1990 General Elections Results in Penang not the peak performance for the DAP

Speech (Part 2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Penang DAP State Dinner at Fortuna Restaurant, Penang, on 18th May 1994 at 9 p.m. to commemorate his 25th anniversary as elected MP

1990 General Elections Results in Penang not the peak performance for the DAP

The Tanjong 3 battle in the next general elections will be tougher than the Tanjong 2 battle in the 1990 general elections, but the DAP has still chances of capturing the Penang State Government.

Gerakan leaders believe that the DAP has reached it peak performance in the 1990 general elections. This may not be so.

A study of the 1990 general elections shows that there is still considerable room for improvement for the DAP, For instance, in the Bukit Bendera Parliamentary seat, DAP won with a majority of 10,459 votes. However, 4,289 votes who voted for the DAP for Parliament did not vote for the DAP in the State Assembly seats.

Thus, Gooi Hock Seng secured 25,978 votes while the total number of DAP votes for the three State Assembly seats in the constituency, namely Tanjong Bungah, Ayer Itam and Kebun Bunga totalled only 21,689 votes.

If all the 4,289 votes who voted for DAP for Bukit Bendera Parliamentary seat had also voted for the DAP at the State Assembly level, the results in Kebun Bunga and Tanjong Bunga would be completely different.

The same story is repeated in the Jelutong Parliamen¬tary constituency. DAP secured 27,426 votes for the Parliamen¬tary seat of Jelutong, but polled a total of 24,253 votes for the three constituent state assembly seats. This means that 3,173 votes did not vote for the DAP for state assembly although they voted at the parliamentary level.

If in the 1990 general elections, all those who voted for the DAP for Parliament had voted for the DAP for State Assembly, then the political situation today would have been complete¬ly different.

This means that the DAP has not reached our full potential yet in Penang state.

The next general elections would be harder and tougher for the DAP than the 1990 general elections. It will be finally for the people to decide whether they want a Chief Minister who is both de facto and de jure, instead of having a Chief Minister in name only.

Everybody knows that in Penang, the real powers are not with Dr. Koh Tsu Koon although he is the Chief Minister. At the state level, the real is Dr. Ibrahim Saad while at the Penang island municipal level, the real power is Tan Gim Hwa.

In fact, the stage was set in the early 1970s for this political scenario in Penang today, when as a condition for its entry into Barisan Nasional, Gerakan agreed to the 1974 constituency redelineation which shifted the gravity of political power from the Penang island to Penang mainland, and from Gerakan to UMNO.

In the circumstances, it would make no appreciable difference if in the next-general elections, Dr. Ibrahim Saad is shifted to the national level and Gerakan wins a few more seats as this unequal relationship will continue, for it has become part of the political culture and ethos of Gerakan in Penang that they are subservient to UMNO.

Only the DAP has the capability, courage and, stamina to reverse this unhealthy political state of affairs in Penang.