Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung. Lim Kit Siang, at the opening of the Pahang DAP State Leadership Workcamp at Pulau Tiona on Saturday, 20th April 1991 at 3p.m.
Kit Siang warns that there will be an orchestrated attempt by certain Barisan Nasional forces to create the impression that the DAP is disintegrating and ‘one foot in the grave’
I commend the Pahang DAP State leadership for its initiative in organising this State leadership workcamp in Pulau Tioman.
Malaysian politics in the 1990s will be even more challenging than the politics in the past 25 years when the DAP played a full part since our formation in 1966.
We will face the challenge and tests in the 1990s that we underwent in the past, as well as completely new ones.
For instance, I will like to warn party leaders, members and supporters of an orchestrated attempt by certain Barisan Nasioinal forces to created an impression that the DAP is disintegrating and ‘one foot in the grave’.
This is part of a grand design to paint the Opposition in a state of complete disarray after the most serious challenge to the Barisan Nasional in the last general elections in the form of Gagasan Rakyat which united Semangat 46, DAP, Parti Rakyat, IPF and others.
In past past few months, great efforts had been expended by the UMNO to foster the break-up of Semangat 46 by inducing Semangat 46 MPs and Assemblymen to default to UMNO. As far as a propaganda exercise, the UMNO had been very successful, for a day hardly passes without the controlled elections and printed media blaring about the departure of tens, hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands of Semangat 46 members to UMNO, as well as the dissolution of Semangat 48 branches.
This should be no surprises to discerning Malaysians, for this is the part of the ‘phantom culture’ of Malaysian politics, where phantom members and phantom branches of Opposition parties are given life in the Barisan Nasional-controlled media to create the impression that the days of the Opposition parties are numbered.
In our 28 years history, as have experienced such ‘phantom’ attack by the Barisan Nasional many times, where phantom members and branches compete with each other to leave the DAP. These would be times when anybody who claims to be a DAP member, or even a ‘supporter, can get into television news or newspaper front-page treatment by declaring that he is quitting the DAP for any variety of reasons.
It sometimes reached a stage when the Barisan National leaders even believed their own propaganda, and were very surprised that the DAP just simply refused to die and disappear from the Malaysian political scene.
In the early 1970s, the Deputy Prime Minister even declared that the DAP was ‘one foot in the grave’. This did not prevent the DAP from establishing in general election after general election that the DAP is the only true and authentic voice of Malaysians in the urban areas – and that the MCA, Gerakan and MIC were just political ‘parasites’ of UMNO.
I expect ^ attempts to be made in the coming days by certain Barisan Nasional forces to mount a new ‘phantom attack’ on the DAP, to create the impressions that the DAP is finally ‘one foot in the grave’.
An Opposition party in Malaysia, if it is to stand the test of time and stress, must survive such marauding ‘phantom’ attacks by the Barisan Nasional.
If the DAP, for instance, cannot survive such Barisan Nasional attacks, then the DAP does not deserve to continue to exist.