Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Muar DAP Branch Dinner in Muar, Sunday, 17th July 1994 at 7.30 pm to commemorate his 25th anniversary as an elected Member of Parliament
DAP Central Executive Committee at its meeting tomorrow to discuss the DAP manifesto for the next general elections
The DAP Central Executive Committee will at its meeting in Petaling Jaya tomorrow discuss the DAP manifesto for the next general elections.
The next general elections will be the seventh general elections contested by the DAP and marks the third phase of the DAP political struggle in its 28-year history.
In the first phase of our political struggle in the 1960s till the 1980s, the DAP spelt out our Vision of a Malaysian Malaysia, and had to fight singly in Parliament and the State Assemblies against undemocratic and extremist forces which refused to accept the multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious character of Malaysia and instead sought to create a ‘one-language, one-culture, one-religion’ Malaysia with no respect for democratic freedoms and human rights.
The second phase started after the 1990 general elections when the DAP made electoral history in winning decisively in the urban areas in two consecutive general elections, which no political party apart from the DAP had been able to achieve since Merdeka in 1957.
This forced the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to compete with DAP for urban electoral support, and the Barisan Nasional Government had to be a bit more liberal and open in certain education and economic fields, although there had been no fundamental change of basic nation-building policies.
The next general elections marks the third phase of the DAP political struggle, to expand the ‘Little Liberalisation’ into ‘Big Liberalisation’ in all aspects of nation-building policies so that every Malaysian regardless of race can enjoy an equal place under the Malaysian sun.
Some Barisan Nasional leaders claim that the Barisan Nasional government is already ‘very liberal’ while there are others who dispute the claim that there is ‘Little Liberalisation’ in the past three years as they represent ‘False Liberalisations’.
A strong case could be made that there is no ‘Little Liberalisation’, or that there is only ‘Little Liberalisation’ or mere ‘False Liberalisation’.
The DAP is being over-generous in being prepared to accept that there had been ‘Little Liberalisation’ in certain economic and education fields in the past three years – but these represent a far cry from the aspiration of the DAP and thee people for ‘Big Liberalisation’.
This is why the DAP’s major theme in the next general elections is to translate the ‘Little Liberalisation’ or even ‘Little Liberalisation’ plus ‘False Liberalisation’ into a ‘Big Liberalisation’!
Abolition of ‘ultimate objective’ of National Education Policy a central plank of the National Charter of Chinese Education being drafted by DAP
As part of the DAP’s advocacy of the ‘Big Liberalisation’ as a major step towards achieving a Malaysian Malaysia, the DAP is drafting a National Charter for Chinese Education to ensure that there is full official and government recognition of the important role played by Chinese education in nation building and the training of qualified manpower to take Malaysia into the technological era.
The abolition of the ‘ultimate objective’ of the National Education Policy is a central plank of the National Charter for Chinese Education being drafted by the DAP.
I hope MCA and Gerakan leaders will not oppose for the sake of opposing and in the larger national and community interest, adopt a more positive and constructive attitude on the proposed National Charter for Chinese Education.
When I was in Seremban on Wednesday for the launching of the Negri Sembilan DAP State Voters’ Registration Campaign, I proposed that the MCA, Gerakan and DAP form a Joint Committee to draft a National Charter for Chinese education as a basis for government policy and action in next two decades until 2020.
From the reaction of the MCA national leaders, it is clear that they are very frightened about this proposal.
MCA and Gerakan have no independence of thought and action in Barisan Nasional – unlike the DAP in Gagasan Rakyat
MCA leaders claimed that the DAP is a tool of Semangat 46 in Gagasan Rakyat and the DAP has no independence of thought and action.
In this case, the DAP is inviting the MCA and Gerakan to work together to draft a National Charter for Chinese education, and the reason that MCA and Gerakan dare not respond is because they are afraid of displeasing UMNO ‘Big Brother’.
It is clear that it is MCA and Gerakan which have no independence of thought and action in Barisan Nasional – which is in stark contrast to the full independence of thought and action of the DAP in Gagasan Rakyat.
The MCA Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Wong See Wah, even said that my proposal was a ‘trap; for MCA.
If Wong Se Wah sees a ‘trap’ because the DAP is making the invitation, then let the MCA invite the DAP and Gerakan to a joint drafting of a National Charter for Chinese Education! I can announce in advance that the DAP will accept such invitation if MCA dares to issue the invitation.
It was exactly 25 years ago that I was brought to Muar to be a ‘Muar resident’ for 15 months during my first ISA detention
The anniversary dinner of the Muar DAP Branch tonight to mark my 25th anniversary as an elected Member of Parliament also coincides with my first detention under the Internal Security Act 25 years ago.
In fact, tonight also marks my being brought to Muar by the Police to become a ‘Muar resident’ for 15 months – after the end of my 60-day detention at the Kuala Selangor Police Lock-up for interrogation.
I was detained at the Subang International Airport on May 18, 1969 and this date 25 years ago, I was starting my life as a ‘Muar resident’ at the Muar Detention Centre.
I have no regrets in devoting 28 years of my life to fight for a Malaysian Malaysia. The people’s support for DAP and the struggle for a Malaysian Malaysia from all over the country through the years had been the greatest source of encouragement to me and my comrades in the DAP.
In the past three years, we are beginning to see some ‘little fruits’ of the DAP political struggle for the past 28 years in the form of ‘Little Liberalisation’. We must consolidate our gains and take big courageous steps forward to propel the movement to translate the ‘Little Liberalisation’ into a ‘Big Liberalisation’.