio-economic justice and pride as a Malaysian.
To ensure that this political change is brought about in the next general elections, Johore should emerge into the forefront and play a major political leadership role, together with other states like Penang, Perak, Kelantan, Trengganu, Selangor and Negri Sembilan.