Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAF Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the meeting of the DAP General Elections Preparatory Committee meeting held at DAP PJ Headquarters on Tuesday, 14th June 1994 at 3 pm
DAP MPs and Assemblymen should lead next month’s campaign in every state to register voters and explain the importance of next general elections
Last Thursday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, said in Muar that general elections could be held any time.
On Monday, Mahathir said in Malacca that Barisan Nasional leaders should not be disappointed if general elections are not held now.
The Prime Minister is clearly trying to confuse the Opposition about the timing of the next general elections.
The same is the case with the 21-day snap voters’ registration exercise which would be conducted by the Election Commission from July 11 to July 31.
It may be asked as to what is the purpose of the 21-day voters’ registration exercise next month, as the new voters registered next month would not be able to cast their votes if general elections are held this year.
If UMNO goes all-out to register voters next month while DAP ignores the voters’ registration exercise, we may end up with a situation where Mahathir might conclude that it would be even more advantageous to the Barisan Nasional to hold general elections next year where all those who register next month could cast their votes.
The DAP must not allow these mixed signals to confuse us or distract us from our general elections preparations. We must maintain the attitude of ‘Unchanging situation to face all changes’.
As far as the DAP is concerned, we must continue to work on the basis that general elections would be held this year, with October as the most likely month – without ruling out the possibility of Parliament being dissolved earlier.
We must put our general elections preparations into top gear in anticipation of general elections being called any time after the end of the Parliamentary meeting on July 27.
The 21-day voters registration exercise next month should be used by the DAP as a trial run for the next general elections, with a two-prong strategy: to maximise the registration of eligible voters and to explain to all voters the importance of the next general elections.
All DAP MPs and State Assemblymen should lead the DAP campaign in every state next month to register as many qualified voters as possible as well as to explain to the people the real meaning of the next general elections.
This trial run for the next general elections is very important because the DAP will have very limited time during the general elections campaign to get our message to the voters – as the campaign period is likely to be around nine to ten days only.
All DAP State Committees have therefore been directed to draw up a special programme for the 21-day voters registration exercise, as if the DAP is facing a general elections in that period – with daily programmes of activities like ceramahs and meet-the-people visits in every state.