By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday,10th March 1993:
DAP calls on the Government to repeal all repressive laws which has created a culture of fear among the people and stunted the growth of a full democracy in Malaysia
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, said in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that after the 1993 Constitution Amendment Bill became law, it would remove the culture of fear which had obstructed the implementation of the rule of law in cases involving the loyalty.
This is in fact the reason why the DAP MPs voted for the 1993 Constitution Amendment Bill yesterday and abstained during the special Parliamentary sitting on January 19.
DAP had fully declared out support for the principles ad provisions of the 1993 Constitution Amendment Bill in the January Parliamentary meeting, but had abstained because without the consent of the Conference of Rulers ads required by the Constitution, the Bill could not become valid law.
DAP voted in support of the Constitution Amendment Bill yesterday because with the fulfilment of the constitutional requirement with regard to the consent of the Conference of Rulers, the stage has been set where the Bill could become valid law.
The 1993 Constitution Amendment Bill should be the first step to completely remove the culture of fear in Malaysia. Everyone must acknowledge that the culture of fear over the royalty was not the only obstruction to a full democratisation in Malaysia.
Democratisation and the restoration of the democratic rights of the people would not be complete unless all conditions which has instilled a culture of fear among the people are removed.
In fact, many Malaysians are afraid to openly discuss ‘politics’ for fear that they would fall foul of the government, either losing their liberties or be victimised.
For this reason, DAP calls on the Government to take a policy decision to repeal all repressive and draconian laws which has created a culture a fear and stunted the growth of democracy in Malaysia, such as the Internal Security Act, the Official Secrets Act, the Sedition Act and the Printing Presses and Publication Presses and Publications Act.
Gerakan should explain why it propounded the highly pernicious doctrine in Parliament that constitutional guarantees on mother-tongue languages ad citizenship rights of non-Malays are not entrenched constitutional clauses
Gerakan should explain why it had propounded the highly pernicious doctrine in Parliament yesterday that constitutional guarantees on mother-tongue languages and citizenship rights of non-Malays are not entrenched constitutional clauses.
This stand was propounded in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday an behalf of the Gerakan by its MP for Nibong Tebal, Dominic Puthucheary, who clearly had the prior approval of the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Deputy President, Kerk Choo Ting.
The Gerakan is the first party in the country to challenge the entrenched constitutional status of mother-tongue languages under Article 152 and the citizenship rights of the non-Malays under Part III of the Malaysian Constitution.
Entrenched constitutional clauses are different from ordi¬nary clauses in the constitution in that they could only be repealed or amended if they fulfil two conditions: firstly, a two-thirds majority support in Parliament and secondly, the consent of the Conference of Rulers.
Gerakan owes a full and clear explanation why it had volun¬tarily surrendered the entrenched constitutional status of mother-¬tongue languages and citizenship rights of non-Malays, and the ration¬ale for such a startling policy change by Gerakan.
If Puthucheary’ s view in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday does not represent the policy of Gerakan, then the Gerakan leadership should openly repudiate it.