Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Penang DAP State Convention held at Shangrila Hotel, Penang on Sunday. 2nd September 1990 at 10 a.m.
Call on Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to deny that he has decided to disallow the Commonwealth observer mission because the Barisan Nasional wants to cheat in the next general elections
When the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, returned from Venezuela early last month, he said that he would be meeting me again on the Commonwealth Observer mission for the next general elections before he communicates with the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyasoku. He also said he would meet with different groups on the matter.
I have however not heard from Dr. Mahathir. But I have heard something else from other sources, and this is that the Prime Minister has decided to disallow the Commonwealth observer mission for the next general elections despite his June 21 announcement in Parliament that the Government would invite such a mission.
At that time, the MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders all praised Dr. Mahathir’s announcement.
MIC President, Datuk Samy Vellu, said that the decision showed Malaysia was on the right path of democracy and did not use “peculiar or ministers” tactics. MCA Deputy President, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, said that the decision would show to the world that general elections in Malaysia were carried out fairly. Gerakan publicity bureau director, Dr. Kang Chin Seng, said it was common practice in advanced countries to invite foreign observers to their general elections to ensure that the outcome of the elections truly reflected the wishes of the electorate.
But when Dr. Mahathir changes his mind and is having second thoughts about the Commonwealth Observer Mission, all the MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders also follow suit and also have second thoughts!
On the basis of the earlier comments by the MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders when they welcomed the parliamentary announcement by Dr. Mahathir to invite the Commonwealth Observer Mission, the change of mind by Dr. Mahathir can only mean that the Barisan Nasional has now discovered that they had ‘peculiar or sinister’ things to hide from the observer mission, and that the general elections process cannot bear international scrutiny as a free and fair elections.
On 10th July, 1990, Dr. Mahathir said at Masjid Tanah that the government decided to invite Commonwealth observers for the coming general election to foil a possible plot to create trouble if the Opposition lost. He said the bringing in the observers would allow outsiders to see how opposition parties behaved. He even said that the opposition parties would want to reject the observers, but because did not have an excuse, they were forced to accept them.
DAP suggests that the eight-party Action Committee to invite a Commonwealth Observer Mission if Dr. Mahathir refuses to do so
Events have now proved that it is the Barisan Nasional Government which has now changed its mind about wanting to invite the Commonwealth Observer Mission, while the Opposition parties are united in wanting the Commonwealth Observers to come.
Does this mean that it is the Barisan Nasional which wants to employ dirty and undemocratic tactics to cheat in the next general elections?
Malaysians are entitled to know the facts, and I call on Dr. Mahathir to deny that he has decided to disallow the Commonwealth Observer Mission to come to Malaysia because the Barisan Nasional wants to cheat in the next general elections.
The Opposition parties have formed an all-party Action Committee headed by Semangat 46 Deputy President, Datuk Rais Yatim, to support the idea of a Commonwealth Observer Mission.
If Dr. Mahathir has decided that the government was withdrawing its invitation for a Commonwealth Observer Mission, then the DAP suggest that the eight-party Joint Action Committee should invite a Commonwealth Observer Mission.
DAP will not send a representative for the Consultative Council on Education Act
In the past few days, the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, had repeatedly spread lies to play politics with the Consultative Council on the Education Act.
He first lied that I had only faxed my letter to him asking for five clarifications on July 27 when I had in fact sent the letter to him by hand five days earlier.
He next lied that I had become the spokesman for PAS in announcing that PAS would not join the Education Act Consultative Council, when I had never done such a thing.
Two days ago, he again lied and played politics with the Consultative Council by claiming that PAS had to follow DAP’s example to stay out of the Consultative Council, when even up to now, the DAP had not made a final decision on whether to join or stay out of the Consultative Council on the Education Act.
Earlier, the Prime Minister himself lied when he said that the Chinese Educationists who joined the DAP on August 18 had recently written to him asking that Mandarin be made an official language. There was no such letter at all.
With such a background, the DAP’s reservations about the Consultative Council on Education Act are being strengthened day by day.
The DAP is still waiting for the official reply of the Education Minister to our letter of August 21 to establish whether the whole Education Act Consultative Council is a mere ‘sham consultation’ to ensure that the voters are unable to decide and vote on 1990 Education Act in the coming general elections.
If the DAP’s reservations are correct, then the Education Minister is just playing politics with the entire Consultative Council, for the Consultative Council is nothing but a political ploy of the Barisan Nasional for the next general elections.
The DAP will not send any representative to the Consultative Council on the Education Act when the Council meets tomorrow, for the DAP will only take a final decision on whether to join or stay out of the Council after we have received Anwar’s official reply.