Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, when in Ipoh on Thursday, 21st July 1994 at 9.30 a.m. to monitor Perak DAP State Voters’ Registration Campaign
There should be an election budget in Parliament at the end of the year before general elections are held
The 21-year voters’ registration exercise has passed the mid-point and there are only 10 days left until July 31, the last day for Malaysians who have reached 21 years to register as voters in time to cast their vote in the next general elections if they are held next year.
I do not think the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, has finally made up his mind whether to call general elections this year or next.
Although the 21-day voters’ registration exercise is a very strong indication of general elections next year, it will be foolhardy for anyone to rule out completely the possibility of general elections in October this year.
In view of the importance placed by UMNO on the voters’ registration exercise to register 400,000 new UMNO voters, there should be an election budget in Parliament at the end of the year before the next general elections are held.
If I could, I would like to press all the red buttons of ‘danger’ for the DAP on the registration of new voters. This is because while UMNO is going all out throughout the country to reach its target of registering 400,000 new UMNO voters, even misusing government machinery and personnel as from KEMAS, the rate of registration of the balance of 500,000 eligible voters is comparatively very low.
Although there are a total of 900,000 eligible voters who have not registered as voters, UMNO is only interested in its target group of 400,000 UMNO new voters.
DAP could be heading for disaster in next general elections unless all eligible voters register in the next 10 days to match the UMNO campaign to register 400,000 new UMNO voters
As compared to previous years, there is greater interest among the eligible voters to register themselves, but the rate of registration among the balance of 500,000 is very low when compared to target group of 400,000 UMNO new voters.
This will have a great bearing on the outcome of the next general elections, and unless in the next ten days, the rate of registration of the balance of 500,000 eligible voters matches that of the 400,000 new UMNO voters, the DAP could be heading for disaster in the next general elections.
It is very significant that only UMNO is very concerned about the registration of 400,000 new UMNO voters, while MCA is completely indifferent about the voters’ registration exercise.
As MCA had always depended on UMNO’s Malay votes in general elections, it wants UMNO to succeed in its campaign to register 400,000 new UMNO voters but is not interested in ensuring that every Malaysia Chinese is registered as a voter.
Only a few days ago, the MCA Secretary-General, Dr. Ting Chew Peh claims that MCA is the third largest political party in the world which represents the Chinese, apart from China and Taiwan. He should have added that MCA’s claim to represent the Malaysian Chinese is based on UMNO votes in general elections and that MCA is not interested in ensuring that every Malaysian Chinese has the franchise to vote in general elections!
Challenge to MCA Ministers to list within three days the ‘Little Liberalisation’ which they claim credit
DAP has declared that our major theme in the next general elections is to widen the ‘Little Liberalisation’ of the Mahathir administration in the last three years into a ‘Big Liberalisation’ in all aspects of nation-building policies.
I have declared that it was a result of the long-standing political struggle and sacrifices of the DAP, its leaders and the support of the people in the past 28 years that we have checked undemocratic and extremist forces in wanting to create a ‘one-language, one-culture, one-religion’ Malaysia and created the conditions for the ‘Little Liberalisation’ of the past three years.
As expected, MCA leaders have been very quick to claim credit for the ‘Little Liberalisation’ fo the past three years, when the ‘Little Liberalisation’ has nothing to do with the MCA Ministers and leaders whatsoever.
I challenge the MCA Ministers to list the ‘Little Liberalisation’ which they claim credit for, and produce this list within three days.
In fact, the MCA Ministers should be able to produce this list of ‘Little Liberalisation’ within 24 hours if they are really responsible for the ‘Little Liberalisation’.
I will be surprised if the MCA Ministers can produce any list of ‘Little Liberalisation’ for which they could claim credit even when they are given one whole week to think about it. This is because the MCA Ministers are just making empty claims when they boast that they are responsible for the ‘Little Liberalisation’ in the country.
I am sure the whole country will wait out the next three days to see what are these ‘Little Liberalisation’ which MCA Ministers can claim credit!
Call on Mahathir to clarify whether the new government policy changes on higher education are merely confined to allowing reputed foreign universities to set up branch campuses in the country
In the recent past, the Barisan Nasional Government had been claiming that it would introduce policy changes on university and higher education, and the MCA Ministers and leaders even give the impression that the Barisan Nasional Government would now be so liberal as to allow the establishment of private colleges and universities using various languages, including mother-tongues, as medium of instruction.
However, the speech by the Prime Minister at the opening of the Kolej Antarabangsa in Penang on Tuesday seems to indicate that the Barisan Nasional’s policy changes on university and higher education would be very limited.
Dr. Mahathir said at the opening of Kolej Antarabangsa that the various strategies the government is proposing to make Malaysia th eregion’s centre of education include the proposed amendments to allow reputed foreign universities to set up branch campuses in the country and to simplify the regulations on entry and visa requirements for foreign students.
It would appear that the Barisan Nasional Government is still not prepared to allow the establishment of private universities in Malaysia by Malaysians or the use of mother-tongues and different languages as medium of instruction.
Dr. Mahathir should clarify the full extent of the proposed changes with regard to the Barisan Nasional government’s policy on university and higher education.
If the Barisan Nasional government’s policy changes on university and higher education are confined only to allowing reputed foreign universities to set up breach campuses in Malaysia, then the application by Dong Jiao Zong for the establishment of the New Era College would not be able to get approval from the Barisan Nasional Government.
What is the stand of the MCA on Dong Jiao Zong’s application for the establishment of the New Era College?