Call on DAP leaders and the DAP Publicity Committees to continue to be the eyes, ears and voice of the people

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Penang DAP Publicity Committee meeting at DAP Penang Hqrs, on 27th March, 1992 at 8 pm.

Call on DAP leaders and the DAP Publicity Committees to continue to be the eyes, ears and voice of the people.

The DAP’s publicity campaign has two objectives: Firstly, to be the eyes, ears and voice of the people, and secondly, to spread and explain the DAP’s political ideals, message and struggle.

It is important that all DAP publicity committees’ remember these two objectives for we must never follow the example of the perverted publicity objectives of the Gerakan and MCA.

It is clear from recent Gerakan and MCA statements, particularly those made in Penang, that their sole and only publicity objec¬tive is to tell lies and half-truths’ about the DAP in the hope of destroying the DAP credibility, image and standing among Malaysians.

DAP leaders’ and publicity committees must maintain a high standard of political integrity and principle. We must not tell lies and untruths even about our political opponents, even though they have been pouring lies and untruths about DAP leaders.

The DAP has struggled with and for the people of Malaysia for a more equal and just society, where we and our children, can hold our heads high, for over a quarter of a century. I have faith and confidence that the people are intelligent enough to differentiate between truth and lies, between the integrity, dedication and sacri¬fice of DAP leaders and the falsehoods, opportunism and selfishness’ of Gerakan and MCA leaders.

The Penang DAP publicity committee must make use of every possible opportunity to fulfil its two-fold objective to be the ears, eyes and voice of the people and to spread the word of the DAP.

There is no need however to respond to every statement of distortions, lies and falsehoods from the Gerakan and MCA. I believe the people are sophisticated enough to know when to stop reading the statements issued in the name of certain persons in Gerakan and MCA. For this reason, those people should be treated with the contempt they deserve and just be completely ignored!

I am still waiting for Tan Ghim Hwa’s reply whether he is prepared to set aside his two pensions for educa¬tional purposes.

We must expect Gerakan and MCA leaders to resort to personal attacks when they could not defend their political actions.

For instance, as part of his tactics to distract public attention from the scandal of the four-minute MPPP full Council meet¬ing, MPPP President Tan Ghim Hwa accused me of not using my pension as Malacca Assemblyman for educational purposes.

In response, I had disclosed that I had started to use my Malacca pension for educational purpose since 1988 when I was detained under the Internal Security Act in Kamunting Detention Centre and that I am helping six students, one at university level, one in college, two in secondary schools and two in primary schools with the pension I get as former Malacca Assemblyman.

I told Tan Ghim Hwa that if he wants the full details of these six students, i am prepared to give them to him, provided he has earned the right to ask for such details.

To earn this right,, he must he prepared to set aside his two pensions as former Penang State Executive Councillor and Penang State Assemblyman for educational purposes as well and backdate this to 1986.

If Tan Ghim Hwa, wants to keep every cent of his two pensions as former Penang State Executive Councillor and Penang State Assem¬blyman, apart from his salaries as MPPP President, Senator and his incomes from his accountant firm, then Tan Ghim Hwa has no right to ask me what I am doing with my pension as former Malacca Assemblyman.

I am still waiting for Tan Ghim Hwa’s reply whether he is prepared to set aside his two pensions for educational purposes. But Tan Ghim Hwa dare not reply and has asked totally credited Gerakan members to pursue his personal attacks against me.

DAP is not worried about Gerakan and MCA statements but Gerakan and MCA are very worried about DAP statements.

The DAP is not worried or concerned about Gerakan and MCA statements, but the Gerakan and MCA
are very worried about DAP state¬ments.

This is because DAP statements are made not only in the name of the DAP, but with the support of one million voters as well as 80 per cent of the Chinese voters in the country. Furthermore, DAP statements address issues of grave concern and express the deep-seated hopes and aspirations of the people.

This is why DAP statements are taken seriously by national, state and local government leaders unlike Gerakan and MCA statements.

A survey of the issues taken up by the DAP recently is a good illustration.

DAPSY was the first to publicly oppose the FIC proposed new guidelines, forcing the MCA to take a stand.

For instance, it was DAPSY which was the first to publicly express opposition to the Foreign Investment Committee’s (FIC) pro¬posed new guidelines regulating both local and foreign investments as it would drive away investments from the country.

This forced the MCA to take a stand and four days later, the MCA on 8th March 1992 echoed its concern about the FIC’s proposed new guidelines. To the MCA’s credit, it leaders took a stand unlike the Gerakan, which had no stand on the issue.

There is no doubt that the DAP and DAPSY’s repeated demand for the withdrawal, of the FIC’s proposed new guideline stressing that they could do even greater economic damage than the Industrial Coordination Act in the 1980s, is one important reason for the Cabinet decision last Wednesday to withdraw the FIC’s proposed new guidelines.

The second example is the DAP’s current campaign to get the Cabinet to give a commitment to 15 million Malaysians that in the change for new identity cards, no blue identity-card holder would lose his citizenship status and be given a red identity card because of spelling or clerical errors in decades-old documents which are difficult or even impossible to correct.
A third example is the DAP’s stand over the unusually bad results this year for the SPM Bahasa Malaysia paper for certain top schools in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, resulting in over 1,000 students appealing for a re-marking of the SPM Bahasa Malaysia Paper. At first the Education Ministry said that it would take three months to com¬plete the re-marking of the SPM Bahasa Malaysia, which will cause grave disruptions to those who are entitled to join Form Six classes.

After a DAP protest, the three-month period was reduced by half. The DAP is still not satisfied as we believe that there is no reason why the results of these appeals could not be released by the end of April
if the Examinations Syndicate is competent and efficient.

Similarly, the DAP statements on the need to declare war on the triple ills of the MPPP ‘decadence, impotence and inefficiency’ and the scandals of the four-minute and 14-minute MPPP full Council
meetings have opened public eyes as to the very sorry state affairs in the MPPP where there is no sense of responsibility, accountability and transparency.

This can only be to the good of the 600,000 ratepayers of the Penang Island, although it may not be welcome either to the MPPP President, Tan Ghim Hwa or the 24 MPPP Councillors.

The public interest, however, must always come before self or group interests in public issues and business.