An Open Letter to the 14,000 Voters of Prai

An Open Letter to the 14,000 Voters of Prai

By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Thursday, 25th July 1991

Ten Reasons Why the 14,000 Voters of Prai Should Vote for Karpal Singh on Saturday

With the Prai by-election coming to an end, with the voting on Saturday, it is clear that the DAP beats the Barisan in three areas but loses in one area.

In the contest of man-for-man, party-for-party and policy-for-policy, the Barisan Nasional is no match to the DAP, and the Barisan Nasional have virtually conceded as much as their leaders dare not take up the DAP challenge to a public debate on these three areas.

In fact, it is more than man-for-man contest in Prai, as a man-save-man situation, for Karpal Singh had saved the Barisan Nasional candidate, V. Muthusamy, from a perjury charge which would have destroyed Muthusamy’s legal career and life chances, without taking a single cent from him.

V. Muthusamy not only dare not compare with Karpal Singh, he dare not disclose his own past – trying desperately to hide the fact that he was a Police Inspector.

This is the second dishonourable thing he had done in the by-election. The first dishonourable thing is to ‘bite the hand’ that saved him, by launching a Barisan Nasional character-assassination against his ‘benefactor’, Karpal Singh.

Call on V. Muthusamy to make public apology to the entire police force for dishonouring their career and service by his conduct in the by-election

The second dishonourable thing is to attempt to hide his past as a Police Inspector, as if being a police officer is a most shameful and disgraceful period of his life. By doing so, he had dishonoured all the police officers and personnel in the country.

I would call on V. Muthusamy to publicly apologise to the entire police force and all those who had served in the Police force in the past for dishonouring their career and service by his conduct in the by-election.

The third dishonourable thing in the Prai by-election was committed by the Barisan Nasional leaders.

The Gerakan, MCA and UMNO leaders all privately admit that V. Muthusamy is not fit and suitable person to be the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Prai by-election, and this is why they have instructed Muthusamy to play an insignificant role in the by-election and virtually not to say anything at all!

In fact, the whole strategy of the Gerakan, MCA and UMNO Prai by-election campaign is to make the voters of Prai forget that their candidate is V. Muthusamy but just to vote for the politics of money of the Barisan Nasional.

Koh Tsu Koon has no power to make Muthusamy if elected a Penang state Exco member, but he has the power to pretend that Muthusamy is State Exco member

It is dishonest and dishonourable for the Barisan Nasional leaders to promote a candidate they privately admit is completely unsuitable and unqualified to be a candidate, and try to make the voters of Prai believe that V. Muthusamy is the greatest man ever born in Penang!

The Barisan Nasional myth-making reaches a new height when the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, announced yesterday that if elected, V. Muthusamy would virtually be a Penang State Exco Member without being a member of the Exco! What Dr. Koh means is that he has no power to appoint V. Muthusamy as a Penang State Exco Member, but he has the power to pretend that V. Muthusamy is a State Exco member!

In the three areas of man-for-man, party-for-party, policy-for-policy, the DAP beats the Barisan Nasional. But in the area of money-for-money, the Barisan Nasional is the undisputed winner.

As a winding-up to the DAP campaign in the Prai by-election, I call on the people of Prai to vote for Sdr. Karpal Singh and the DAP on Saturday for ten solid reasons:

One: To endorse the DAP by-election theme that political leaders in Malaysia must take political integrity, morality, responsibility and accountability seriously, and that we must put an end not only to the ten new financial scandals of the Barisan Nasional, but to Malaysia’s long history of political, financial and moral scandals of top government leaders;

Two: To declare the people’s opposition to the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill which will deprive the property rights and property of Malaysians and be the mother of all corruption, abuses of power, conflicts-of-interest and malpractices in the next few decades.

Three: To declare that development is the right of all Malaysians, regardless of race and political support because the people are citizens and taxpayers; and that the Barisan Nasional should not use the taxpayers’ money to blackmail for voter support;

Four: TO REGISTER strong protest against the State Government’s campaign of harassment, victimisation and persecution of the 20,000 hawkers in Penang and its refusal to abide by the Nasional Economic Consultative Council’s 11-Point New Deal for Hawkers;

Five: TO REGISTER strong protest against the rejection of the DAP motion in the State Assembly last December that the State Government make annual grants to the four Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.

Six: TO OPPOSE the Malacca State Government’s $8,17 million demand for Bukit China by Sept. 16 or face forfeiture; declare support for the DAP’s Second Save Bukit China campaign and protest against Dr. Koh Tsu Koon’s inviting Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Cik to the Prai by-election as a ‘star’ Barisan Nasional campaigner;

Seven: TO ELECT Karpal Singh as Assemblyman for Prai to

(i) PLACE a ‘Tiger of Prai’ in the Penang State Assembly to keep the Barisan Nasional Leaders on their toes;

(ii) EXPRESS support and appreciation for the political struggle and sacrifices of Karpal Singh, the foremost criminal and constitutional lawyer in the country who is prepared and has gone to jail for the rights of the people; and

(iii) ENCOURAGE more Karpal Singhs in Malaysian politics to fight against injustice, inequality and violation of human rights and to champion the people against the government.

Eight: TO DECLARE that Penang wants a Chief Minister with real powers, and to give a mandate to Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to alter the distribution of the Penang State Exco from the present four Gerakan and five UMNO to five Gerakan and four UMNO members;

Nine: TO BE FORERUNNER of the Battle of Tanjung 3 in the next general elections to bring about real and meaningful political change in Penang; and

Ten: TO WRITE Malaysian history so that Prai will be remembered and recorded in Malaysian political annals as the first constituency and people who pioneered the political movement for change, justice, equality and freedom in Malaysia in the 1990s; and where the people of Prai have reason to hold their heads high wherever they go in Malaysia for their great political ‘miracle’ of ensuring that although the odds of by-elections are always stacked in favour of the Barisan Nasional government, they could unite to ensure a DAP victory.