Speech by DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Padang Kota, Lim Kit Siang, at the thanksgiving party for DAP election workers at Paya Terubong on Tuesday, 30th October 1990 at 9 p.m.
1990 general elections results could have been very different if not for the most irresponsible, communal and religious distortion and incitement by the UMNO of PBS joining the GAGASAN RAKYAT in the last three days of the campaign
The Oct 21 general elections results could have been very different is not for the most irresponsible, communal and religious distortion and incitement by the UMNO of PBS joining the GAGASAN RAKYAT in the last three days of the campaign.
All the top Barisan Nasional leaders, particularly from UMNO, should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves, for they distorted the issue and blatantly and unashamed incited the Malays that Semangat 46 had sold out the Malay rights as well as Islam.
Through their monopoly of the television and the Malay means media, they fanned Malay and Muslim feelings against Semangat 46 in the last three days, clinching their argument with the big lie, that Semangat 46 President, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, and sold out Muslim rights and interests to Christians in the PBS in Sabah, claiming as proof the Kadazan headgear worn by Tengku Razaleigh when he visited Sabah on Oct 18.
The UMNO-run Bahasa Malaysia and English-language media and the three television channels went on a rampage to picture Tengku Razaleigh with the Kadazan headgear all hours of the day so as to portray him as a renegade to Islam and a traitor of the Malay race.
These UMNO-run Bahasa Malaysia and English-language mass media completely ignored the fact that when the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, visited Sabah a few days earlier, he works the same Kadazan headgear with what they claimed to be a cross – which they had pictures aplenty in their files. They deliberately disregarded the fact that the Kadazan headgear is a cultural headgear and not a Christian or religious one.
One of the most dishonouable and despicable episodes in the 1990 general elections
Ever since Sabah’s entry into Malaysia in 1963, UMNO leaders who visited Sbah had been honoured with such a Kadazan headgear, and there had been no public rows in the past three decades when such photographs had been published.
But this time, the UMNO-run media and in particular the government television channels repeatedly showed Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah with the Kadazan headgear all hours of the day, while whipping up Malay and Islamic emotions that Tengku Razaleigh had sold out the Malay race and the Islamic religion.
This is one of the most dishonourable and despicable episodes in the 1990 general elections, where the means justify the ends as far as the Barisan Nasional leaders were concerned.
This was how the Barisan Nasional had cheated the people of a political change, not only in Penang, but also throughout Malaysia, in the Oct 21 general elections.
I have no doubt that the 1990 general elections results would have been very different if not for the most irresponsible, communal and religious incitement by UMNO leaders to picture Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as having sold out the Malay race and the Islamic religion because of PBS suiting Barisan Nasional and joining GAGASAN RAKYAT.
If not for this dishonourable and despicable tactic, Semangat 46 could have won 20 – 30 parliamentary seats, and the DAP another 10 Parliamentary seats. If DAP and Semangat 46 together win over 60 seats, then the possibility for great political change at the national level would have come true.
At minimum, the Barisan Nasional would have lost its two-thirds majority, and the Barisan Nasional would have secured less than 50 per cent of the national votes cast.
A new political era would have started in Malaysia, with a healthier and stronger growth for democracy in the 1990s.
If not for the Kadazan headgear and PBS issue, the political situation in Penang could also be complete different.
1990 general elections have created 23 Ling Liong Siks’ in MCA and Gerakan
One unusual result in the 1990 general results is that it has created 23 ‘Ling Liong Siks’ in MCA and Gerakan, as the 18 MCA MPs (including MCA Deputy President, Datuk Lee Kim Sai) and the five Gerakan Mps (including the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and the Gerakan Deputy President, Kerk Choo Ting) have all become the new Ling Liong Siks’, who could win their parliamentary seats solely because of UMNO’s Malay votes.
Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik must be very proud that he has succeeded in making all the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and MPs into his own image!
What is most tronical and unbelievable is that the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and MPs not only had to depend on UMNO’s Malay votes to win, they had to depend on the UMNO’s irresponsible incitement to whip up Malay emotions that the Malay race and the Islamic religion were under attack to win their parliamentary seats!
If the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and MPs are men and women of honour, they would have protested strongly against the UMNO tactics in the last few days which unscrupulously exploited the primordial issues of Malay race and Islamic religion, and would have been expressed their refusal to win Parliamentary seats on UMNO’s Malay votes bases on UMNO tactics aimed at arousing Malay communal and Islamic religious fears.
The MCA and Gerakan Ministers and MPs should have also protested against the use of the politics of fear and blackmail, as in the full-page advertisement of a drawing on polling eve calculated to arouse fears among the voters about another May 13 Incident.
But MCA and Gerakan leaders agreed to such use of unscrupulous tactics because this was the only way they could win based on UMNO’s Malay votes. This is why it is crystal clear that the 1990 general elections have shown beyond any doubt that the MCA and Gerakan Ministers, MPs and Assemblymen represent nobody in Cabinet, Parliament and the State Assemblies expect UMNO< which had ensured their victory! From being partners in a coalition government, MCA and Gerakan have openly become the dependents of UMNO, just to win seats in Parliament and the State Assemblies. This is the latest evolution of MCA and Gerakan politics in the 1990s.