Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the Joint Klang Utama DAP Branch and Jalan Meru DAP Branch Dinner held in Klang on Saturday, 28th May 1994 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his election as Member of Parliament October is the most likely month for the next general elections
I will soon be fighting in the seventh general elections. Election fever is mounting in the country with all political parties expecting-early general elections.
I believe that October is the most likely month for the next general elections. If Parliament is not dissolved by October, then the general elections would be held early next year.
Ever since my public warning to DAP members and supporters that the next general elections would be the toughest general elections ever to be faced by the DAP, and that there would be no safe seat for the DAP in this forthcoming battle, MCA and Gerakan leaders have been in an euphoric state.
In the last few weeks, MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders even competed with each other to predict the doom of the DAP in the next general elections, with some claiming that the DAP would be completely wiped out in the next general election – and that DAP would not win a single seat next round.
I still remember the ‘famous’ speech of the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling, Liong Sik, in Ipoh just before the 1990 general elections where he urged the Malaysian Chinese voters to reject the DAP and to ensure that not a single DAP leader was elected.
In the event; in the 1990 general elections, it was the MCA candidates who were repudiated by the Malaysian Chinese electorate, as MCA national leadership has admitted that MCA candidates could only get 20 to 25 per cent of Chinese votes.
DAP objective in next general elections is to overcome the unfavourable conditions and score new victories at both national and state levels as in capturing Penang State Government under Tanjong 3 project
I was not fishing for sympathy for the DAP when I declared that the next general elections would be the toughest in DAP history and that there would be no safe seat for the DAP.
Although the external factors in the next general elections would be most unfavourable for the DAP as compared to the 1990 general elections – and DAP leaders, members and supporters must be fully conscious of this important factor – it does not mean that the DAP will definitely be wiped out in the next general elections.
The DAP objective in the next general election is not to save itself from being wipe out but to overcome the unfavour¬able conditions and score new election victories – whether at the national or state level as the capture of the Penang State Government under Tanjong 3 project.
I believe the DAP’s strongest point is our 28-year record where the DAP fought steadfastly and unrelentlessly for the full and major liberalisation and democratisation of nation-building policies in Malaysia.
It was most fortunate that in the 1990 general elections, the MCA was repudiated by the overwhelming majority of the Chinese electorate and the DAP secured the historic second consecutive general elections victory in the urban areas as this created the new political scenario where the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, decided on the liberalisation of nation-building policies.
Although MCA and Gerakan leaders did not know why they were rejected by the Chinese electorate – and MCA had to engage professional consultants to find out why they lost in the general elections – Dr. Mahathir got the message loud and clear that in giving the DAP the historic second consecutive general elections victory in the urban areas, the people want a liberalisation in nation-building policies!
MCA and Gerakan bad nothing to do with the liberalisa¬tion process and it is the people to whom credit is due for this significant political change since the 1990 general elections.
While the DAP welcomes the liberalisation of nation-building policies in the past three years, which is in line with the DAP’s struggle for a Malaysian Malaysia, the liberalisation process to date still minor and limited.
DAP calls on Government to formulate a National Charter for Chinese Education where it commits to give dollar-to-dollar contribution for the development of Chinese Independent Secondary Schools
What the DAP and people want, is a major liberalisation process covering the entire spectrum of nation-building policies to give every Malaysian an equal place under the Malaysia sun.
As an example, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister are now talking about a review of the Internal Security Act, but without any repeal of the ISA or abolition of detention without trial laws. This is minor and limited liberalisation Major and full liberalisation would mean the repeal of the ISA and the abolition of all undemocratic laws in the country.
As another example, MCA is now allowed to launch a public donation drive to collect funds for Chinese Independent Secondary Schools – something which MCA did not and dared not do for the four previous decades. This can be regarded as the side-¬effect of minor and limited liberalisation in the educational field.
However, in a major and full liberalisation, the Government would give full recognition to the role played by Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in nation-building, and would allocate annual financial allocations to every Chinese Independent Secondary School, from both Federal and State Government funds – not only for the present and future, but also to make amends for the neglect in the past four decades!
Furthermore, in a full and government will not be playing the ‘Chinese education card’ before every general elections, as the assistance and support to Chinese education and Chinese schools would be carried out all-the-year-round and not just before a general election.
This is why DAP has called on the Barisan Nasional Government to formulate a National Charter on Chinese Education to give full and official recognition to the great role played by Chinese education in nation-building.
In this National Charter on Chinese Education, the Government should commit itself to give dollar-to-dollar contribution for the development of Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
This may came to an annual RM80 million to RM100 million Federal Government allocation to Chinese Independent Secondary Schools, which is a small figure when compared to the RM9 billion allocation for education in the 1994 Budget.
This figure becomes totally insignificant when we consider the RM30 billion losses suffered by Bank Negara from its foreign exchange speculation since 1992.
The next general elections is the third phase of the DAP political struggle for full and major liberalisation of nation-building policies
The next general elections is of vital importance to the nation and the DAP. It would represent the third phase of the DAP political struggle since our establishment in 1966.
From 1969 to 1990, the DAP waged a lone and dangerous parliamentary and political battle to check the extremist and intolerant farces which wanted to establish a ‘one language, one culture, one religion’ Malaysia.
The second phase was from 1990, when as a result of the DAP second consecutive general elections victory in the urban areas, we begin to see results in our DAP struggle far a Malaysian Malaysia – in the government’s liberalisation in certain economic and educational fields.
However, these liberalisation measures are limited, minor and hesitant. In the next general elections, which marks the DAP’s third phase of political struggle, we want national support to press far full and major liberalisation in nation-building policies to give every Malaysian an equal place under the Malaysian sun.
DAP’s battle in the next general elections is therefore not for the sake of the party or the future of DAP MPs and State Assemblymen. It is a battle to take Malaysia firmly onto the road of full and major liberalisation of nation-building policies where all Malaysians are ‘one family’, where they are not divided into bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras and where they give fully and meaningfully to the transformation of Malaysia into one of the great nations of the world.