Speech by Parliamentary Opposition leader, DAP Secretary-¬General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at a ‘Towards Tanjung 2’ Dinner held at Bukit Mertajam on Wednesday, 30th May 1990 at 9 p.m.
DAP welcomes the motion of PAS General Assembly authorising talks with DAP
I welcome thy PAS Muktamar motion on Sunday authorising the PAS leadership to have talks with the DAP and other political parties and organisations on the political situation in the country.
DAP leaders are prepared to meet PAS leaders any time, just as we are prepared to meet UMNO, MCA, Gerakan or MIC leaders, to discuss the political situation in the country.
DAP leaders are prepared to listen to the explanation of the PAS leaders about their Islamic struggle, and DAP leaders are ready to explain to the PAS leaders our secular struggle. DAP leaders are prepared to listen to the PAS leaders explain their Islamic State concept, and DAP leaders are ready to explain to PAS leaders why an Islamic State is inappropriate and impossible in a multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysia through the democratic and constitutional process.
In any meeting between the DAP and PAS, DAP leaders do not expect PAS leaders to betray their political beliefs and objectives, similarly, PAS leaders should not expect the DAP leaders to betray their political beliefs and objectives.
Irresponsible leaders in UMNO MCA and Gerakan will pounce on any such a meeting as a rendezvous for betrayal. MCA and Gerakan will accuse the DAP of betraying its principles to PAS and accepting the objective of an Islamic State. On the other hand, UMNO, led by its UMNO Vice President, Anwar Ibrahim, will accuse PAS of betraying its Islamic State struggle to the DAP and embrace the DAP objective of a secular state.
Will DAP become PAS, and PAS become DAP, when DAP and PAS meets?
Anwar Ibrahim has lately become very fond of accusing the Opposition of having ‘two-faced’ tactics, of telling one thing to one audience and a different message to another audience. This is exactly what the Barisan Nasional component parties are doing in their attacks on the DAP and PAS, showing that the greatest exponent of this ‘two-¬faced’ tactics is none other than Anwar Ibrahim and the Barisan Nasional leaders themselves!
If the people pause to consider these wild and conflicting allegations by the MCA and Gerakan on the one hand, and UMNO on the other, they will see how nonsensical are all these allegations. For what these conflicting allegations mean is that any DAP-PAS meeting will result in the DAP giving up its secular struggle to embrace the Islamic State objectives, while PAS will give up its Islamic State struggle and embrace the secular state. In other words, according to the UMNO, MCA and Gerakan propagandists, in any such DAP-PAS meeting,
Those like the leaders in MCA and Gerakan who believe that if the DAP has any meeting with PAS, the DAP leaders will betray their political principles, have very little confidence in their own political belief, and convictions. This must be due to the fact that MCA and Gerakan do not have political ideals in the first place, but who take politics as a market-place for the buying and selling of personal interests.
MCA and Gerakan leaders are so used to selling out the rights and interests of the people that they think the DAP leaders also behave like them.
DAP leaders are different from the MCA and Gerakan leaders. DAP leaders had gone to detention, prosecuted in court and persecuted for our political convictions. I have been detained twice under the
Internal Security Act, while the DAP MP for Bukit Mertajam, Chian Heng Kai, had been detained for close to five years, for our political ideals.
If DAP leaders are like MCA and Gerakan leaders who are minded to compromise and betray our political beliefs for personal gain, we do not have to wait until now to talk to PAS, for we could have compromised ourselves with UMNO long ago, way back to the 1970s. If this had happened, the present MCA and Gerakan leaders would never have a chance to be Ministers or Deputy Ministers at all!
The greatest fear of Barisan Nasional is that DAP, Semangat 46 and PAS can agree on a minimum common programme to present a united Opposition front
In actual fact, the greatest fear of the UMNO, MCA, and Gerakan is that somehow, the DAP, Semangat 46 and PAS can agree on a minimum common programme to present a united front in the next general elections.
UMNO, MCA and Gerakan know that the Islamic State is not the real issue in the next general elections which could be held in the next 75 days. The next general elections is not going to decide whether there is going to be an Islamic State in Malaysia on the 76th day for instance.
The real issue in the next general elections is whether democracy is going to be saved, human rights restored, and justice and national unity returned to Malaysians.
Without democracy, for instance, not only the DAP, but the Semangat 46 and PAS will all perish.
For this reason, if PAS can set aside its Islamic State objective, and agree that the most urgent and pressing problem facing Malaysians in the next general elections within the next 75 days is to save democracy, restore human rights, establish justice by ending corruption and the long list of financial and moral scandals, and build genuine national unity, then there is a basis for co-operation between the DAP and PAS.