By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Tuesday, 31st August 1993:
Mahathir’s condemnation of absolute freedom should not used as an excuse to violate democratic freedoms and human rights of Malaysians
In his national Day message, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohemed, returned to one of his favourite topics – condemnation of the Western democracy for its conspiracy to undermine Malaysia by wanting Malaysia to practice absolutre freedom.
I agree with Dr Mahathir that there can be no absolute freedom in Malaysia of it would be anarchy. However, Mahathir’s condemnation of absolute freedom should not used be used as an excused to violate democratic freedoms and human rights of Malaysians.
Malaysians who demand greater democratic rights as in wanting greater government oppeness and accountability; higher standards of public integrity and an all out war against corruption, breach of trust, abuse of power and unethical practices among political and government leaders, removal of the repressive laws which violated the fundamental rights of Malaysians to free speech, assembly and association; a meaningful Parliament which is the highest legislative and political chamber of the land and not just a rubber stamp of the Executive, the restoration of the independence of the Judiciary and the rule of law are not asking for absolute freedom but basic and Fundamental freedoms without which democracy does not have meaning.
I find it a great disappointment that in Dr Mahathir’s National Day Message, there was no word about the need for national unity and resolve to fight corruption and money politic, which have reached alarming proportions in Malaysia.
I agree with Dr Mahathir that National Day is a day for us to look back on our struggle for independence sa as to give our independence greater meaning.
Malaysia’s Independence would not be meaningful if corruption and money politics palces are allowed to rob Malaysians of their right to the fruits of their contribution in national development.
Malaysians should make use of the 1993 National Day to ponder hard and seriously whether it is beyond the ability, will and moral fibre of Malaysians to make Malaysia a corruption free society?