Prai by-election Press Conference Statement (3) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Saturday, July 20, 1991 at 11.30 a.m.
Call on Dr. Ibrahim Saad and Datuk Samy Vellu not to play the irresponsible racist line to win the Prai by-election
The Barisan Nasional leaders are playing the irresponsible racist line to win the Prai by-election.
The Barisan Nasional campaign workers have been instructed to create an anti-Sikh feeling among the Tamils in Prai in their attempt to defeat DAP candidate, Karpal Singh.
The Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Ibrahim Saad, asked in a ceramah whether the Indians remember who killed former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and answered himself that it was a Singh who killed Indira Gandhi.
MIC President, Datuk Samy Vellu, said the Prai by-election is a battle between the Indian community and the DAP.
On the ground, Barisan Nasional workers said that Karpal Singh had oppressed the Tamils and denied P. Patto the chance to contest in Prai, making the MIC the champion of Patto against Karpal.
I am very sad that 34 years after Merdeka, at a time when the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, is talking about his Vision of 2020 for a fully united and developed Malaysia, Barisan Nasional leaders can resort to such low and contemptible racist tactics just to win a by-election.
I call on Dr. Ibrahim Saad and Datuk Samy Vellu to stop being a racist and stop their racialist campaigning in Prai.
The DAP fights for all all Malaysians, who are oppressed and downtrodden, regardless of race. Political leaders like Dr. Ibrahim Saad and Datuk Samy Vellu must be more responsible and not resort to communal and chauvinistic tactices for short-term political advantage.
Patto had never been considered for Prai by-election because he did not have the residential qualification_
After the DAP Central Executive Committee decided to accept S. Asamaley’s resignation as Prai Assemblyman, the DAP had only one candidate for the Prai by-election, and that is Karpal Singh.
Patto was not considered for the Prai by-election seat, although he would also be very qualified as a political leader, because he would not fulfil the residential qualification for State Assembly elections. This is because Patto would have to be a Penang resident to qualify to stand for a state assembly seat in Penang.
It was too late change Patto’s residential qualification for the purposes of contesting in the Prai by-election. If Patto had been nominated, Datuk Samy Vellu would be the happiest man, for the Barisan Nasional would be able to get Patto’s nomination papers disqualified on the ground of not complying with the residential qualification.
It is pathetic to see how politically bankrupt the Barisan Nasional has become that it is trying to create a rift between Karpal and Patto. Both Karpal and Patto are very close comrades-at-arms, and both went through the Operation Lallang ISA detention together in Kamunting Detention Centre.
In fact, right from the beginning, Patto has made it clear that Karpal would be the most suitable candidate in Prai, and he offered to base himself in Prai to campaign for Karpal, which is what he had been doing well before Nomination Day.