Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the official opening of the Perak DAP State leadership ‘Party Reform’ conference held at YMCA Hall, Ipoh on Sunday, 5th January 1992 at 10 a.m.
Perak will be the main focus of attack of the MCA on the DAP
The 24-month DAP Party Reform which the party has launched is multi-faceted, with both internal and external dimensions.
Internally, it is to carry out a wide-ranging review, reform, revitalisation and reinvigoration of the Party to recommit and reaffirm Party leaders at all levels and party members to the DAP struggle for a just and equal Malaysia.
Externally, it is to prepare the DAP to face the political challenges in the country and a fast-changing world.
Perak will be the main focus of attack of the MCA in the next three years, because the MCA could aim for the four Parliamentary and 13 State Assembly seats held by the DAP/
For the DAP, we must not only ensure that we can maintain and protect our existing four Parliamentary and 13 State Assembly seats in Perak, but with the co-operation of Semangat 46, make new inroads to present the greatest political threat to the Barisan Nasional in Perak in the next general elections.
The 24-month Party Reform is to ensure that the Party identify and deal with the many weaknesses, problems and rigidities that are unavoidable for any Party after 25 years, so that the Party will become more cohesive, effective and powerful political force.
This is the time for Party branches, leaders and members to express their views, unhappiness and even grievances so that they can be extensively discussed in the Party but these must be carried out within the four walls of the Party without flouting Party discipline or allow our political enemies to exploit them for their own party political ends.
I will be the first to defend the right of any Party member or official to raise his views, unhappiness and even grievances within the normal party channels, but once he crossed the line in flouting Party discipline, as for instance, being more interested in making a public issue which would allow our political enemies to exploit the matter against the DAP. Ten I have no time for him.
The position of CEC members becoming State Committee members and subsequently holding State leadership position is provided for under the Party Constitution, and any controversy could have been resolved through the proper internal Party Channels.
There is nothing sinister in the provision of CEC members becoming State Committee members, for the intention was to allow more people to take part in the State leadership.
Perak in fact is not the fist state where CEC members became State committee members and State officials under this provision in the Party Constitution, but it was never made into a public issue as in Perak.
The fact that the Central Executive Committee is prepared to accept proposals for a change of this provision shows that there is room for internal debate and change. In fact, the proposal to make this change in the Party Constitution was made by the CEC constitutional sub-committee comprising Sdr.Karpal Singh, Sdr.P.Patto and Sdr.Kerk Kim Hock, and it will only come into effect in the party elections in the next State Conventions.
But the whole scenario changes when party discipline is flouted and this issue is made into a public issue in utter disregard of the Party’s image and reputation.
When this happens, then it becomes strictly a matter for the Disciplinary Committee.