Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Perak DAP State 10,000-People Anniversary Dinner held at Tou Bou Kong Hall, Ipoh on Friday, August 19, 1994 at 8 pm
DAP’s pull-out from the NECC in 1989 and the DAP’s second consecutive general elections victory in the urban areas in the 1990 general elections were two important factors resulting in the ‘Little Liberalisations’ in the past three years
Last month, I challenged both the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Sik and the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik to spell out the details of the ‘Little Liberalisations’ in government policies in the past three years, since both the MCA and Gerakan have claimed credit for them.
I issued my challenge to the MCA President when I was in Ipoh on July 21 and to the Gerakan President in Penang on July 27, giving them three days to list out such ‘Little Liberalisations’.
But neither the MCA President nor the Gerakan President was able to give a single instance of such ‘Little Liberalisations’ in the past three years which the MCA or Gerakan can really claim credit.
As a result, both the MCA and Gerakan leaderships have no right to talk about ‘Little Liberalisation’ or ‘Big Liberalisation’ when they could not even enumerate the ‘Little Liberalisations’ for which they are claiming credit.
The ‘Little Liberalisations’ in the past three years have nothing to do with MCA or Gerakan. They have not fallen from the skies, but are the result of the conistent support given by the people for the DAP in the past 28 years for a more just, equal, open and democratic Malaysia.
The DAP’s pull-out from the National Economic Consultative Council (NECC) in 1989 and the DAP’s second consecutive victory in the urban areas in the 1990 general elections were important factors creating the conditions for the ‘Little Liberalisations’ of the past three years by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.
The MCA leaders had tried to distort recent history, claiming that the ‘Little Liberalisations’ were the result of the ‘couragious struggle of the MCA’ in the NECC, while the DAP abandoned its responsibility by pulling out of the NECC.
Who will believe that the MCA is capable of standing up for the rights of the Malaysian people in general and the Chinese community, whether in Government, Cabinet, Parliament or in the NECC?
The recent farce of the MCA Youth leader, Chan Kong Choy, leading a 51-man delegation to have a dialogue with the Prime Minister, and having to retract his announcement that he had discussed the issue of bumiputra quotas with the Prime Minister, is a good example of the ‘bonelessness’ of not only MCA Youth leaders, but also MCA leaders, in Government, Cabinet, Parliament or in the NECC.
The DAP had not joined the NECC when it was first formed on 19th January 1989, in protest against the continued detention of DAP leaders under the Internal Security Act under Operation Lalang.
When DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, and I the last two Operation Lalang detainees – were released in April 1989, the DAP agreed to join the NECC.
Right from the beginning of DAP participation the DAP pointed out the the NECC in its deliberations for the past four months, had missed its most important obnjective.
The NECC had its initial meeting formed sub-committees on poverty eradication restructuring of society, economic performance and human resources development, but there was no sub-committee to assess whether the New Economic Policy 1971-1990 had achieved its overriding objective to achieve national unity.
It was at the DAP’s proposal that the NECC set up a special sub-committee to assess the most important problem of nation-building.
However, by August 1989, the DAP felt that there was not much purpose in the DAP continuing in the NECC. This was because the UMNO leaders were not taking the NECC secriously, sending only their third and fourth-rank leaders.
With the MCA and Gerakan representatives playing their traditional role of ‘yes-men’ to UMNO, the DAP decided that it could make a greater impact on influencing post-NEP nation-building policies by pulling out of the NECC instead of remaining in the NECC.
DAP was not the only body which pulled out of NECC. Others who also pulled out of the NECC included Dong Jiao Zhong, the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, religious representatives like Dr. Paul Tan and much later, PRM, PAS and individuals like former Auditor-General Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, Chooi Mun Sou and Dr. Jomo K. Sundram.
The DAP’s pull-out from the NECC, coupled with the DAP’S second consecutive general elections victory in the urban areas in the 1990 general elections, forced Mahathir to introduce ‘Little Libralisations’ in certain economic and educational measures.
However, what the DAP and Malaysians want are not ‘Little Liberalisations’ but ‘Big Liberalisations’, where there would be a full democratization of the political, economic educational, cultural and other nation-building processes in the country.
In a ‘Big Liberalisation’, all Malaysians will be ‘All In One Family’ – all sharing equally, and not divdided into separate ‘master bedroom’, ‘guest-foom’ or ‘kitchen’
In a ‘Big Liberalisation’, all Malaysians will be ‘All In One Family’ – all sharing equally, and not divided into separate ‘master bedroom’, guestroom’ or ‘kitchen’
In a ‘Big Liberalisation’, all Malaysians will be ‘All In One Family’. This is now a facourite phrase of the Deputy Prime Minster, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when he speaks to Chinese audiences.
However, neither MCA nor Gerakan dare to tell Anwar Ibrahim that if Malaysians are ‘All In One Family’, then Malaysians should no more be divided into ‘bumiputras and ‘non-bumiputeras’, as otherwise, Malaysians are divided into at least ‘two families’.
In any event, what does Anwar Ibrahim mean when he said ‘We Are All One Family,. Does he mean what the UMNO Wanita Chairman, Datuk Paduka Rafidah Aziz, meant just before the 1990 general elections, when she told all Barisan Nasional Wanita organizations – particularly from the various state parties in Sabah like PBS and USNO – to unite to ensure Barisan Nasional’s victory?
Rafidah said that “the national interest of Barisan Nasional must override all local conflicts, or the common enemy will take advantage”
In a very colourful and unforgettable language, Rafidah said: “We are all living in one house, we should not mind who has the master bedroom, who the guestroom and who the kitchen. This house allows us to keep out the rain. We must prevent the outside enemy from coming in or Lim Kit Siang would take over the house, and we will all be outside under wind and rain”.
We know who in the Barisan Nasional has the ‘master bedroom, who have to settle for the guestroom, kitchen or even the toilet! Of course, the person occupying the master bedroom does not mind others occupying the guestroom kitchen or even the toilet, but the Barisan Nasional culture is that the others should not mind as well!
If this is the ‘All Are In One Family’ concept as understood as Anwar Ibrahim, then it is unacceptable.
In the ‘All In One Family’ concept advocated by the DAP in our call for ‘Big Liberalisation’, all Malaysians will be sharing equally in the same house, without being divided and segregated into the master bedrooms, the guest room the kitchen or the toilet!