Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 16th July 1990:
DAP welcomes the sending of a Commonwealth representative to meet political parties in Malaysia on the Commonwealth Observer Mission
DAP welcomes the sending of a Commonwealth representative to meet political parties in Malaysia on the Commonwealth Observer Mission.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, said yesterday that he was informed three days ago by telephone that the Commonwealth secretariat would be sending a representative to study the situation in the country to meet political parties and the Election Commission on the Commonwealth Observer Mission.
This is a commendable decision on the part of the Commonwealth so as to ensure that the Commonwealth Observer Mission, when constituted, would not be embroiled in a controversy as to its acceptability, credibility and even legitimacy.
I welcome in particular the sending of a Commonwealth representative to seek the views of the political parties and other interested groups especially as the Prime Minister seems to have gone back on his undertaking given to me when we met last Monday on the Commonwealth Observer Mission.
Dr. Mahathir had agreed with me that the Commonwealth Observer Mission’s terms of reference is to ensure that the next general elections comply with the four principles of ‘free, fair, clean and honest’.
He also agreed that it is up to the Commonwealth Observer Mission to decide on its modus operandi and he undertook that the Government would not put any restraint or restriction on the activities of the Commonwealth Mission.
However, in his public speeches after my meeting with him, Dr. Mahathir was quoted in the press as saying that the Commonwealth Observer Mission would not be allowed to meet political parties or receive memorandum or representations from them.
If these press reports are correct, then Dr. Mahathir has changed his mind and is beginning to put conditions and restrictions on the movements and activities of the Commonwealth Observer Mission, which is most unfair and unreasonable.
The DAP also calls on Dr. Mahathir not to be so obsessed and frightened of the six-man Election Watch headed by former Lord President, Tun Suffian.
If the Barisan Nasional Government is fully committed to the conduct of a ‘fair, free, clean and honest’ general elections, even the worse critics and biased organisations out to find fault would have no choice but to pronounce that the general elections passed the test of the four principles.
Dr. Mahathir should be brave enough to challenge the Election Watch to prove that the next general elections had failed to live up to the four principles of being ‘fair, free, clean and honest’ instead of showing mortal fear for the six members of the Election Watch. Dr. Mahathir’s attitude could only reinforce the feeling that the Barisan Nasional government has something to hide about the next general elections.
DAP calls on Dr. Mahathir to stop playing politics with the GSP issue and present a united national front to the United States Government that all political parties want the GSP to be retained
With a new demand for the withdrawal of Malaysia’s GSP status, this time because of the controversy over Malaysia’s treatment over the Vietnamese boat people, there is a need for all political parties, whether ruling or opposition, to present a united front on the GSP issue.
DAP calls on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to stop playing politics with the GSP issue and to issue a clear directive to all Barisan Nasional Ministers and party leaders that national interests must override party politicking.
The Government should set an example and present a united front of all political parties in Malaysia to the United States Government to let Washington know that on this issue, there is the fullest national unanimity among all political parties.
The Finance Minister, Datuk Paduka Daim Zainuddin, has yesterday called on workers to prepare for the post-GSP era, as there will be a review of Malaysia’s GSP status in 1993.
From Daim’s speech, it is clear that the Finance Minister himself is doubtful whether Malaysia’s GSP status would be preserved in such a review.
If Malaysia’s GSP status is removed in such a review, this means that Malaysia has only three years left to enjoy the GSP status. Let all political parties unite to preserve these three years of GSP status instead of trying to play party politics with the issue.
Otherwise, the Barisan Nasional Government must bear full responsibility for the removal of the GSP status as it is more interested in playing party politics to make false accusations against the Opposition parties instead of demonstrating to the United States Government that all political parties in Malaysia are united in wanting the GSP status to be retained.