Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the ceramah-dialogue of the DAP delegation to Kelantan for the Chinese of Gua Musang and Pulai held at Pulai community hall on Sunday, 26th January 1992 at 8p.m.
Even if 100 per cent of the Chinese voters in Kelantan had voted for the Barisan Nasional, the BN would have also lost by 39-0 in the October 1990 Kelantan State Assembly general elections.
In the past few months, MCA and Gerakan leaders have accused the DAP, and myself in particular, for being responsible for PAS coming into power in Kelantan by influencing the Chinese voters to vote for PAS in the October 1990 general elections with the call for a two-coalition system and the slogan for ‘CHANGE’.
MCA and Gerakan want the people of Kelantan and Malaysia to believe that if not for the DAP, the PAS-led government in the Kelantan State would not have come into power, and that the DAP must therefore be held responsible for all the Islamisation policies and measures in Kelantan.
I never knew until the MCA and Gerakan propaganda attacks of the past few months that I was so powerful that I could single-handedly ensure the election of the PAS-led government in Kelantan.
The Chinese in Kelantan represented only five per cent of the population and the electorate. Even if this entire ‘five per cent of Chinese voters in Kelantan’ had voted for the Barisan Nasional, the BN would still have lost by 39-0 in the Kelantan State elections in 1990!
Ordinary MCA members and officials in Kelantan understand this electoral arithmetic in Kelantan and know that it is utter nonsense for anyone to make such an allegation against the DAP, especially as the DAP had never co-operated with PAS nor even called on the Chinese to vote for PAS in the 1990 general elections. It is a pity and a shame that MCA and Gerakan national leaders, led by the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the Gerakan President , Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, do not understand this elementary political fact and are continuing to mislead the people into believing that I had single-handedly brought PAS into power in Kelantan.
DAP delegation to Kelantan is not to defend the policies and measures of the PAS-led Kelantan State Government.
The DAP delegation has come to Kelantan not to defend the policies and measures of the PAS-led Kelantan State Government.
The DAP will always be consistent and will criticise and oppose Islamisation measures which infringe on the rights and interests of the non-Muslim Malaysians, whether they come from PAS or UMNO Government.
However, we want to verify the facts before we criticise the Islamisation measures which infringe on the rights and interests of the non-Muslim Malaysians, and this is the reason for the three-day visit of the DAP Delegation to Kelantan.
After our arrival in Kota Bahru, we visited Pasir Mas, Tanah Merah, Machang, Kuala Krai and now Pulai and Gua Musang.
The MCA and Gerakan leaders have told the country that the Chinese in Kelantan have been ‘oppressed’ and ‘persecuted’ by the Kelantan State Government, giving the impression that the Chinese in Kelantan are now even worse off than the Chinese in Indonesia at the worst anti-Chinese periods of Indonesia.
We wanted to hear and find out from the Chinese of Kelantan how they had been ‘persecuted’ and ‘oppressed’ by the PAS-led Kelantan State Government, and the Islamisation measures which had infringed on their rights and interests.
One thing is very clear. There is widespread and genuine apprehension and fear among the Chinese in Kelantan about a host of Islamisation measures which might be implemented by the PAS-led Kelantan State Government in future, such as:
*Cessation of business on Fridays and during Muslim prayer times;
*Ban on public sale and consumption of alcohol from July onwards; and
*Compulsory requirement of the use of Jawi on signboards and advertisements.
I agree that these three measures are most unreasonable and would seriously infringe the rights and interests of the Chinese and non-Muslims in Kelantan.
If the PAS State Government compels all Chinese businesses to use Jawi on signboards, it will antagonise the entire Chinese community in Kelantan and Malaysian for it is regarded as ‘taboo’ by the Chinese to have to take down a business signboard after it had been put up.
However, these are not measures which had already been implemented, but might be implemented in future because of conflicting announcements and statements by Kelantan State Exco members.
The DAP delegation will raise these issues with the Kelantan Mentri Besar, Haji Nik Aziz Nik Mat, in our meeting on Tuesday to let the Kelantan State Government know the fears and aspirations of the Chinese in Kelantan so that the rights and interests of the Chinese community in the state could be respected by the State Government.
Up to now, I have not been able to get any information from our visits to Pasir Mas, Tanah Merah, Machang and Kuala Krai which could provide specific examples to prove that the Islamisation measures in Kelantan by the PAS-led State Government had infringed on the rights and interests of the Chinese community.
We were told in fact that while the MCA and Gerakan attacked the PAS-led Government for Islamisation measures, the breeding and slaughtering of pigs are permitted in Kelantan, while in Barisan National-governed Trengganu, pig rearing and slaughter had been disallowed!
I am still waiting for examples which I could use in my meeting with the Kelantan Mentri Besar on Tuesday to prove that the Islamisation measures of the Kelantan State Government had infringed on the rights and interests of the Chinese in Kelantan.