Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Tuesday, July 17, 1990:
DAP proposes the holding a Public Rally of all political parties to give a concrete demonstration to the United States of their unanimous stand for the retention of Malaysia’s GSP privileges
DAP proposes the holding of a Public Rally of all political parties to give a concrete demonstration to the United States of their unanimous stand for the retention of Malaysia’s GSP privileges.
Let all the top leaders of all political parties, whether from the Barisan Nasional component parties or from the Opposition, appear at a common platform at this Public Rally to demonstrate to the United States Government as well as United States Congressmen and Senators that they stand as one on the GSP privileges issue.
The UMNO Youth leader, Datuk Najib Tun Razak, can organise this Public Rally, but if he is unwilling to do so, the DAP Youth Wing, DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY), is prepared to organise it, provided it gets the support of all political parties, in particular the Barisan Nasional component parties.
I hope that on this national issue, the leaders of all the Barisan Nasional component parties would be able to rise above party politics to take a common stand with the Opposition parties as well.
The United States Ambassador to Malaysia, Paul Cleveland, said in Kuantan yesterday that he did not think the proposed Bill in the United States Congress to cut off aid and deny GSP status to Malaysia over the Vietnamese boat-people controversy would go too far. He said the Bush Administration did not want to link the GSP issue with the Vietnamese boat-people problem or labour petitions.
The Malaysian Government, however, cannot take this threat lightly. Just as the Government took the petitions to remove the GSP privileges for violating labour rights very seriously, it should take an equally serious view of the latest demand for the withdrawal of GSP privileges over the Vietnamese boat-people controversy.
The Malaysian Government should not be seen as reacting to calls for the removal of GSP privileges on the basis whether it could use it for politicking in the run-up to the next general elections, for this will be sacrificing the national interests of the short-term interests of the ruling parties.