by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 20th August 1990:
Ghafar’s stereotype and communal reaction shows that the UMNO leaders are afraid of new ideas and new forces to bring about a two-coalition system in Malaysia.
The stereotype and communal reaction of the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, to the entry of 27 educationists and human rights activists in Chinese associations shows that the UMNO leaders are afraid of new ideas and new forces to bring about a two-coalition system in Malaysia.
It is clear that Ghafar Baba had not read the Joint State¬ment of the 27 educationists and human rights activists last Saturday, giving the reasons why they are joining the Democratic Action Party and the Opposition Front. The Joint Statement is in fact one of the best political statements in recent times, calling for a really multi-racial, democratic and just Malaysian society which has moved away from the politics of race.
I challenge Ghafar Baba to get a copy of the Joint State¬ment of these 27 Malaysians and point out
what are the sections or paragraphs which he could use to justify his criticism yesterday that these 27 Malaysians or the DAP were seeking, to ‘capitalise on racial sentiments’ or ‘fight only for the interest
of one race’.
If Ghafar Baba could not cite a single section or paragraph in the Joint Statement of the 27 Malaysians
to justify his attack on their joining the DAP, then Ghafar Baba should have the grace and decency to withdraw his unfounded attacks yesterday.
Ghafar Baba and the UMNO leaders should realise that the theme of the entry of the 27 Malaysians
into the DAP last Saturday, as proclaimed by their Joint Statement, was to strengthen the Opposition Front and to work towards the creation of a two-coalition system.
If Ghafar Baba is genuinely committed to work for the best interest of all Malaysians, to reduce communal politicking, then he should be the first to welcome these new ideas and new forces to work
for the establishment of a two-coalition system – with each coalition comprising multi-racial and
It is understandable that Ghafar Baba should be afraid of these new ideas and new forces for a
two-coalition system, for it will reduce the politicking of race, on which the Barisan Nasional
parties had flourished.
Ghafar Baba’s reaction is not sincere or honest, for nobody doubts that if these 27 educationists
and human rights activists had decided to join the MCA or Gerakan instead of the DAP, Ghafar Baba would have praised them for statesmanlike choice and decision!
Only recently, we saw how the UMNO leaders waxed indignant over the decision by the MTUC President, Zainal Rampak, for joining Parti Semangat 46, accusing Zainal for betraying the workers
rights by joining a political party.
In actual fact, the UMNO leaders were angry because Zainal had not chosen to join UMNO instead.
The contradictory and near-hysterical reactions of Ghafar, Liong Sik, Keng Yaik and Alex Lee showed that the Barisan Nasional parties are worried about the new political scenario.
The entry of the 27 educationists and human rights activists into the DAP and the Malaysian political scene had caused great worry to UMNO, MCA and Gerakan.
This is best illustrated by the contradictory and near-hysteric reactions of the UMNO, MCA and Gerakan leaders.
Thus, Ghafar Baba accused the DAP and the 27 Malaysians for being chauvinistic, when we stood up
for democracy, human rights, socio-economic justice and national unity.
MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, took a contrary line of attack, and alleged that the entry of
the 27 educationists and human rights activisits into the DAP was the ‘using Chinese to control Chinese’ design of Semangat 46 and PAS to establish an Islamic State.
In other words, Liong Sik accused the DAP and the 27 educationists and human rights activists of betraying the Chinese community – while Ghafar is at the same time accusing the DAP and the 27
of being ‘chauvinistic’! It is difficult to think of two Barisan Nasional leaders could come out with
more contradictory and hysterical reactions on the same issue.
Liong Sik should realise that he is not the most qualified MCA leader to hurl accusations of betrayal
at other people, when he himself had been accused by his own MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers
of betraying the MCA for the interest of Kamunting Corporation Bhd. and for not being ‘clean’ and ‘honest’ in various business deals involving the MCA or himself.
But the Gerakan leaders have also their own hysterical reactions. Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim
Keng Yaik accused the educationists and human right activists as being ‘opportunists’ while Alex Lee even challenged Lim Fong Seng to contest against him, making derogatory remarks about the role and effectiveness of the 27 educationists and human rights activists.
All these reactions betray very disturbed leaderships in the Barisan Nasional parties, for they are
worried about the new political scenario emerging in the country which is conducive for the
establishment of a two-coalition system.
In the next elections, the monopoly of political power in the country in the past 33 years is facing its
most serious challenge. To preserve and maintain its monopoly of political power, and its continued stranglehold on democracy in Malaysia, the Barisan Nasional parties will resort to shameless communal politicking to defeat ef¬forts at creating a two-coalition system.
The next general elections will therefore be a contest between the new ideas and new forces for a
two-coalition system repre¬sented by the Opposition Front and the old ideas and old forces em-bodying the politics of race and greed of the Barisan Nasional.