Speech by DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Padang Kota, Lim Kit Siang, at a Tanjung 2 thanksgiving party for DAP state general elections workers held at Komtar, Penang on Wednesday, 24th October 1990 at 9 p.m.
Keng Yaik is opposed to any co-operation between DAP and Gerakan to form a State Government because he is afraid of losing the Federal Ministerial post
I am not surprised that the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, is vehemently opposed to any co-operation between the DAP and Gerakan to form a Penang State Government because he is afraid of losing the Federal Ministerial post for himself.
Dr. Lim’s stand is taken, not in the interest of the people of Penang who had in the past 21 years supported the Gerakan, but in the interests of the national Gerakan leaders to protest their positions in the Federal Government, whether full Cabinet, Deputy Minister or Parliamentary Secretary post.
In other words, in order to ensure that he could continue to be a Cabinet Minister, Keng Yaik gives full support to a UMNO-led and UMNO-dominated Penang State Government, regardless of who becomes the Chief Minister.
If the Gerakan leadership is prepared to sacrifice the interests and rights of the people of Penang on the question of the formation of a Penang State Government to reflect and fulfill the wishes of the people of Penang, then how can the people of Penang expect that their rights and interests could ever be protected and promoted in a UMNO-led and UMNO-dominated Penaang State Government, regardless of who becomes the Chief Minister?
The DAP’s offer to co-operate with the Gerakan to form a Penang state Government which could reflect and fulfill the wishes of the people of Penang remains open, and I still hope that better counsel could prevail in Penang Gerakan and among the seven Gerakan Assemblymen.
The majority of voters who voted for the 11 Gerakan candidates in the general elections would support a DAP-Gerakan State Government rather than a UMNO-led government
I have no doubt that if the Gerakan solicits the views of the voters who had voted for the Gerakan in the 11 constituencies it contested in the general elections on Sunday, the majority would support a DAP-Gerakan state government instead of a UMNO-led and UMNO-dominated government, regardless of who becomes the Chief Minister.
Why then is the Penang Gerakan and the seven Gerakan assemblymen standing in the way of the wishes and aspirations of the people of Penang?
If Penang Gerakan and the seven Gerakan Assemblymen refuse to rise to the challenge and create history by forming a DAP-Gerakan Government which can reflect and fulfill the wishes of the people of Penang, and instead a UMNO-led and UMNO-dominated State Government, regardless of who is the Chief Minister, then they would have failed the people of Penang.
The Oct 21 general elections have created an unique and unprecedented situation in Penang, and it requires an unique and unprecedented formula never tried before in the country, if we are to find a formula whereby the wishes of the people for change could be fulfilled.
Is Keng Yaik prepared to resign as Gerakan President and Cabinet Minister for having to depend on UMNO’s Malay votes to win Bruas seat last Sunday?
Keng Yaik had been very abusive in the last few days, making full user of his vocabulary of abuses against me.
He challenged me to resign as Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General. I am prepared to accept full and total responsibility for my actions as DAP Secretary-General, and this is why I have yesterday submitted my resignation as DAP Secretary-General to the DAP National Chairman, Dr. Chen Man Hin, for the DAP’s setbacks and failure to reach expectations in the general elections on Oct 21.
But is Dr. Lim Keng Yaik prepared to do likewise? Is he prepared to accept full responsibility for the consequences of his actions as Gerakan President?
The clear result of his actions as Gerakan President is that on Sunday’s general elections, the top Gerakan leaders had to depend on UMNO’s Malay votes to win their parliamentary seats – Keng Yaik in Bruas, Kerk Choo Ting in Taiping and Ong Kim Tin in Teluk Intan.
The Gerakan might as well did not exist as far as the general elections is concerned. Keng Yaik might as well dissolve Gerakan and apply to be an associate member of UMNO, for after all, it is the UMNO votes which saved Keng Yaik on Sunday’s general elections. Just like Choo Ting in Taiping and Kim Tin in Teluk Intan.
Is Keng Yaik prepared to accept full responsibility for the shameful fact that a Gerakan President had to depend on UMNO’s Malay votes to get a seat in Parliament ad a place in Cabinet? Is he prepared to resign as Gerakan President and Cabinet Minister?
I will like to wait for Keng Yaik’s answer.
I thank all the party leaders who spoke just now urging me to reconsider my decision to resign as DAP Secretary-General. The decision was not taken on the spur of the moment, but with a heavy heart, after two days of pondering on the national and state results of the 1990 general elections on Oct 21.
Although the DAP did not do too badly at the parliamentary elections, and made great historic breakthrough at the state assembly elections, there was despondency and disappointment, not only in the Party, but also among the people at large at the great unprecedented opportunity for political change being missed.
Specifically, the DAP failed in its Tanjung 2 objective in Penang and suffered setbacks in Perak, Negri Sembilan and Johore. In Sabah, the DAP was completely wiped out, and I still could not recover from this result.
I am not quitting politics. I am still DAP MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Padang Kota after my resignation as DAP Secretary-General, and I will give my fullest support to the new DAP Secretary-General and the party in the political challenges and struggles ahead in the 1990s and the 21st century.
Oct 21 was a great historic opportunity for all Malaysians for meaningful political change for the first time in Malaysian history, and probably the last time, and as DAP Secretary-General, I must step forward to bear full personal and total responsibility for the flunking of such a historic opportunity.