Press Conference Statement by DAP Secretary-General, DAP MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Padang Kota, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Tuesday, 23rd October 1990
DAP prepared to co-operate with Gerakan to form a Penang State Government which could reflect and fulfill the wishes of the majority of the people of Penang
Penang Gerakan State Chairman, Datuk Tan Gim Hwa, said on polling day night on Sunday that the Gerakan would allow UMNO to lead the new Penang State Government and that the seven Gerakan State Assemblymen would not join the State Executive Council.
Datuk Tan said that the election results show that the Malays gave full support to the Barisan Nasional and Gerakan candidates, and that the Gerakan’s defeat was in the hards of the Chinese voters.
He said that with the UMNO winning all its 12 seats, and the Gerakan winning only seven, Gerakan has no face or power to ask for the Chief Minister’s post.
Yesterday, Datuk Tan said that Gerakan accepts the decision of the Chinese voters and respect their response to the DAP’s call for change. He said that a new era has changed with UMNO leading the Penang state government. He repeated this previous night’s statement that the Gerakan would consider staying out of the State Executive Council.
The people of Penang are at a crucial stage of their political history. This is a time for cool, calm and collected thinking to consider what is in the best interest for the people of Penang.
The Oct 21 general elections is a clear-out choice by the people of Penang for change. The defeat of Dr. Lim Chong Eu in Padang Kota is not a rejection of his leadership in the state for the past 21 years, but a choice for change for the next 20 years.
There is no doubt that if the electoral constituencies had been fairly and democratically delineated in accordance with the one-man, one-vote principle, the voters of Penang would have been able to elect a clear and comfortable majority of Assemblymen on Oct 21 to form a strong and stable State Government to usher a new era of change for Penang for the next 20 years.
However, as a result of the unfair and undemocratic delineation of the constituencies, the general elections have produced a result where DAP has 14 seats, Gerakan seven seats and UMNO 12 seats.
Datuk Tan, on behalf of Penang Gerakan, has said that the Gerakan would respect the decision of the people of Penang and let UMNO lead the Penang State Government.
This clearly is not the choice and decision of the overwhelming majority of the voters of Penang as reflected of Penang as reflected in the voting on Oct 21.
What the people of Penang want is a change of government, which is clearly not led by UMNO.
If the Penang Gerakan is prepared to respect the wishes of the people of Penang, then it should observer the spirit and essence of the democratic choice of the people of Penang on Sunday.
What is important is that the wishes of the majority of the people of Penang in the general elections on Oct 21 should be fulfilled rather than frustrated. The Penang Gerakan can do this by taking part in helping to bring into being a new State Government which fulfils the wishes of the majority of the people in their vote on Sunday.
Just as the DAP was prepared in 1986 to rise above party consideration to give Dr. Lim Chong Eu full support to continue as Penang Chief Minister, the time has come for Penang Gerakan to rise above party considerations to fulfill the wishes of the majority of the people of Penang in the general elections on Oct 21.
The DAP is prepared to co-operate with the Gerakan to for a Penang State Government which reflects and fulfills the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the voters of Penang in their vote on Sunday.
The DAP is prepared to have discussions with Gerakan leaders on this issue without any pre-conditions.