Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Kota Bahru Bahru Branch Dinner on Wednesday, 27th June 1990 at 8 p.m.
It is a shame that South Africa can lift its state of emergency but Malaysia still continues with four Proclamations of Emergency
One of the demands of Nelson Mandela on his release after 27 years in detention was for the lifting of the State of Emergency in South Africa. Recently, South Africa announced the lifting of its State of Emergency.
What is the position of Malaysia’s State of Emergency, not one, but four, as all the four Proclamations of Emergency that had been made since 1964 are still valid today.
In the recent meeting of Parliament, I asked the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, whether the Government intends to revoke the four Proclamations for which they were proclaimed. The four Proclamations of Emergency were made between 1964 to 1977, and there is no justification for their continued operation.
This is the reply I have just received from the Prime Minister:
“Sungguhpun keadaan Negara pada keseluruhannya adalah aman dan stabil, Kerajaan tidak bercadang buat masa ini untuk memansuhkan keempat-empat Perisytiharan Darurat yang masih berkuatkuasa sekarang. Ujudnya perisytiharan-perisytiharan tersebut tidak sedikitpun menjejaskan rancangan dan usaha-usaha Kerajaan kearah pembangunan Negara yang mana dapat berjalan dengan pesat dan lancar. Pertumbuhan ekonomi Negara terus meningkat dan berkembang. Di samping itu ujudnya perisytiharan-perisytiharan darurat itu meletakkan Kerajaan sentiasa dalam keadaan bersiap sedia pada bila-bila masa untuk menghadapi sebarang bentuk ancaman balik dari dalam atau dari luar negeri, yang boleh mengganggu-gugat ketenterman awam dan keselamatan Negara. Dengan demikian, Kerajaan berpendapat tidak ada keperluan sebenarnya untuk menarik balik perisytiharan-perisytiharan tersebut.”
I would have expected South African President, F.W. de Klerk to give such a reply to Nelson Mandela to reject the latter’s call for the lifting of the State of Emergency in South Africa, as enabling the South African authorities to be always in a state of readiness to face whatever threats to its security, whether internal or external.
But President de Klerk did not give such an answer, while it is Dr. Mahathir Mohamed who has given such an answer.
Malaysians must be very ashamed that South Africa could respond to the call of Nelson Mandela to lift its State of Emergency, while Dr. Mahathir is not prepared to revoke the four Proclamations of Emergency, the first of which was made as far back as 26 years ago!
Malaysians must make their voice heard that they want the four Proclamations of Emergency to be revoked, for Malaysians have no cause to feel proud of their international image when Malaysia could not compare with South Africa on the question of the State of Emergency.