Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the opening of the DAP-Semangat 46-AMIPF Perak State Seminar on ‘Can the Opposition win Perak in the next general elections?’ held at Tambun Inn, Ipoh on Sunday, 19th August 1990 at 10 am.
DAP calls on Dr. Mahathir to end ‘budaya samseng’ in the general elections which is worst exemplified by the May 13 threats made by Barisan Nasional leaders.
Today’s seminar is ground-breaking firstly because it is the first time that Opposition parties have got together to organise a inter-party seminar, and I congratulate the Semangat 46, AMIPF and the DAP in Perak for the initiative they have taken to organise this three-party meeting.
The second reason is the theme itself, whether the Opposi¬tion can win Perak in the next general
This theme is most appropriate and fitting at this juncture of Malaysia’s political history, for in the
past few years, great political forces had been released which is changing the political structures of
What was unthinkable and impossible in the past 33 years have now become thinkable and possible.
For instance, it was unthink¬able and impossible in the past 33 years to envisage the removal of two-thirds parliamentary majority of the ruling government, and even more unthinkable and impossible to envisage its toppling and replace¬ment.
Now, these are not impossible and unthinkable as such changes are within the reach of the people in the next general elec¬tions.
Perak can fall into Opposition hands if there is a 12 per cent swing against the Barisan Nasional in next general elections.
Similarly, the thought of the Opposition winning the Perak state is not something which is an
unrealistic and impossible dream, I do not want to anticipate discussions in today’s seminar as to whether the Opposition can win Perak in the next state general elections, except to point out that if there is a 12 per cent swing against the Barisan Nasional in the Perak State Assembly seats, then the possibility of the Opposition winning the Perak State Government become very real and possible.
Malaysians are going through stirring political times, as seen by various great political developments in the past few years, starting with the formation of Semangat 46, the formation of AMIPF, the co-operation between Semangat 46, AMIPF and the DAP, and only yesterday the decision by former activists and educationists in Chinese Associations to join the DAP to strengthen the Opposition Front and create a Two-Coalition System.
There is no doubt that the Barisan Nasional leaders, in¬cluding the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri
Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, are very uneasy and worried about these political developments for the next general elections will be Dr. Mahathir’s greatest challenge and test.
I call on Dr. Mahathir to face his greatest challenge and test as a democrat and as a gentleman and to
put an end to ‘budaya samseng’ to frighten the voters from freely casting their votes to choose the candidate and the party of their choice.
The worse form of this ‘budaya samseng’ is the threat which is used more and more frequently by
Barisan Nasional leaders that there would be another May 13 if the people vote for the Opposition.
I had raised this matter with Dr, Mahathir when I met him for an hour on July 9 to discuss the Commonwealth Observer Mission, when I said that all political parties must openly declare that they would abide by the verdict of the people, and that the Barisan Nasion¬al leaders should not use the
May 13 threat to frighten the voters.
Call on Dr. Mahathir to publicly pledge that the Bari¬san Nasional would accept the verdict of the
people, whether win or lose.
I said that the Opposition was prepared to accept the verdict of the people in the polls, including
defeat, and similarly, the Barisan Nasional parties must be prepared to make a similar open
commitment, and not frighten the people with May13 threats if the Opposition wins.
This is ‘budaya samseng’ at its worst, for those who use these tactics are people who are no gentleman
or democrat, who only wants to win but are not prepared to lose.
If the Barisan Nasional only wants to win and is not pre¬pared to lose in general elections, then
Dr. Mahathir might as well cancel general elections and become Prime Minister for Life by emer-gency decree.
This is probably why Dr.Mahathir is having second thoughts about inviting the Commonwealth
Observer Mission to Malaysia, for his enthusiasm for inviting the Commonwealth observers will vary
in pro¬portion to his confidence in, winning the next general elections.
In June, when he announced in Parliament that the Government was prepared to invite Commonwealth Observer Mission to Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir must have been very confident about sweeping the next general elections. Now, he must be having second thoughts too as to how well the Barisan Nasional
could perform in the next general elections.
When Dr. Mahathir returned from Venezuela about two weeks ago, he said that he would meet me
again to discuss the Commonwealth Observer Mission, but I am still waiting, for word from him.
Has Dr. Mahathir decided against having the Commonwealth Observer Mission to come to Malaysia
to ensure that the general elections fulfil the four criteria of being ‘free, fair, clean and honest’?
Barisan Nasional find it more difficult to indulge in the ‘budaya samseng’ in the next general
elections by threatening the people with ‘May 13’ if the Barisan Nasional loses, if there is the Commonwealth Observer Mission around in the country?
This is why so many Barisan Nasional leaders at both national, and state levels have publicly expressed their opposition to having a Commonwealth Observer Mission.
I call on Dr. Mahathir not to renege in his undertaking given in Parliament on June 24 to invite the Commonwealth Observer Mission and his agreement with me, on July 9 that it be entrusted with
ensuring that the general elections fulfil the four criteria of being ‘free, fair, clean and honest’.