Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Miri DAP Branch dinner to celebrate Sarawak DAP 15th Anniversary held in Miri on Wednesday, June 2, 1993 at 8 p.m.
DAP reiterates that it remains unswervingly committed to Malaysia as a democratic secular state and will not compromise in its opposition to any attempt to create an Islamic state in Malaysia
On this current tour of Sarawak to take apart in Sarawak DAP’s 15th anniversary celebrations, I want to reiterate that after 27 years of political struggle, the DAP remains unswervingly committed to the goal of a democratic secular Malaysia and we will not compromise in our opposition to any attempt to create an Islamic State in Malaysia.
An Islamic State in Malaysia will be a gross violation of the democratic and constitutional rights of the non-Muslim Malaysians, and the present division of Malaysians into bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras will be replaced by a new dichotomy between Muslims and non-Muslims.
In an Islamic state, non-Muslim Malaysians will become second-class citizens for they will be denied the right to participate in the highest decision-making processes in government, which would be reserved to Muslims only.
The DAP’s record in the past 27 years in our commitment and sacrifices for a democratic and scular Malaysia is one which could not be matched by any other political party in the country, and we are rightly proud that DAP leaders in Sarawak and Malaysia had made such great contributions in the defence of a democratic and secular Malaysia in the last three decades.
Sarawak DAP asked to propose a special resolution on Sarawak to mark Sarawak DAP’s 15th anniversary at the DAP National Congress in Kuala Lumpur on November 27 and 28
I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Sarawak DAP leaders, cadres, members and supporters who have made Sarawak DAP’s 15 years since our establishment in 1978 so memorable and challenging, not only to ourselves but also to Sarawak and Malaysian politics.
I have asked Sarawak DAP State Committee to propose a special resolution on Sarawak to mark Sarawak DAP’s 15th Anniversary at the DAP National Congress in Kuala Lumpur on November 27 and 28.
My greatest disappointment is that in the last 15 years, Sarawak DAO has not been able to make a breakthrough in the Sarawak State general elections to send Sarawak DAP Assemblymen to the Sarawak Legislative Assembly to act as a ‘watch-dog’ over the rights and interests of the people of Sarawak.
Although this has been a great disappointment and setback to DAP leaders, the people of Sarawak have suffered and lost even more from our inability to create a breakthrough to send the DAP into the Sarawak State Assembly.
In the last few days visiting Kuching, Sarikei, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri, I have come across shocking government abuses of power, whether through the Sarawak state government or through state agencies like the Land Custodial Development Authority (LCDA) and the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) which would not be countenanced or tolerated in the other states in Peninsular Malaysia.
The root cause of this situation is that the Barisan Nasional State Government in Peninsular Malaysia have to take into account the presence of an effective and articulate Opposition in the State Assemblies – which is not the case in Sarawak.
If there are DAP Assemblymen in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly to expose state government abuses of power and wrongdoings, the Sarawak State Government and its various state agencies would not dare to be so blatant and high-handed in their disregard of the basic rights of ordinary Sarawakians.
The RM 16 billion Bank Negara foreign exchange losses could be used to build ten Trans-Borneo Highways linking Kuching to Kota Kinabalu
Last Sunday, I had to wait for some three hours to cross the ferry in the road journey from Sibu to Sarikei, and I am told that in the road journey between Miri and Bintulu, there is half an hour where motorists have to traverse a gravel stretch.
It is most shocking that after 30 years of joining Malaysia, there is still no Trans-Borneo Highway linking Kota Kinabalu and the other Sabah towns.
I understand that it would cost RM 1.6 billion to build such a Trans-Borneo Highway. With the mysterious RM billion Bank Negara foreign exchange losses last year, ten Trans-Borneo Highways could be built in all four directions – north, south, east and west!
DAP prepared to challenge the unconstitutional rule requiring a foreign wife ti reside in Malaysia for 17 years before she could apply for citizenship if there are foreign wives who are prepared to be plaintiffs
DAP had always been in the forefront in the defence of the democratic and constitutional rights of Malaysians.
This was why the DAP had taken many legal; actions against the Government, including the famous suit against the Election Commission for illegally and unconstitutionally undertaking a review of the redelineation of the electoral constituencies in the country last November.
The Election Commission had challenged the DAP to take it to court if we contend that the Election Commission had violated the Constitution and the democratic principle of ‘one-man, one-vote’, but when I filed legal action against the Elections Commission on behalf of the DAP, the Election Commission surrendered and cancelled its gazette notification on the constituency redelineation exercise.
Two days ago, I had said that the Home Ministry had acted unconstitutionally in requiring foreign wives of Malaysian citizens to reside in Malaysia for 17 years before they could apply for citizenship.
Article 19 of the Federal Constitution lays down a 12-year rule, that anyone who had resided permanently in Malaysia for 10 out of the preceding 12 years could apply for Malaysian citizenship.
In utter violation of this 12-year rule in the Malaysian Constitution, the government had extended this rule by five years to 17 years, by the administrative decision not to recognize the foreign wife’s residence in Malaysia as ‘permanent residence’ until she had resided in Malaysia for five years under ‘social visit pass’.
If this unconstitutional precedent is allowed, then in future, the government can easily extend the illegal 17 year rule to a 20-year rule, by the simple administrative expedient of requiring a foreign wife to stay in Malaysia for 10 years under ‘social visit pass’ before she could apply for permanent residence and red identity card.
Such administrative decisions violate the Federal Constitution and cannot withstand a legal and constitutional challenge in the courts.
The DAP is prepared to challenge the unconstitutional 17-year rule for foreign wives if there are foreign wives who are prepared to come forward to become plaintiffs against the Government.