If Keng Yaik dare not support DAP’s call for major liberalisation of Barisan Nasional policies to give every Malaysian an equal place under the Malaysian sun, he should ‘shut up’ and not be a ‘spoiler’ of this Malaysian aspiration


Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang at the DAP Taiping Branch Anniversary Dinner held in Taiping on Sunday, 1st May 1994 at 8 pm

If Keng Yaik dare not support DAP’s call for major liberalisation of Barisan Nasional policies to give every Malaysian an equal place under the Malaysian sun, he should ‘shut up’ and not be a ‘spoiler’ of this Malaysian aspiration

At the Kedah Gerakan State Delegates’ Meeting on Friday, Gerakan President and Minister for Primary Industries, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik exposed his ‘true colours’ when he opposed the DAP’s call for major liberalisation of Barisan Nasional policies to give every Malaysian. an equal place under the Malaysian sun.

To give some basis for his opposition to the DAP’s call for major liberalisation of nation-building policies in Malaysia, Keng Yaik alleged that I am trying to import or apply social values of Western nations to evaluate Barisan Nasional policies.

This is utter nonsense. The DAP is not applying social values of Western nations to evaluate Barisan Nasional policies, but Malaysian values arid aspirations!

Keng Yaik should explain whether the aspiration that every Malaysian should be equal, and that they should not be divided into bumiputras and non bumiputras, is an imported-Western notion or an indigenous Malaysian notion?

Malaysians want meritocracy to be the hallmark of the Malaysian work ethics, where appointments are based on merit and excellence, rather than on favouritism or racial quotas.

How can Keng Yaik regard this aspiration – that ap¬pointments and promotions to all top civil service appointments should he an the basis of merit – as another Western-imported notion instead of being completely legitimate and indigenous aspiration?

In the DAP call for major liberalisation of nation¬-building policies, the DAP has called on the Barisan Nasional Government to recognise the great contributions of Chinese Inde¬pendent Secondary Schools to human resource development and nation-building, and that the Federal Government should give regular annual financial allocations to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.

Advice to Keng Yaik to stop poisoning the minds of UMNO leader’s by spreading the falsehood that calls for major liberalisation of nation-building poli¬cies are Western and un-Malaysian notions

Is this another Western notion that Keng Yaik was referring to when opposing the DAP’s call for major liberalisa¬tion of nation-building policies?

I am not surprised by the open opposition by Keng Yaik and the Gerakan to the DAP’s call for major liberalisation of nation-building policies, for the Gerakan leaders are not think¬ing about the future of Malaysians but how to maintain and protect their positions in the Federal, State and local governments in the country.

I would advise Keng Yaik and the Gerakan leadership to stop poisoning the minds of UMNO leaders by spreading the falsehood that calls for major liberalisation of nation-building policies are Western and un-Malaysian notions which should be rejected.

Otherwise, Keng Yaik and Gerakan must take full responsibility for the continued injustices and inequalities suffered by all Malaysians, whether in the political, economic, educational, cultural, religious or other nation-building spheres.

If Keng Yaik and Gerakan have no political courage to support the DAP’s call for major liberalisation of nation-building policies to give every Malaysian an equal place under the Malaysian sun, at least they should ‘shut up’ and not be ‘spoilers’ and ‘destroyers’ of this call!

The DAP has conceded that a result of the 1990 general elections, the UMNO leaders have become more liberal in their policies and measures in certain economic and educational fields.

Ten years ago, for instance, while officiating at a function in Ipoh, the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, who was then a Deputy Minister, suffered the great embarrassment and indignity where a banner in Chinese characters was publicly torn down by the Ipoh Municipal staff and Liong Sik could do nothing to stop it. I do not expect such an incident to happen today. .

The minor and limited liberalisation is like taking three steps forward after taking 30 steps backward

However, there are two important aspects of such liberalisation measures which must be noted by all Malaysians:

Firstly, these liberalisation measures in the past three years, though welcome, are minor and limited. They are akin to taking three steps forward in three years after having taken 30 steps backwards in 20 years, and the country is still twenty-seven steps backwards. This is why the DAP is not content with such minor and limited liberalisation measures and is calling for major liberalisation of nation-building policies.

Secondly, the minor and limited liberalisation meas¬ures is the direct result of the 1990 general election, where the DAP scored two successive general election victories in the urban areas after the 1986 general elections.

The message of the 1990 general election results is that UMNO leaders cannot take urban voters for granted and must compete with the DAP for the hearts and minds of the urban elec¬torate and that what the urban electorate wants is a liberalisa¬tion and democratisation of nation-building policies.

Gerakan and MCA leaders did not understand the message of the 1990 general elections, where top Gerakan and MCA leaders lost the support of the Chinese electorate and would have been defeated if not for UMNO’s Malay voter support.

In fact, MCA leaders were so confounded as to why they could not get Chinese support in the 1990 general elections, that they had to engage professional consultants to find out why MCA could get only 20 to 25 per cent of Chinese support!

The minor and limited liberalisation of government policies of the past few years is therefore the result of the support of the voters in giving the DAP two successive general election victories in the urban areas – an unprecedented achievement for an. Opposition party in Malaysian electoral history.

Just as the minor and limited liberalisation of government policies has nothing to do with the Gerakan and MCA, Malaysians cannot depend on them if they want to bring about major liberalisation of nation-building policies to give every Malaysian an equal place under the Malaysian sun.

The decision is to whether there would be major liberalisation of nation-building policies in the future would lie in the hands of the people in the next general elections – as to whether they would give the DAP a third successive general election victories in the urban areas.

If in the next general elections, the DAP could achieve a third successive general election victories in the urban areas, then the message will he crystal clear not only to UMNO leaders but even to Gerakan and MCA leaders: that Malaysians want to have major liberalisation of nation-building policies, not ¬because of any Western values, but because this is a legitimate Malaysian aspiration.