Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP MPs’ Dinner held in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 20th June 1990 at 8 p.m.
DAP has sent a letter to PAS proposing a meeting of top leaders of both parties to discuss the current political situation
I have today sent a letter to the PAS President, Fadzil Nor, proposing a meeting of top DAP and PAS leaders to discuss the current political situation.
This follows the decision taken by the DAP Central Executive Committee at its meeting last Thursday to approve the DAP taking the initiative to propose a meeting with PAS leaders.
From the speeches made by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba, in their pre-election tours of the country in the last few days, and in particular to Parliamentary constituencies where the UMNO Baru and Barisan Nasional are afraid of losing, it is clear that their greatest fear is that somehow the DAP, Semangat 46 and PAS could agree to co-operate in the next general elections on a common and united platform.
UMNO Baru and Barisan Nasional’s greatest fear is co-operation among DAP, Semangat 46 and PAS to save democracy
The previous attacks on the DAP and PAS by UMNO Bar, MCA and Gerakan leaders, including the lies of the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, about the secret DAP-PAS meeting in Jakarta, had one objective: to prevent the DAP and PAS from ever meeting so as to exclude any possibility of DAP and PAS considering some form of co-operation in the next general elections for the common interest of saving democracy and restoring human rights.
This is also why Dr. Mahathir, Ghafar Baba and the other UMNO Baru leaders have stepped up their attacks on the PAS when they find that the PAS Muktamar had given the mandate to the PAS leadership to meet with DAP leaders, and the DAP Central Executive Committee had given the approval for the DAP to take the initiative to contact PAS to propose a meeting of DAP and PAS leaders to discuss the current political situation.
A column in a local press last Sunday entitled ‘What medicine is the DAP selling’, offered the view that the DAP CEC’s decision to take the initiative to propose DAP-PAS talks will make many people who had disbelieved Keng Yaik’s lies about the secret DAP-PAS Jakarta talks wonder whether there was no truth in the allegation.
No inconsistency or contradiction in DAP preparing to meet with PAS
The writer asked why the DAP had earlier denied that there was any secret meeting with PAS, and yet is now taking the initiative to have a meeting with PAS.
There is actually no inconsistency or contradiction. What Keng Yaik had wanted to convey in his lies about the DAP-PAS secret Jakarta meeting is that the DAP was prepared to betray its principles and the trust of the people and support the establishment of an Islamic State by co-operating with PAS.
There are two lies here. Firstly, the DAP will never betray its principles and the trust of the people and will never agree to support an Islamic State in Malaysia.
Secondly, there was no such Jakarta secret meeting between DAP and PAS, and it was never planned or conceived in the first place. It was totally a figment of Keng Yaik’s over-heated imagination.
The DAP was never opposed to having a meeting with PAS leaders. The DAP is prepared to meet with leaders of any political party in Malaysia, whether UMNO Baru, MCA, Gerakan or MIC in government or with any Opposition party, to propound and promote the DAP’s political concerns and objectives.
Meeting is not betraying, or was Dr. Mahathir, MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Gerakan Penang Assembly Speaker, Datuk Ooi Ean Kwong committing betrayal when I met the Prime Minister soon after my release from ISA at Kamunting, the MCA President in a one-to-one meeting in Kuala Lumpur in 1987 and the Penang Speaker when he visited me during my detention in Kamunting?
One ulterior motive of Keng Yaik in his lies about the secret DAP-PAS Jakarta meeting is to panic the DAP into over-reacting by declaring that the DAP not only never had any meeting in the past, but will never meet PAS leaders in future. The DAP would then have fallen into the Gerakan and Barisan Nasional trap, and imprisoned ourselves into a position where we have no leeway to meet, discuss and agree to co-operate with PAS on common issues like to save democracy, restore human rights, establish socio-economic justice and promote national unity.
DAP has turned the ‘crisis of confidence’ Keng Yaik wanted to create for the DAP into an opportunity to explain the real issues before the people in the next general elections
Keng Yaik wanted a create a crisis of confidence in the DAP leadership among our supporters by his lies about the secret DAP-PAS Jakarta meeting. But a crisis also contains within it opportunities, and the DAP has tuned this crisis Keng Yaik and the Barisan Nasional wanted to create for the DAP into an opportunity to establish the following points:
Firstly, that the DAP with our 24-year record of political struggle and sacrifices, with top leaders jailed, persecuted, prosecuted and victimized for their political beliefs, is not a party which will betray the people’s rights and trust, and will never agree to an Islamic State;
Why it is impossible for PAS to establish an Islamic State in multi-racial, multi-religious Malaysia
Secondly, that it is not possible for PAS or any organization in Malaysia to establish an Islamic State because:
i. PAS can never get two-thirds majority in Parliament, i.e. at least 120 MPS, to support the amendment of the Constitution to establish an Islamic State;
ii. No Islamic State can be established in multi-racial, multi-religious Malaysia without the support and consent of the Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans and the non-Islamic religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikkhism and this will never be forthcoming; especially as the majority of the Malays are also opposed to an Islamic State.
Thirdly, the biggest problem in the coming general elections is not the Islamic State issue (which is a false created by the Barisan Nasional to mislead the voters) but to save democracy and defend justice.
Fourthly, the real problem for Malaysia in the long run is not the Islamic State objective of PAS, but the Islamisation policy of the UMNO Baru.
Fifthly, if the DAP meets PAS, it is not to establish an Islamic State, but to find out if there is any basis of co-operation in the next general elections to save democracy, for without democracy, all political opposition, whether DAP, PAS or Semangat 46 will all perish.
As a result of the lies about the DAP-PAS Jakarta secret meeting by Keng Yaik, which is to create a crisis of confidence for the DAP among the people, the DAP had to spend about two months explaining the issues concerning the DAP’s political objective and record; the real issue in the next general elections; the Islamic State issue and in particular whether it could be established in Malaysia; and what relationship, if any, that the DAP should have with PAS to save democracy in Malaysia; and why the Barisan Nasional and UMNO Baru are so frightened that the DAP, Semangat 46 and PAS could somehow reach a common understanding to co-operate in the next general elections.
I can say that we have succeeded in turning this crisis of confidence that Keng Yaik and the Barisan Nasional leaders wanted to created for the DAP into a golden opportunity to explain to the people the real issues for the next general elections, the Islamic State and Opposition co-operation.
DAP ready to hold talks with PAS because we are now confident that the people do not believe the Barisan Nasional lies about the DAP supporting an Islamic State
It is precisely because the DAP Central Executive Committee is satisfied that we have been able to explain these issues to the people, convinced them about the lies about the DAP-PAS secret meeting in Jakarta to establish an Islamic State, and also to prepare them to expect more Barisan Nasional lies about the DAP supporting an Islamic State, that we feel confident to publicly declare that we are ready to have talks with PAS leaders and even to take the initiative to contact PAS leaders on our proposal.
The DAP voters and people at large know that the DAP will not betray our political principles and objectives and the trust the people place on us, and that we will never agree to an Islamic State.
On the contrary, they understand that it will contribute to a healthier political atmosphere and climate in Malaysia if PAS leaders have the opportunity to be exposed to the DAP’s views as to why PAS leaders must be realistic and reccognise that an Islamic State cannot be established in multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysia.
Challenge to Keng Yaik to deny that he had ever sent out feelers to DAP and Semangat 45 to work out some from of secret arrangement after the next general elections
In fact, it is the Gerakan, MCA and UMNO Baru who are having a crisis of confidence about their chances in the next general elections.
This was why I said in Parliament two days ago that the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, had sent out feelers to DAP and Semangat 46 to work out some sort of secret arrangement after the general elections.
When asked by the press on what I sad in Parliament, Keng Yaik tried to throw a red herring by claiming that he had known Tengku Razaleigh for 32 years, and that he did not have to reach him through me.
I never said that Keng Yaik had to reach Tengku Razaleigh through me, nor did I ever say that Keng Yaik asked me to be an intermediary between him and Tengku Razaleigh.
In fact, until Keng Yaik himself talked about the secret Kamunting talks between the Penang Assembly Speaker, Datuk Ooi Ean Kwong and me when he visited me during my detention under the Internal Security Act in Kamunting, I never mentioned it in any of my speeches or statements. What is worse, Keng Yaik told another pack of lies when he said that Ean Kwong was sent by him to Kamunting to ask me ‘whether I needed Gerakan help to secure my release, and to advise me not to waste my time in the Opposition and to join the Barisan Nasional’.
I had given Ean Kwong a five-day ultimatum to deny Keng Yaik’s version of the secret Kamunting talks, failing which, I would feel free to divulge the true nature of the secret Kamunting talks between us. As this deadline is not up yet, I will not disclose the nature of the secret Kamunting talks.
But I want to challenge Keng Yaik whether he dare to deny that he and the Gerakan and sent out feelers to DAP and to Semangat 46 to work our some sort of secret arrangement after the next general elections. I give him 48 hours to make this denial!