Victory without joy in 1990 general election

By DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Monday, Oct 22. 1990:

Victory without joy in 1990 general election

I am humbled and greatly moved by the great support of the people of Padang Kota and Tanjung in electing me State Assemblyman for Padang Kota and re-electing me MP for Tanjung with a 17.469 majority.

It was a double victory, but it was a victory without joy, because firstly, the DAP had failed to achieve the Tanjung 2 objective in the 1990 general election.

To achieves this Tanjung 2 objective to bring about political change in Penang, six DAP leaders left strong and safe seats to contest against Gerakan and MCA leaders in their strongholds.

Of these six redoubtable leaders, two failed to win, namely Sdr. Karpal Singh against Dr. Kang Chin Seng in Sungei Pinang and Gooi Hock Seng against Dr. Koh Tsu Koon in Tanjung Bungah.

If the DAP had won in Sungei Pinang and Tanjung Bungah, and Sdr. Ahmad Nor had won in Batu Uban and Sdr. Ho Soon Cheng in Bunga, the DAP would have been able to form the Penang State Government to usher in a new era of change for the 1990s.

I had said in the Tanjung 2 ceramahs during the general elections campaign that if I win Padang Kota but all the other five redoubtable DAP leaders could not win, or we could not make the numbers to form the next Penang State Government, then the DAP would have failed in its Tanjung 2 objective on Oct. 21.

The second reason for the joyless victory is that nationally, the major breakthrough hoped for by Malaysians for political change in the country did not bear fruit, and the casualties included DAP National Chairman, Dr. Chen Man Hin, DAP Deputy Secretary-General, Sdr. P.Patto, Sabah State Chairman Sdr. Fung Ket Wing, DAP National Vice Chairman Sdr. Lee Ban Chien, our Rasah candidate, Sdr. Hu Sepang and our Kluang candidate, Sdr. Ng Wei Siong as well as Semangat 46 leaders such as Datuk Rais Yatim, Puan Marina Yusuff, IPF leaders like M.G. Pandithan and Dr. N.G. Baskaran and Parti Rakyat Malaysia leaders like Dr. Syed Husin Ali and Dr. Sanusi Osman.

Given another three to five days of campaigning, the Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority would have been slashed, and several top Barisan leaders like Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, Kerk Choo Ting, Ong Tin Kim and Datuk Samy Vellu would have been defeated.

The DAP leaders, both nationally and in Penang, are analyzing the 1990 general election results.

All newly-elected DAP MPs, State Assemblymen and parliamentary and state assembly candidates and Central Executive Committee members will meet in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday on the post-1990 political scenario in Malaysia after the general election.