Press Statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Tuesday, 10th July 1990:
DAP to discuss with Semangat 46 the proposal of a meeting of all Opposition parties on the Commonwealth Observer Mission
DAP leaders will discuss with Semangat 46 leaders at our meeting in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow the proposal of a meeting of all Opposition parties on the Commonwealth Observer Mission.
In my hour-long meeting with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, in the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday, I gave Dr. Mahathir the DAP’s views on the commonwealth Observer Mission.
Dr. Mahathir did not agree that the Commonwealth Observer Mission should be invited in the name of all political parties, and that an all-party committee should be established to handle all matters concerning the Mission.
He agreed with the DAP that members of the Commonwealth Observer Mission should come from countries with parliamentary democracies and general elections which are recognised internationally, and not from countries ruled by military juntas or one-party or no-party states.
He agreed that the Commonwealth Observer Mission should have the widest brief to observe that the next general elections are ‘free, fair, clean and honest’. He is of the view that it is up to the Mission to decide on its modus operandi, and said that the government would not put any restriction or limitation on the activities of the Mission. The Government would give the Mission every co-operation and furnish it with whatever information it needed.
In my meeting with Dr. Mahathir, I stressed that a ‘free, fair, clean and honest general elections’ does not merely mean the voting process on polling day, but the whole elections process including the media coverage, access for completing political parties to reach out to the voters like public rallies and public meetings, campaign funds, and all aspects to enable the voter to exercise his right to vote in an informed and intelligent manner.
I asked that the Commonwealth Observer Mission should be given adequate time to familiarise itself with the political and electoral conditions in Malaysia, as coming to the country three weeks before the general elections. All that Dr. Mahathir would agree was that the Mission would be in the country by Nomination Day.
To my suggestion that the Commonwealth Observer Mission should not have any monopoly of observing the general elections, and that any international group which wants to send Observer Mission should be free to do so, Dr. Mahathir said he had no objections to their coming.