Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Welcoming Ceremony for former activists and educationists of the Chinese Associations who have applied to join the DAP held at Grand Ballroom, Hotel Melia, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 18th August 1990, at 12 noon.
Two-coalition system to crush the monopoly of political power and save democracy in Malaysia.
Today is a historic day for the DAP, It is also a historic day for the people of Malaysia.
For today, we are taking an important step to save democra¬cy and ensure that Malaysia join the ranks
of democratic nations in the 1990s and the 21st century, and not join the ranks of authoritar¬ian states
It is for this reason that on behalf of the DAP, I welcome the former activists and educationists, of the Chinese Associations, led by Sdr. Lim Fong Seng, Sdr. Dr. Kua Kia Soong, Sdr. Lee Ban Chen, Sdr. Ngeow Yin Ngee, Sdr. Yang Pei Keng and Sdr. Ng Wei Siong who have made the momentous decision and commitment to join the DAP and dedicate themselves to the political, struggle to save democracy
by strengthening the Opposition Front to create a two-coalition system.
For the first time in the 33-year history of Malaysia, the people have an opportunity in the next general elections to bring about great political changes which will usher in a new political era in Malaysia, where there is democracy not only in its external trap¬pings, but also in its internal essence.
In the last decade of Mahathir rule, and particularly in the past five years, democratic, freedoms and human rights of Malay¬sians suffered unprecedented and repeated onslaughts.
In 1986, Dr. Mahathir made the Official Secrets Act the chief instrument to suppress freedom of speech and the press making it an offence punishable with a mandatory minimum one-year jail sentence for any violation under the Act, for without freedom of information, there can be no meaningful freedom of speech and the press.
In 1987, Dr. Mahathir locked up 106 Opposition leaders and government critics under Operation Lalang under the Internal Security Act to impose a reign of fear in the country and consolidate his power position in UMNO and Government.
In 1988, Dr. Mahathir attacked the principle of the Inde¬pendence of the Judiciary and cowed judges,
by dismissing the Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and two Supreme Court judges, Tan Sri Wan
Suleiman and Datuk George Seah.
In 1987, 1988 and 1989, the Police Act, the Printing Press¬es and Publications Act and the Internal Security Act were made even more draconian to suppress fundamental liberties and human rights
In 1990, the independence of the Election Commission was undermined and subverted to enable the Barisan Nasional to cheat in the next general elections.
Last week, the MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders competed with each other to praise Dr. Mahathir as
an international statesman and ‘hero of the Third World’, and Datuk Samy Vellu said that Malaysia
is now world-famous because the world now knows Dr. Mahathir.
Datuk Samy Vellu was most unfair to Dr. Mahathir, for since 1987, Dr. Mahathir had already made
an international mark as a Prime Minister who had no respect for democratic freedoms, human rights
and the sanctity of judges!
Dr. Mahathir could so blatantly violate the democratic freedoms and human rights of Malaysians
because he was comfortably ensconced in his niche of power, assured of overwhelming two-thirds majority in Parliament which removed all effective checks and balances on his exercise of power.
For three decades, there was nothing Malaysians could do about such corruption of power, for it was unthinkable and impossible to deny the ruling coalition its two-thirds majority in Parliament, let alone replace it.
Today, however, the people have within their hands the power to curb such undemocratic abuses and excesses of power, for in the next, general elections, it is no more impossible and unthinkable that the Barisan Nasional Government can be denied its two-thirds majority, or even be toppled from power.
If there is a 12 per cent swing against the Barisan Nasion¬al in 24 Parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia in the next gener¬al elections, then Dr. Mahathir would lose two-thirds majority control of
If there is a 20 per cent swing against the Barisan Nasion¬al in 41 Parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, then Dr. Maha¬thir will become the new Parliamentary Opposition Leader.
In fact, there is no need for a 20 per cent swing against the Barisan Nasional in Peninsular Malaysia for
a change of government in Malaysia. A 15 per cent swing against the Barisan Nasional in Peninsular Malaysia would have created the stage for the possibility for a change of government, as the Barisan Nasional cannot depend on the allegiance of the Sabah and Sarawak Barisan Nasional parties, which would defect from the Barisan Nasional to an Opposition Front given the slightest opportunity.
This is why today’s historic occasion would add a great boost to the exciting political developments of
the past few years and months, in strengthening the Opposition Front and creating a two-coalition system in Malaysia.
The removal of Barisan Nasional’s two-thirds majority in Parliament is the pre-condition for the restoration of democracy.
Malaysians must recognise that two-thirds parliamentary majority is unnatural, abnormal and dangerous to the healthy growth of democratic institutions in Malaysia. The first prerequisite for the restoration of democratic rights and freedoms of Malaysians is the removal of the Barisan Nasional’s two-thirds majority in Parliament.
Malaysians must understand that they can never be free so long as Dr. Mahathir continues to enjoy
two-thirds Parliamentary majority.
If the Barisan Nasional’s two-thirds majority in Parliament cannot be struck down in the next general elections, then Malaysia will remain in the grips of an arbitrary and autocratic government a long long time to come.
Once Dr. Mahathir’s two-thirds majority in Parliament is removed, then the way is open for the emergence of a two-coalition system in Malaysia, which will give the people a political alternative
for the first time in Malaysia.
It is a two-coalition system which will best protect the democratic freedoms and human rights of Malaysians.
The Barisan Nasional parties are mortally worried about the emergence of a two-coalition system,
and this is why they have started to attack this concept as well as the decision of the activists and
educationists to join the DAP to strengthen the Opposition Front and create a two-coalition system.
These Barisan Nasional parties and leaders are so opportun¬istic, unethical and desperate that they are trying to create a great lie, that a two-coalition, system is a Trojan horse for the establish¬ment of an Islamic State.
In actual fact, what they fear most about the emergence of a two-coalition system is that without its
two-thirds majority in Par¬liament, the Barisan Nasional Government would not be able to continue with its high-handed undemocratic rule such as the Operation Lalang mass arrests, the sacking of judges,
the long string of financial and moral scandals in government, or the undemocratic manner in the
formu¬lation of important national pedicles like the post-1990 national economic policies or the
Education Act 1990.
Without its two-thirds majority in Parliament, the Barisan Nasional Government will have to become more responsible, responsive, accountable and democratic. This is what a two-coalition system can achieve and what the Barisan Nasional leaders fear most.
I have had the privilege to know several of the new Party comrades in the past in the struggle for political freedom and justice in the country. In fact, Sdr. Lim Fong Seng, Sdr. Kua Kia Soong and I, together with many DAP leaders like Sdr. Karpal Singh, Sdr. P. Patto, Sdr. Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, Sdr. Lim Guan Eng, Sdr. Lau Dak Kee and Sdr. V. David, as well as a few others present today, are ‘old boys’ of Kamunting Detention Centre when we were detained under Operation Lalang.
There are also other ‘graduates’ of the Internal Security-Act, like Sdr. Lee Ban Chen and
Sdr. Ng Wei Siong both of whom had been detained for lony periods for their-fight for social justice.
Our experience of political persecution have deepened in us our conviction that more Malaysians must
be prepared to stand up for their political rights, if democracy is to be saved in Malaysia.
The DAP is convinced that the infusion of the new members today will greatly strengthen the DAP,
the Opposition Front and be a great contribution to the creation of a two-coalition system to save democracy in Malaysia.
The DAP’s door is always open to like-minded Malaysians of all races who are prepared to join the DAP to save democracy, restore human rights, establish socio-economic justice and promote national unity.
The DAP not only welcomes the new members into the Party, but also into the party leadership.
They will be able to play the fullest role to strengthen the Opposition Front and create a two-coalition system to save democracy in Malaysia. Some of our new comrades today will be standard-bearers of
the Party in the next general, elections as the party’s candidates.
History is being made today. Let today’s historic occasion be an inspiration to more Malaysians to
come forward to take a politi¬cal stand and make a political commitment to dedicate themselves to
bring about far-reaching changes in our country, so that Malaysians can look forward to a democratic future in the 1990s and the 21st century.