Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, when joining the Selangor DAP State Voters’ Registration Campaign in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, July 19, 1994 at 10.30 a.m.
DAP’s Eight-Point Democratisation in our major theme in the next general elections calling for ‘Big Liberalisation’ in nation-building policies to give every Malaysian regardless of race an equal place under the Malaysian sun
DAP’s major theme in the next general elections will be to call for ‘Big Liberalisation’ in nation-building policies to give every Malaysian regardless of race an equal place under the Malaysia.
Such a ‘Big Liberalisation’ can only be achieved if there are radical changes in Barisan Nasional nation-building policies involving a comprehensive democratization in Malaysia, including the following Eight-Point Democratisation.
• Democratization of the political process, where there is free, fair and clean general elections to elect meaningful Parliament and State Assemblies;
• Democratization of laws to repeal draconian laws which deny Malaysians the fundamental liberties guaranteed in the Malaysian Constitution, like the Internal Security Act, the official Secrets Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Police Act, etc.
• Democratization of local government with the restoration of Municipal, District and local council elections;
• Democratization of the information process, where the mass media, both printed and electronic, are free, fair and responsible and do not degenerate into propaganda tools of ruling parties to spread lies and falsehoods against the Opposition;
• Democratization of the economic order where the peasant and worker can enjoy the full fruits fo their labour;
• Democratization of cultural life in Malaysia so that all cultures and cultural forms can freedy develop in Malaysia; and
• Democratization of education in Malaysia both in terms of mother-tongue education as well as higher education opportunities.
The MCA leaders should not be too overly happy in claiming that the DAP’s theme of ‘Big Liberalisation’ in the next general elections means that the Barisan Nasional Government had been ‘very liberal’ in the past three years.
It is clear that Ting Chew Peh had not read the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council Inquiry Committee Report into Highland Towers Tragedy and this was why I said yesterday that an ordinary UMNO parliamentary secretary can put up a better parliamentary performance than MCA Ministers
In the first place, the MCA leaders had nothing to do with the ‘little liberalisations’ in certain economic and educational measures in the past three years because the role of MCA Ministers and leaders in Barisan Nasional Government has become so marginalized that their existence does not matter anymore.
This is best evidenced by the performance of MCA Ministers in Parliament, which is why I told the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Dr. Ting Chew Peh yesterday during the debate on the Street, Drainage and Building Amendment Bill and the Highland Towers Tragedy that an ordinary UMNO parliamentary secretary can put up a better parliamentary performance than MCA Ministers anytime!
Either MCA Ministers dare not turn up in Parliament to answer questions and present their own Bills, as in the case of the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, or MCA Ministers who move bills in Parliament cannot take part in an intelligent debate and discussion because they are not in command of the subject being debated in Parliament.
From Chew Peh’s nervousness yesterday in refusing to respond to my queries about the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council Inquiry Committee Report into the Highland Towers Tragedy, I cannot but come to the conclusion that the Minister for Housing has not read the full report himself.
In fact, Chew Peh did not know the difference in the composition of membership of the Main Committee and Technical Committee of the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council Inquiry into the Highland Towers Tragedy.
How dare Chew Peh enter into a discussion on the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council Inquiry Report when he realized from my speech that I have studies the report, which he had not. This is not disgraceful.
MCA should heed Kerk Chuan Keong’s statement that in Chinese education, there is no ‘little liberalisation’
However, before MCA Ministers make further claims about the Barisan Nasional being ‘very liberal’ in the past three years, let them take heed of the speech by the Dong Zong President, Kerk Chuan Keong in Seremban yesterday that as far as Chinese education is concerned, the issue of ‘Little Liberalisation’ does not arise.
The Dong Zong President said that although recently, several state governments and political parties have become more concerned about the development of Chinese schools, and have also made allocations, giving the impression as if Chinese education does not face an problem, in actual fact, the old problems of Chinese education remains while new problems have emerged.
The Dong Zong President said that Chinese schools at present face increased and more complex problems as the government’s education policy cannot be said to have any ‘Little Liberalisation’.
What Kerk Chuan Keong said is most apt and this is why the DAP proposes a National Charter for Chinese Education which should be the basis for a new Government policy on Chinese education giving full recognition to the important role played by Chinese education, Chinese primary schools and Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in nation-building.
Central to the National Charter for Chinese Education is the repeal of the ‘ultimate objective’ of the National Education Policy.
I still hope that in the larger interests of the Chinese community, Chinese education and the Malaysian nation, the MCA and Gerakan will adopt a more positive attitude on the proposed National Charter for Chinese Education, and not oppose for the sake of opposition!
The three possible General Elections dates are October, January or April next year
I must clarify a newspaper report on my speech in Muar on Sunday night, quoting me as declaring that general elections would be held in April next year.
This is incorrect, I have never ruled out the possibility of general elections being held this year.
I had said that the three possible general elections dates are October this year, January or April next year.
I had said that the current 21-day voters’ registration exercise, where UMNO aims to register 400,000 new voters whom it regards as UMNO voters, will be an important factors for the Prime Minister when deciding the next general elections date.
If Mahathir wants the 400,000 new UMNO voters being registered currently to exercise their vote, then general elections will be either January or April next year, as they will not be able to cast their vote if general elections are held this year.
Whether general elections are held in January or April will depend on the ability of the Election Commission to bring out the new electoral roil before the end of the year.
It is unlikely that general elections will fall in February or March next year because of the Chinese New Year at the end of January, which is immediately followed by the Puasa Month and the Haj.