Speech by DAP Secretary-General, Parliamentary Candidate for Tanjung and State Assembly candidate for Padang Kota, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Tanjung 2 ceramah at Penang Chinese Town Hall on Tuesday, 16th October 1990 at 10.30 p.m.
If Dr. Mahathir loses two-thirds parliamentary majority from the Peninsular Malaysia results, then he is on the verge of losing power.
Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, Ghafar Baba, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Datuk Samy Vellu started the 1990 general elections exuding full confidence.
They declared absolute confidence that they would be returned with an overwhelming two-thirds majority.
However, in only five days of the election campaign, Dr. Mahathir and the other Barisan Nasional leaders are beginning to lose this confidence.
Wind of Change blowing in the land
This is because the wind of change is blowing in the land. Yesterday, I visited Teluk Intan, Kampar, Ipoh and Sungei Siput and spoke at the DAP ceramahs. I could feel the wind of change in the air. PBS’ quitting from the Barisan Nasional has lent even greater force and momentum to this wind of change.
The crucial question of course is whether it is possible for this wind of change to reach its climax in the four short days to polling day on Oct. 21.
It is clear that Dr. Mahathir and the other leaders are panicking. This is why Dr. Mahathir is resorting to the tactics of threats and blackmail, as when he raised the specter of the May 13 incident in Johore Bahru earlier today, Dr. Mahathir said that the people should not forget the lessons of 1969 when the government was returned without a two-thirds majority.
Is Dr. Mahathir threatening that if the Barisan Nasional loses its two-thirds majority, or loses power, then there will be another May 13?
When I met Dr. Mahathir in early July to discuss the Commonwealth Observer Mission, I told him that the government should play fair in the general elections and allow the people the unhampered and unfettered right to cast their vote, without all forms of threats, pressures and blackmail.
Call on Dr. Mahathir to declare whether he would humbly accept the people’s verdict denying him two-thirds parliamentary majority or replacement as Prime Minister by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
I refer in particular to the oft-repeated threat by the Prime Minister and other top Barisan Nasional leaders that there would be chaos, upheaval and May 13 if the Opposition wins.
I asked the Prime Minister point-blank whether he was suggesting that the DAP or Semangat 46 would cause a May 13, to which Dr. Mahathir strenuously denied.
Dr. Mahathir should now declare openly and publicly whether UMNO, MCA, Gerakan or MIC would create another May 13 if they lose two-thirds majority or lose power altogether.
If not, why is Dr. Mahathir and the other Barisan Nasional leaders raising the spectre of May 13 to frighten the voters? The DAP will lodge an official protest to the Commonwealth Observer Mission at Dr. Mahathir’s May 13 threats, for it is the worst form of the politics of fear and blackmail in Malaysia.
Dr. Mahathir should openly declare whether he would humbly accept the verdict of the people on Oct 21, whether it be the denial of hi two-thirds parliamentary majority, or his removal from office as Prime Minister to become the new Parliamentary Opposition Leader.
Or is Dr. Mahathir suggesting that the Barisan Nasional would only accept the general election results if they win and only with two-thirds parliamentary majority. If this is the case, then what is the use of holding general elections? What is the purpose of inviting Commonwealth Observers to come for the general elections?
There is of course good reason for Dr. Mahathir to worry about the general elections results, even before the withdrawal of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) from Barisan Nasional yesterday to support GAGASAN RAKYAT.
Dr. Mahathir knows that if the GAGASAN RAKYAT, comprising Semangat 46, DAP, IPF and PKM, can deny him two-thirds parliamentary majority in the contest for the 132 Peninsular Malaysia seats alone, then he is on the verge of losing power.
The GAGASAN RAKYAT is contesting a total of 102 seats in Peninsular Malaysia, comprising Semangat 59, DAP 40 and PRM 3.
If the GAGASAN RAKYAT can win over 60 seats in Peninsular Malaysia, them Dr. Mahathir has not only lost his two-thirds Parliamentary majority, he would be on the verge of losing power.
This is because GAGASAN RAKYAT would be able to form the next government if it could secure the support of another 30 MPs. I have no doubt that if GAGASAN RAKYAT can now count on the 20 seats in Sabah. Sarawak has not yet been taken into account.
Dr. Mahathir’s May 13 threat makes a mockery of the Barisan Nasional’s 3K election manifesto
It is no wonder that Dr. Mahathir sounded so desperate today, unearthing the May 13 spectre.
I urge Dr. Mahathir to set a good example and stop playing the politics of fear. Why should there be another May 13 if the GAGASAN RAKYAT denies the Barisan Nasional its two-thirds parliamentary majority, or takes power, as the GAGASAN RAKYAT is a multi-racial grouping, representing all races groups in the country, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazan and Ibans, just as the Barisan Nasional.
If Dr. Mahathir is removed as Prime Minister, it is not me who takes over, but Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah – so why should there be talk of May 13?
The May 13 threat is an empty one, for Dr. Mahathir knows that there is no cause or reason to make such a threat. He is hoping that the people would be gullible enough to be frightened into voting for the Barisan Nasional on polling day by such a threat.
Dr. Mahathir is in fact making a democracy of the Barisan Nasional’s 3K election manifesto, namely Kestabilan (Stability), Keamanan (Peace) and Prosperity (Kemakmuran). How can Dr. Mahathir promise stability on the one hand while threatening May 13 with another?
What we in the GAGASAN RAKYAT wants is not 3K, but 5K. for apart from Kestabilan, Keamanan dan Kemakmuran, we also want Keadilan (justice) and Kebebas (freedom).
A DAP State Government is prepared to recommended the appointment of Dr. Lim Chong Eu as Penang State Governor
I had said right from the outset that the Padang Kota contest between Dr. Lim Chong Eu an myself is not a personal fight or a personal vendetta.
I had explained that the DAP was forced to present the Tanjung 2 state of candidates in Penang, where six Penang DAP leaders had to withdraw from strong and safe seats to contest against top Gerakan and MCA leaders in their strongholds, risking defeat, because this is the last chance for the people of Penang to save their limited political right before the 1992 redelineation of electoral constituencies.
I had never criticized or attacked Dr. Lim Chong Eu personally, as I have nothing against him.
Unfortunately, Dr. Lim had resorted to personal attacks against me, with falsehoods and half-truths which are the specialty of the Gerakan Dirty Tricks and False Rumours Department headed by Dr. Kang Eng Seng, the head of the Gerakan brains-trust, whose most immortal concoction was the lies about the DAP-PAS secret Jakarta talks.
In the past few days, Dr. Lim had resorted to all sorts of issues to launch a personal attack on me.
For instance, he accused me of forcing out Sdr. Lee Lam Thye, and praised Sdr. Lee Lam Thye for his tears over TV3, while accusing me of shedding crocodile’s tears.
Dr. Lim also accused me being in cohoots with PAS to establish an Islamic State, and even twisted my statement at my Sunday ceramah on my position on the post of Parliamentary Opposition Leader when I said I was prepared to accept full consequences for the results of the DAP’s Tanjung 2 state of candidates.
Dr. Lim seems to be competing with the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, in making personal attacks on me. Liong Sik said yesterday that I have become “a bit cuckoo, off balance and power crazy”.
I will not reply in kind to Dr. Lim, as I have nothing against him. The fight between us is not a personal fight. It is in fact a fight by the people in Penang and Malaysia in their last stand to protect and save their political rights from irreparable erosion in the 1992 delineation of electoral constituencies. It is a fight by the people of Penang and Malaysia to bring about a two-coalition system in Malaysia for the first time and last time in Malaysian history.
The DAP is asking for a mandate from the people of Penang for state power because we want to save the political rights of the people of Penang from the political ‘disaster’ of the 1992 delineation of electoral constituencies.
Dr. Lim Chong Eu has been saying a lot of nasty things about me. I still have a lot of respect for Dr. Lim Chong Eu, and I respect him as my elder. I will not descend to make personal and vicious attacks against him.
In fact, a Penang DAP State Government is prepared to recommended that Dr. Lim Chong Eu be appointed Governor of Penang.
I have no doubt that this proposal will have the full support of the people of Penang. I am not sure however whether Gerakan, MCA and UMNO would support this proposal. Let us hear from them their stand on this issue.
Finally, I call on the people of Penang and Malaysia to stand up as one on Oct 21. There is one and only one issue both at the state and national level.
In Penang, the one and only one issue in the general elections is to protect and save the political rights of the people from being wiped out in 1992. All other issues become secondary and irrelevant in this general elections.
It is only with a DAP State Government in place after Oct 21 which could stop such a political disaster in 1992, by refusing to approve and present any unfair and undemocratic redrawing of the electoral constituencies in the Penang State Assembly.
Nationally, the one and only one issue is to ensure that the people make full use of the first and last chance to bring about political change to bring about a two-coalition system, and again, all other issues become secondary and irrelevant.
It is only with a change of government, or at least, with the denial or two-thirds majority of the Barisan Nasional, that a two-coalition system could be born.
My greatest worry is that the people, whether at the state or national level, will allow other isues to distract them from this one and only one issue.
It will be a great pity for instance, if the Tanjung 2 project in Penang fails because the DAP losses a few seats because the voters are influenced by factors like personality or service image of the Gerakan or MCA candidate. This is why I urge the people of Penang to give their every single vote to the Rocket in all the 20 constituencies contested by the DAP, and also to all the other candidates of GAGASAN RAKYAT in the other constituencies.
It will also be a great pity if the political change in Malaysia is missed because in a few parliamentary seats, the voters allow other factors and considerations to decide their vote. This is why I also urge the people of Malaysia to give their every single vote to the Rocket in all the constituencies contested by the DAP, as well as by GAGASAN RAKYAT, so that a two-coalition system could be born on Oct 21.