The Police is not being fair where the public rallies ban applies only to Opposition parties but not to Barisan Nasional leaders

Press Statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Monday, July 30, 1990:

The Police is not being fair where the public rallies ban applies only to Opposition parties but not to Barisan Nasional leaders

Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayub, said yesterday that the ban on public rallies would not be lifted for the coming general elections.

He said that the Police, who were asked to make a study whether to lift the ban, felt that it should continue as both religious and racial issues might be raised.

The Police is not being fair and even-handed, as the public rallies ban applies only to Opposition parties, while Barisan Nasional leaders are allowed to hold public rallies.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, for instance, holds public rallies in his pre-election tours state-by-state throughout the Peninsular Malaysia. These tours were made not in his capacity as head of the government, but as Chairman of the Barisan Nasional and UMNO President with the sole purpose of pre-campaigning for the Barisan Nasional for the coming general elections.

Yesterday for instance, in the Federal Territory, apart from Dr. Mahathir, other Barisan Nasional leaders like Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Datuk Samy Vellu, also spoke at Barisan Nasional public rallies appealing for voter support for the next general elections.

This is why there is a need for a Commonwealth Observer Mission for the coming general elections, for even the Police is not playing fair to ensure that there is ‘free, fair, clean and honest’ general elections.

If the Police is genuinely concerned about security questions, the Opposition is prepared to co-operate with the Police to ensure that like the Barisan Nasional public rallies, the Opposition public rallies would be ‘trouble-free’.

However, the real reason for the continued ban on public rallies has nothing to do with security, but is solely and strictly ‘political’! I do not believe that the Police have the power to decide on the public rally issue, but must take directives from the Barisan Nasional political masters. This is why the Police has double-standards in allowing the Barisan Nasional to hold public rallies, while imposing the ban on the Opposition.

Call on the Cabinet to remove all travel restrictions to China

Datuk Megat also announced yesterday that the Cabinet had decided to lift all restriction for travel to North Korea, Cuba and Albania with immediate effect. He said this means that the only two countries still out of bounds to Malaysia are Israel and South Africa.

This is not strictly correct, as there are still travel restrictions to China although some of them have recently been relaxed.

I call on the Cabinet to immediately lift all travel restrictions for Malaysians to visit China at its Wednesday meeting on August 1.

When all travel restrictions have been lifted except for Israel and South Africa, the continued imposition of restrictions for Malaysians to travel freely to China is unwarranted and unjustifiable.

What is worse, such continued restriction of free travel to China at par with all other countries except for South Africa and Israel is to question the loyalty of Malaysian Chinese to Malaysia, and this is intolerable and unacceptable.

I hope the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers will not continue to be remiss in their political duty and responsibility and get all travel restrictions to China removed in the Cabinet day after tomorrow.

If there is no Cabinet action to remove all travel restrictions to China on Wednesday, the DAP will send a memorandum of protest to the entire Cabinet for casting doubts on the loyalty of the Malaysian Chinese to Malaysia.