Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Ceramah at Ayor Tawar, Perak on Tuesday, 26th June 1990 at 8 p.m.
Mahathir is using GSP as a political issue to try to win votes for Barisan Nasional instead of treating it as a national issue to show United State Government all political parties are united in its defence
Yesterday, during his pre-election tour of Perlis, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, attacked the DAP and Semangat 46 on the GSP issue, accusing us of ‘betraying the nation’ although DAP and Semangat 46 have made it very clear that both stand by the Government in wanting the GSP privileges of Malaysia to be retained, and oppose any attempt to remove Malaysia’s GSP status.
It is clear from Dr. Mahathir’s attack that he is only interested in using the GSP as a political issue to win votes for the Barisan Nasional and not to treat the GSP as a serious national issue to show the United States Government that Malaysia’s political parties, including the DAP and Semangat 46, are united in wanting the GSP status to be retained.
This is why Dr. Mahathir and the Barisan Nasional parties never welcomed the DAP and Semangat 46’s open policy declaration that we want Malaysia’s GSP status to be retrained. On the contrary, Dr. Mahathir and the Barisan Nasional leaders seem very disappointed that the DAP and Semangat 46 also oppose any abolition of Malaysia’s GSP status.
Barisan Nasional parties not as nationalistic and patriotic as the DAP and Semangat 46
This shows that it is the Barisan Nasional Government which is not as nationalistic and patriotic as the Opposition parties, for the DAP and Semangat 46 are prepared to stand by the Barisan Nasional government on the GSP issue, but the Barisan Nasional government is only interested in playing politics with the GSP issue to try to mislead the people and win votes for the Barisan parties in the next general elections.
I call on Dr. Mahathir and the Barisan Nasional parties to stop playing party poliics with the GSP issue, which concerns the livelihood of the workers.
It is because of this irresponsible Barisan Nasional attitude that there was an uproar for a week in Parliament, when the Deputy Human Resources Minister, Datuk K. Pathmanaban, openly told lies accusing DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Bukit Bintang, Sdr. Lee Lam Thye, of conniving and colluding with the American, Terry Collingsworth, to get Malaysia’s GSP status removed.
Pathmanaban even told Parliament that he had a photograph showing Lam Thye and Collingsworth together. However, when outside the Dewan Rakyat, he admitted to me as well as to reporters that he had no such photograph.
This shows the length the Barisan Nasional leaders are prepared to play politics with the GSP issue, subordinating national interests to the narrow selfish interests of the Barisan Nasional component parties.
It is a reflection of the bankruptcy of the Barisan Nasional parties, and their fear about their prospects in the next general elections, that they have to play politics with a serious national issue like the GSP question.
David summoned to appear before a three-man DAP committee on July 7 to explain his stand on GSP issue
In his speech in Arau, Dr. Mahathir again attacked MTUC President, Zainal Rampak and MTUC Secretary-General, V.David, for supporting for the removal of the GSP, although no Barisan Nasional leader could produce any proof or statement that Zainal Rampak, V.David or the MTUC had called for the removal of the GSP privileges.
DAP is waiting for V.David to return from Geneva to explain his stand on the GSP issue as the MP for Puchong, so that this issue would be clarified once and for all.
If V.David stand contradicts the DAP position that the GSP status should be maintained, then V.David will have to change his stand or face disciplinary action.
V.David has been asked to explain to a three-man committee comprising DAP National Chairman, Dr. Chen Man Hin, DAP National Deputy Chairman, Sdr. Karpal Singh and myself on this issue on July 7 at 2.30 p.m.