Speech by DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Padang Kota, Lim Kit Siang, at thanksgiving party for election workers for the Tanjung, Padang Kota, Pengkalan Kola constituencies held in Tanjung on Tuesday, 30th October 1990 at 7.30 p.m.
Call on DAP leaders, members and the millions of supporters in the country to work and dedicate themselves to the Battle of Tanjung III
Tonight, I want to thank the election workers in the Tanjung parliamentary constituency and the Penang ‘Kota, Pengkalan Kota and Kampong Kolam state constituencies who have made the DAP successes in these constituencies on Oct 21 general elections possible.
I want in particular to thank the election workers who are not DAP members, but who responded to the clarion call of the Battle of Tanjung II and came forward to help in the campaign. Without their limited in resources and manpower when compared to the Barisan Nasional machinery.
I would like to invite these idealistic and courageous Malaysians, who have come forward to help in the clarion call of the Battle of Tanjung II and came forward to help in the campaign. Without their support, our campaign would face even more obstacles, for we are so limited in resources and manpower when compared to the Barisan Nasional machinery.
The greatest tribute, however, must go on the people of Tanjung, and the voters of Padang Kota, Pengkalan Kota and Kampong Kolam, who stood steadfast behind the DAP in the Battle of Tanjung II.
The DAP did not achieve the objectives of Tanjung II to being about change in Penang with the establishment of a Penang DAP State Government. We were three seats short of our objective – and if we had won any three of the four seats of Sungei Pinang, Tanjung Bungah, Kebun Bungah and Batu Uban, then the Tanjung II objective would have been realized.
Two of the Magnificent Six perished in the Battle of Tanjung II
In order to achieve the breakthrough in the Battle of Tanjung II, the DAP leaders in Penang left their safe and strong seats to contest against Gerakan and MCA leaders in their strongholds.
In this ‘Do or Die’ battle of Tanjung II, two of the ‘Magnificent Six’, Sdr. Karpal Singh and Sdr. Gooi Hock Seng, perished in the Battle of Tanjung II in the State Assembly elections for the Sungei Pinang and Tanjung Bungah seats.
As I had said during the general elections, when we embarked on this ‘Do or Die’ Battle of Tanjung II, we did not want to die although we are prepared to die for our cause.
I stressed that the DAP was prepared to take the risk of the Tanjung II slate of candidates of the Magnificent Six being crushed or wiped out, and in the process, also the risk of the DAP being wiped out of the political scene in Penang.
In the events, although the DAP did not succeed in our Tanjung II objective, we were not wiped out or crushed. In actual fact, we chalked up greater success then in the Tanjung I Battle of 1986, increasing our previous 10 Assemblymen to 14, while maintaining the number of six DAP MPs from Penang. Even more important, DAP has denied the Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority in the Assembly.
I want here to express my deep appreciation for the great support and encouragement by the people in Tanjung and in Penang, as well as throughout the country, asking me to reconsider my decision to resign as DAP Secretary-General.
I feel very humbled by the great expectations of the people in Penang and Malaysia, and their warmth, concern, encouragement and support will be a great source of inspiration for me in the long and hard days of the political struggle ahead.
I want to make an announcement and a call at this function in Tanjung tonight.
I want tonight to announce the Battle of Tanjung III, and I call on all Malaysians who had supported the Battle of Tanjung II, to join in this new Battle of Tanjung III to fulfill what we missed so narrowly in Tanjung II to bring about change in Penang and in Malaysia.
Call on the People not only to support but to join in the Battle of Tanjung III for political change in Penang and Malaysia
I call on all DAP leaders, members and the millions of Malaysians who have supported the Battle of Tanjung II, the work and dedicate themselves to the Battle of Tanjung III.
The political terrain and circumstances will be more uphill and difficult in the Battle of Tanjung III, but with perserverance, indomitable spirit and courage, backed up by the full and continuing support of the people, there is still hope.
The DAP has achieved major political breakthrough in the 1990 general elections, whether in Penang or other parts of Malaysia – although we have also suffered setbacks reverses.
We must plan further major political breakthroughs if we are to achieve Tanjung III.
If Tanjung III is to succeed, we ask the people not only to continue to give their support, but to involve themselves in the battle and make the Tanjung III not just a DAP objective and struggle, but the objective and struggle of the people of Penang and Malaysia who want change in Penang and Malaysia.
The people’s full support, participation and involvement in the Battle of Tanjung III will go a long way to neutralize the more adverse political circumstances and scenario we will have to face when compared to the Battle of Tanjung II.
One very positive aspect has emerged after the 1990 general elections, and this is a greater political awareness of the people of their rights and the need for political change.
I have today, for instance, received a letter from a Penangite who wanted to make five points about the political scenario today, which he wanted to be made known to the Barisan Nasional leaders and the public. These five points are:
1. The Government can build the tallest Komtar or the longest bridge, but only, only just laws build nations;
2. The Police can prevent the public from talking about government policies, but no one can stop a voter from casting is vote (verdict) on polling day;
3. The OSA (Official Secrets Act) can seal people’s mouth from talking in public, but not in secret, at home, where they will talk when constitutional freedom and human rights are restricted.
4. Ruling politicians can always threaten national security, create tension (play with innocent lives) before they go into campaigns, but change their stance when victory is won.
5. The leaders can bluff some people all the time or all the people some of the time but not all people all the time.
I see greater consciousness, awareness and awakening among the people about their political rights and duties as a result of the Tanjung 2 general elections.
Let us, together, march into the Battle of Tanjung III, to bring about change in Penang and in Malaysia, to save democracy, restore human rights, establish socio-economic justice, eliminate corruption and build a genuinely united multi-racial Malaysian nation.