DAP to use its own manifesto in next general elections and would propose a loosened Gagasan Rakyat

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, when opening the DAP State Leadership Conference at Hotel Bayview, Malacca on Sunday, 19th June 1994 at 10 a.m.

DAP to use its own manifesto in next general elections and would propose a loosened Gagasan Rakyat

The DAP will most likely use its own manifesto instead of having a common Gagasan Rakyat manifesto as in the last general elections.

The DAP General Elections Preparatory Committee discussed this matter at its meeting in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday and will propose a loosening of the Gagasan Rakyat for the next general elections, where there would be no common election symbol or common election manifesto. Every component party in Gagasan Rakyat would use its own symbol and manifesto.

Opposition parties in Gagasan Rakyat can learn from the Japanese model where in July last year, the Japanese Opposition parties toppled the Liberal Democratic Party from its 38-year rule not by a common opposition symbol or common opposition manifesto, but by contesting separately in the general elections.

In the 1990 general elections, DAP reached agreement with Parti Semangat 46 on the common political objectives:

* to save democracy;
* to restore human rights;
* to uphold independence of the judiciary;
* to oppose -all forms of injustice, corruption and abuses of power; and
* to establish national unity.

DAP will continue to co-operate and work with Semangat 46 on these five main objectives for they represent the only basis on which a united, peaceful, prosperous and great Malaysian nation could be founded.

It is only natural that as separate political parties, the DAP and Semangat 46 would have differences of opinion and political stands- or we could have abolished our separate identities and merged to form one political party.

DAP does not expect Semangat 46 to be subservient to us nor does Semangat 46 expect DAP to be subservient to it. Where we cannot agree, we exchange our views frankly and forthrightly.
This is unlike the Barisan Nasional, where there is a culture of subservience of other component parties to UMNO.
The Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting this month is a good example. It met just after the UMNO Supreme Council meeting, with the leaders from the other Barisan Nasional component parties rubber-stamping whatever was decided by the UMNO Supreme Council earlier.

The DAP will also continue to work and co-operate with the other parties in the Gagasan Rakyat like Parti Rakyat, IPF, HAMIM and KIMMA.

DAP had not co-operated with PAS in the previous general elections and will not co-operate with it in the next general elections

DAP had not co-operated with PAS in the previous general elections and will not co-operate with it in the next general elections.

This, however, will not prevent MCA and Gerakan from continuing with their propaganda campaign of lies trying to link the DAP with PAS, like the preposterous lie by the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik about the DAP-PAS Secret Jakarta Meeting on April 16, 1990; and other lies accusing the DAP of being responsible for bringing PAS into power in Kelantan and for the hukum hudud enactment in Kelantan.

For instance, MCA Youth general assembly on Friday singled out the DAP in a resolution for “collaboration with PAS and Semangat 46 in ruling Kelantan and its failure to stop them from implementing Islamisation policies”.

The MCA Youth general assembly has got the wrong target altogether. The DAP has nothing to do whatsoever with implementation of Islamisation policies, whether at the state or federal level.

If anyone is responsible for implementing Islamisation policies, it is the MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers, like MCA Youth leader, Datuk Chan Kong Choy, who as Deputy Minister for Culture, Arts and Tourism, is one of the implementors of the Islamisation policies introduced by Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad when he became Prime Minister in 1981.

DAP’s stand on the hukum hudud enactment passed by the Kelantan State Assembly unanimously – together with the support of UMNO Assemblymen – is very clear and consistent.

Firstly, the Kelantan hukum hudud enactment is illegal and unconstitutional because it violates the Malaysian Constitution which provides for a secular Malaysian nation.

Secondly, the Kelantan hukum hudud enactment is un-suitable and inappropriate for a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysian nation.

It is the MCA which is being inconsistent and unprincipled on the issue of hukum hudud enactment. MCA leaders support UMNO’s rejection of the PAS hukum hudud enactment as not being Islamic enough.

This means that if in the near future, UMNO should decide to introduce its own hukum hudud enactment whether at the national level or in one of the states, MCA would give its support because it would be an UMNO initiative.

DAP’s position is different. Whether the hukum hudud enactment is proposed by PAS, Semangat 46 or UMNO, DAP will oppose it for the two reasons of violating the secular basis and guarantee of the Malaysian Constitution and being inappropriate and unsuitable for a plural society like Malaysia.

The history of MCA is the history of bending and breaking political principles to UMNO’s whim and fancies

MCA is now celebrating its 45-year history. The history of MCA is the history of bending and breaking political principles of UMNO’s whims and fancies.

This farce of MCA ‘bending and breaking’ of political principles at the beck and call of UMNO was enacted as recently as at the MCA Youth General Assembly on Friday.

As a result of UMNO and UMNO Youth criticisms and pressure, MCA Youth Leader, Datuk Chan Kong Choy had to publicly humiliate himself by denying that the MCA Youth delegation had ever asked the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to abolish quotas during their dialogue on Tuesday.

Although Chan Kong Choy said that the MCA Youth memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister did not raise the quota issue or question the allocation of 30 per cent to bumiputeras, it was Chan Kong Choy who briefed the press about the MCA Youth dialogue who said that the MCA Youth had raised the issue of quotas.

This was why various language newspapers gave prominent headlines on Thursday about MCA Youth calling for the abolition of quotas. Even the Business Times gave this headline on Thursday: “Scrap quota ruling,-urges MCA Youth”.

What is even more pathetic is that Chan Kong Choy had to immediately telephone the UMNO Youth Leader, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik, to explain and pacify him so that he and the other MCA Youth leaders would not be the centre of condemnation at the Special UMNO General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur today!

On reflection, Dr. Mahathir’s comments to the press on Wednesday about MCA Youth’s call for abolition of quotas in their dialogue is most significant.

Dr. Mahathir confirmed that MCA Youth had raised the quota issue in the dialogue. He said he told the MCA Youth delegation that they should consider the views of others on the issue although he respected the views of MCA Youth.

Dr. Mahathir said that since MCA Youth submitted its views, it was only proper that it be looked into.

After Dr. Mahathir’s comments, a few UMNO and UMNO Youth leaders made very strong reactions and Chan Kong Choy immediately backed down and denied that MCA Youth had raised the quota issue.

In this fashion, without ‘lifting his finger’, Mahathir had already resolved the quota issue raised by the MCA Youth in their dialogue by making Chan Kong Choy to withdraw the issue himself!
Kong Choy had succumbed to pressure from certain UMNO and UMNO Youth leaders and repudiated all the past MCA and MCA Youth resolutions and calls for abolition of quotas and ending of division of Malaysians into bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras

May be, if MCA Youth had been led by Lee Kim Sai in his ‘heyday’, the MCA Youth leader would not have buckled down so easily with threats by UMNO and UMNO Youth leaders – but then, even today’s Lee Kim Sai is a mere shadow of Lee Kim Sai of yesteryear!

Kong Choy not only have to deny that the MCA Youth had raised the quota issue with the Prime Minister, but also denied even – talking about the Industrial Co-ordination Act – as if criticisms about ICA is ‘treason’!

The public humiliation of MCA Youth Leader, Chan Kong Choy is most pathetic and painful to see. In the past, MCA and MCA Youth General Assemblies had passed resolutions and their leaders had called for abolition of quotas, doing away with the division of Malaysians into bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras as well as repeal the Industrial Co-ordination Act.

Now, to ‘save his own skin’, Chan Kong Choy had succumbed to pressure from certain UMNO and UMNO Youth leaders and repudiated all these resolutions and calls by MCA and MCA Youth in the seventies and eighties!

This reminds the people of what happened during Operation Lalang in October 1987, when not only MCA Deputy President Lee Kim Sai ran away to Australia, even MCA President Ling Liong Sik also ran away to London.

If Kong Choy’s claim as to what MCA Youth had raised with Dr. Mahathir cannot be believed, then what Kong Choy claimed about what Dr. Mahathir had said at the dialogue has even less credibility.

May be, the lesson for Chan Kong Choy next time is to lead a MCA Youth delegation to see the Prime Minister and not to mention a single word about it after the dialogue – so that he need not eat his own words!