Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kt Siang, at the Cheras 11 m.s. DAP Branch Anniversary Dinner on Friday, 5th August 1994 at 7 pm
Liong Sik is not qualified to comment on my political future as he is the worst MCA President in history
MCA Presidnet, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik said in Tampin on Wednesday night that my announcement that I would quit politics if DAP fails in the Tanjong 3 Battle to capture the Penang State in the next general elections is a political gimmick.
He further said that in any event, I should quit politics after having failed three times to capture the Penang State Government.
Liong Sik is not qualified to comment on my political future as he is the worst MCA President in history.
The Lee Kim Sai faction had pointed out very rightly in 1990 in Kim Sai’s three ‘fight-and-don’t-fight’ challege for the post of MCA President that Liong Sik did not have first-goings-on in the Chinese community.
In fact, we can now see that Liong Sik is also quite ‘at sea’ with regard to what is happening in the country generally.
Who told Liong Sik that I have been taling about quitting politics?
In the first place, I had never made any announcement that I would quit politics if the DAP fails in its Tanjong 3 Battle to capture the Penang State Government in the next general elections.
At the DAPSY National Conference in Kuala Lumpur on 10th July, I said that after 28 years in the DAP struggle for a Malaysian Malaysia – 25 years of which as DAP Secretary-General – I am seriously considering not offering myself for the post of DAP Secretary-General in the next DAP Party Congress in 1996.
I made it very clear that even if I do not offer myself for the post of DAP Secretary-General in 1996, I was not quitting politics and that I would continue in the struggle for a Malaysian Malaysia.
May be, Liong Sik was referring to my response to the statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed at the Gerakan general assembly on July 30 that DAP’s Tanjong 3 Battle would fail, and that there would be Tanjong 4, Tanjong 5…. And up Tanjong 10 Battles.
My response was that as far as I am concerned, there would be no Tanjong 4, and that the Battle of Tanjong 3 would be the battle for the capture of the Penang State government by the DAP.
I invite Liong Sik to produce proof that I had said that I would ‘quit politics’ if the DAP fails in the Battle of Tanjong 3 to capture Penang state government.
Liong Sik said that if the DAP fails in the Tanjong 3 Battle, I should quit politics as I would have failed three times.
Liong Sik’s ignorance is most shocking. The Battle of Tanjong 3 will be the DAP’s second attempt to capture Penang State Government, as the Battle of Tanjong in the 1986 general elections was a battle for the Tanjong parliamentary seat and not a battle to capture Penang State Government.
What does Liong Sik know about the problems, needs and aspirations of the Chinese community in particular and Malaysians in general?
After the 1990 general elections, Liong Sik was completely lost as to why the MCA was decisively rejected by the Chinese community as it could only garner 20 to 25 per cent of Chinese electoral support.
In desperation, Liong Sik had to employ professional consultants to find out for the MCA leadership the reasons why the MCA fared so badly in the 1990 general elections – which proved that the MCA President did not know what the Malaysian Chinese want.
The greatest joke in Malaysian politics today is that both MCA and Gerakan leadership could not list out the ‘Little Liberalisation’ in the past three years although they are competing to claim credit for it
The greatest joke in Malaysian politics today is that both MCA and Gerakan leadership could not list out the ‘Little Liberalisation’ in the past three years although they are competing to claim credit for it.
I had separately challenged the MCA and Gerakan leadership to list out the ‘Little Liberalisation’ in government policies in the past three years, and although I have given them three days to produce such a list, neither the MCA or the Gerakan leadership was able to do so.
This has confirmed what I had said right from the beginning – that the ‘Little Liberalisation’ in certain economic and educational measures in the last three years had nothing to do with the MCA or Gerakan, but were the decision of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, in responding to the DAP’s unprecedented success in urban areas in two consecutive general elections in 1986 and 1990.
If there is any MCA or Gerakan national leader who still wants to dispute this fact, I challenge them to produce the full list of ‘Little Liberalisation’ which the MCA or Gerakan claims full credit and responsibility!
In the 1990 general elections, the Malaysian Chinese continued the support the DAP’s struggle for a Malaysian Malaysia, which calls for the democratization of the entire national building process, whether in the political, economic, educational, cultural or religious spheres.
But what was the stand of the MCA and Gerakan?
I am sure Malaysian Chinese can still remember that after the 1990 general elections, when UMNO and UMNO Youth leaders like Datuk Najib Tun Razak asked what was it that the Chinese wanted in not supporting the Barisan Nasional and the MCA and Gerakan candidates, neither Ling Liong Sik nor Lim Keng Yaik was able to give an answer.
Liong Sik in fact scolded the Malaysian Chinese for not supporting the Barisan Nasional, and stressed that the Malaysian Chinese should feel contented because they have the most educational, economic and cultural freedom when compared to the Chinese in any other country.
Why should the Malaysian Chinese compare with the Chinese from the other countries? The Malaysian Chinese are no more ‘overseas Chinese’ but have become full-blown Malaysian citizens, and the people to whom the Malaysian Chinese should be compared with should be the other Malaysian citizens, whether Malays or Indians, and not with the Chinese in other countries.
It was left to the DAP to provide the answer to the UMNO question, and in the policy debate of the first parliamentary meeting after the 1990 general elections, I specifically dealt with this UMNO question – declaring that what the Malaysian Chinese wanted were their citizenship rights to freedom, justice and equality.
MCA Ministers are most ‘fortunate’ who could be Cabinet Ministers to represent the Chinese although they do not get Chinese support
It is the MCA leaders who are the most ‘fortunate’ people in Malaysia and the world. Although they do not get Chinese support, they can still be Cabinet Ministers purportedly to represent the Malaysian Chinese – even claiming that MCA is the third largest Chinese political party in the world!
Left to the MCA, there would be no ‘Little Liberalisation’ in the past three years, for MCA wants the Chinese in Malaysia to believe that they are most ‘fortunate’ Chinese in the world and should be contented with their position in Malaysia.
However, Mahathir realized that the DAP’s historic and unprecedented success in 1990 general elections in scoring victories in the urban areas in two consecutive general elections required a response if the Barisan Nasional was not to lose urban support altogether.
This was why Mahathir introduced the ‘Little Liberalisation’ in certain economic and educational measures in the past three years – which were completely beyond the comprehension of the MCA and Gerakan leaders!
But these ‘Little Liberalisation’ in the past three years are too minor and limited and cannot satisfy the aspirations of Malaysians who want a fully-fledged ‘Liberalisation’ in Malaysian nation-building policies where every Malaysian citizen, regardless of race, is entitled to an equal place under the Malaysian sun.
This is why the DAP has taken the public position that while we welcome the ‘Little Liberalisation’ in the past three years, the DAP is making ‘Big Liberalisation’ in the entire spectrum of nation-building policies as the major theme in the coming general elections.
Just as the ‘Little Liberalisation’ has nothing to do with MCA and Gerakan – who cannot even out list out these ‘Little Liberalisation’ – whether the DAP campaign for ‘Big Liberalisation’ in the next general elections succeeds or not must depend solely on the unity of purpose and their continued support for the DAP’s objective for a Malaysian Malaysia.