Speech(Part 2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the Perak DAP State Committee meeting in Ipoh on Sunday , January 9, 1994 at 8pm.
DAP will lose all its four Parliamentary seats in Perak if the next general elections is worse than the 1982 general elections
In the 1990 general elections , DAP won four Parliamentary and 13 State Assembly seats in Perak. If the next general elections is going to be the worst general elections for the DAP – and even worse than the 1982 general elections results – as being forecast by the MCA and political analysts, then the DAP will lose all its four Parliamentary seats in Perak when Parliament is dissolved any time after June this year.
The DAP Perak State Committee must be prepared to face the challenge of this worst-scene scenario and draw up a general elections strategy with two objectives:
Firstly , to prove this forecast wrong ; and
Secondly, to create a greater breakthrough than the 1990 general elections by winning more than four Parliamentary and 13 State Assembly Seats.
In drawing up such a general elections strategy for Perak, we must be realistic and admit that the Barisan Nasional will enjoy immense advantages in the next general elections because of the good economy, the bullish stock market, liberalization in certain aspects of the government’s economic and education policies and the redelineation of the electoral constituencies by the Election Commission.
MCA leaders will be telling the people that they must vote the Barisan Nasional candidates in the next general elections and reject the DAP so that the government could continue with its liberalization policies.
DAP must be able expose the fallacy of these arguments.
Firstly , wile the Malaysian economy is good , the Malaysian economy should have been better given Malaysia’s potential. In fact , Malaysia should should have joined the ranks of the four ‘ little dragons’ if not be their leader , as Malaysia was second only to Japan in Asia in economic development when we achieved independence in 1957.
However , Malaysia squandered away our resources and potential and allowes the four ‘ little dragons’ not only to catch up but to leave us far behind in economic development.
As an example, let us take Taiwan. In 1967 , Malaysia ‘s per capita GNP at US$290 was higher than Taiwan which was only US $250.
Today, Malaysia’s per capita GNP is US $ 3,280 while Taiwan’s per capita had shot to US 9,805.
Under Vision 2020, Malaysia aims to increase income per capita by four times in 30 year from 1990 to 2020 – which is to achieve Taiwan ‘s present income level.
We thus find Malaysia in the ridiculous situation where 30 years ago, we have a higher income level than the Taiwanese, and now trying to achieve Taiwan’s present income level after 30 years in the year 2,020.
This is the magnitude of the waste of the golden opportunities for Malaysia’s economic development in the last two decades of the New Economic Policy with its negative nation-building and education policies as well as rampant corruption and financial scandals, especially in the 1980s.
What Malaysians want is a ‘major liberalisation’ of the government’s nation building policies and not ‘minor liberalisation’ in certain economic and education policies only
DAP must also be able to answer the MCA claim that the people should vote for the Barisan Nasional in the next general elections to support the various liberalization of government policies in economic and educational fields.
We admit that there had been some ‘liberalisation’ in economic and education policies, but these are actions which are long overdue, especially as the DAP had been advocating for them in the last two decades.
For instance, I had spoken of the importance of providing adequate higher education opportunities locally to meet the needs of young Malaysians and even proposed in Parliament in the 1970s that every state should have a full-fledge university.
If the Barisan Nasional Government had heeded the DAP’s constructive and far-sighted proposals, Malaysia would today not only have become the centre of higher education in the region, Malaysia would have been among the ranks of the fur ‘little dragons’ if not their leaders.
Let us ask who is responsible for such ‘liberalisation’ in certain government policies? Is it the MCA Minister and leaders?
The MCA Ministers have long been evicted from the mainstream of policy decision-making process, in the Barisan Nasional government and their role in government have become so ‘marginalised’ that no UMNO Minister, Deputy Minister or even Parliamentary Secretary, as well as no senior government official take the MCA leadership seriously.
If anyone is responsible for the ‘liberalisation’ of government policies, it is people who through the years had given unstinting support to the DAP to demonstrate their demand for more open, liberal, fair and equal nation-building policies.
The DAP success in the 1990 general elections in breaking the pendulum theory, which postulated that the urban voters alternate their support between the government and opposition parties in general elections, acted as a catalyst forcing UMNO leaders to ‘liberalise’ government policies to compete with the DAP for the hearts and minds of the people.
The people’s demand for policy review and liberalization of the government ‘s nation –building policies was the message of the DAP victory in the 1986 and 1990 general elections, and there id therefore no need for any endorsement of the liberalization of government policies in the next general elections.
What the people should do in the next general elections is to give even greater support to the DAP to send another clear message to the Barisan Nasional Government – that the country wants a major libaralisation of the entire span of its nation –building policies and not just minor liberalization in some economic and education policies as is happening today.
The DAP must also let the people know the consequences of a DAP electoral debacle as happened in 1982 , which led not only to the ‘ one Nation , One language’ policy , but the start of a series of major financial scandals in the country , like the BMF Scandal, the Maminco Scandal , the Makuwasa Scandal and the MCA co-operative Finance Scandal.
In peral , the DAP ‘s loss of all parliamentary seats in 1982 led to the long- standing environment controversy of the Asian Rare Earth Sdn. Bhd ‘s attempt to produce and dump radioactive wastes first in Papan and the Bulit Meraj – just as the MCA victory in the Rasah Parliamentary constituency in Ngeri Sembilan has resulted in the establishment of the Bukit Nanas National Toxic Waste Centre in the area.