Mahathir would have no choice but to bring forward the general elections to the end of the of the year if the Anwar – Ghafar power struggle gets out of control

Speech (Part3) by Parliament Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the opening of the Penang DAP State Convention at Towne House Conference Hall on Sunday, 22nd August, 1993 at 10a.m.

Mahathir would have no choice but to bring forward the general elections to the end of the of the year if the Anwar – Ghafar power struggle gets out of control

The Anwar-Ghafar battle for the UMNO Deputy Presidency in November to become the Deputy Prime Minister and next Prime Minister is a foregone conclusion.

Anwar Ibrahim should make the public announcement in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow that he is making a hid for the UMNO Deputy Presidency.

The DAP is not interested in Anwar-Ghafar UMNO ‘Battle of the Decade’ and we will not side one against the other, as this is an issue which has to be decided solely by the UMNO delegates and not by outsiders.

However, as the backbones of the Barisan Nasional coalition government, where the Anwar-Ghafar power struggle can affect political events and developments in the country, not only the DAP but every Malaysian must be concerned.

Firstly, there is a possibility that the UMNO ‘Battle of the Decade’ will become even more intensive and fractious than the 1987 UMNO battle, which could adversely affect UMNO’s performance in the next general elections.

Firstly, there is a distinct possibility that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir, may forestall this eventuality by bringing forward national general elections to the end of this year, and postponing the UMNO General Assembly elections till 1994.

There are of course other factors, like the possibility of Sabah general elections and the problem of money politics, but the Anwar-Ghafar UMNO ‘Battle of the Decade’ will be the primary reason if general elections are not held after April next year – as in the original game-plan of Dr. Mahathir – but held later this year.

This will of course mean that Dr. Mahathir has lost control of events both inside UMNO and the country, but he may regard this preferable to keeping to the original schedule of UMNO General Assembly elections in November.

For this reason, DAP in Penang and throughout the country must be prepared for general elections in the last quarter of this year.

DAP’s Battle of Tanjong 3 in the hands of the people of Penang

The DAP’s Battle of Tanjong 3 is the DAP’s second attempt to capture power in Penang State. The Battle of Tanjong 1 in 1986 made no attempt to capture Penang state power, as it concerned the battle in the Tanjong parliamentary constituency.

In the Battle of Tanjong 2 in the 1990 general elections, the DAP missed state power by mere three seats.

DAP’s Battle of Tanjong 3 is in the hands of the people of Penang – but we want every person in Penang who has the right to vote to make this decision by first registering as a voter before the end of the voter registration exercise in three days’ time on August 25.

The DAP has received positive response from the people of Penang to our ‘Be a Voter for Tanjong 3’ campaign, and we hope that the people of Penang will unite and take a firm stand in the next general elections to regain the right to determine our own future in Penang state.

Call on Tsu Koon to promise that the State Government will not charge any premium for the re-alienation of forfeited land for the 108-year old Bukit Mertajam Hock Teng Cheng God temple

Recently, the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon has repeatedly shown that he is not a ‘master’ of events in the Penang State Government and Penang State.

The latest example is the forfeiture of the land of the 108-year-old Bukit Mertajam Hock Teng Cheng God temple.

After being exposed as completely ignorant about the forfeiture of the temple land, Tsu Koon came out with the remarkable statement that the government had “deliberately forfeited” the land to re-sell it to at the lowest nominal price to the owners so as to indirectly help them to legalise their land.

In this particular case, Tsu Koon is suggesting dividing the 108-year-old temple land into two titles, one for religious use and the other for commercial purposes.

Can Tsu Koon promise that the government will not charge any premium for the re-alienation of the temple land back to the temple trustees? Or will Bukit Mertajam Hock Teck Cheng God Temple have to pay a high premium for the re-alienated land as well as exorbitant quit rent for the ‘commercial’ portion of the land?

DAP calls on Koh Tsu Koon to return the land forfeited from the Mak Mandin Tamil School PTA Trustees meant for Mak Mandin primary School

In this connection, I call on Tsu Koon to honour his statement last Wednesday that the Penang State Government would not forfeit the land of lawful religious and civic organisations, and that even if the land forfeiture had taken place, this was merely a procedural matter and the land would be returned to the original owners.

The Penang State Government had forfeited the land of the Mak Mandin Tamil School Parent-Teachers Association Trustees [Suratan Hakmilik HS(D) 1574] under Section 100 of the National Land Code in a gazette notification of 23rd April 1992.

This land is meant for Mak Mandin Tamil primary school and construction of the school, contributed primarily by donations from the local Indian community, is in the advanced stage of completion.

It is most unfair on the part of the Penang State Government to forfeit the land when the school construction was under progress, and Dr .Koh Tsu Koon should give a public assurance that the State Government would return the land title to the Mak Mandin Tamil School PTA trustees.

Keng Yaik is absolutely right that if DAP succeeds in Tanjong 3, it will be the end and collapse of Gerakan

Recently, Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik warned that if DAP’S Tanjong 3 project succeeds in the next general elections, it will be the end and collapse of Gerakan.

Keng Yaik is absolutely right. However, Keng Yaik has forgotten that even in Penang at present, Gerakan has a Chief Minister not because of the support of the people, but because of the support of UMNO.

In the past, Keng Yaik used to poke fun at MCA leaders as lacking legitimacy to represent the Malaysians Chinese. Today, Keng Yeik and Gerakan have become the butt of jokes for lacking the legitimacy to govern Penang state.

MCA is caught in dilemma in Penang. On the one hand, they do not mind at all if Gerakan collapses and is wiped out of the Penang political scene, as the future will be a direct fight between the MCA and DAP. However, on the other hand, MCA is afraid that it might not be able to win back even a single one of all the seats it lost in Penang in the next elections.