National Day Message by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, on 30th August 1994
Eight-Point Proposal for Political Democratisation to pave the way for ‘Big Liberalisation’ in Malaysia and Vision 2020
Thirty-Seven years ago, Malaya achieved Merdeka and won independence from foreign colonial political rule.
However, Malaysia has still a long way to go to achieve full independence whether politically, economically or culturally.
Politically, although Merdeka has meant the end of foreign colonial political rule, Malaysians would not have achieved the full meaning of Merdeka in terms of political rights – as there were regular ‘elections’ in the former communist countries which do not in any manner make them ‘democratic’.
A democratization of the general elections and the political process in Malaysia is a pre-condition to make Merdeka more meaningful in political terms to all Malaysians.
On the occasion of the 37th National Day celebrations, I propose an eight-point political democratization to pave the way for ‘Big Liberalisation’ and Vision 2020 in Malaysia viz:
*Holding of free, fair and clean general elections where the voters are informed of the issued and principles presented by the contesting political parties and candidates;
* Lifting of the ban on public rallies;
*Free press, both printed and electronic, to allow Opposition views to have equal access as ruling parties to newspapers, radio and television;
*Repeal of undemocratic and draconian laws, like the Internal Security Act, Official Secrets Act, Printing Presses and Publications Act, Sedition Act, etc.
*Restoration of local council elctions;
*Parliamentary reforms to make Parliament a meaningful apex of the Parliamentary system of government;
*Reform of the Senate so that it is no more a rubbish-dump for ‘unelectable’ Barisan Nasional politicians and converting it into a vocal and meaningful second legislative chamber; and
*New and strong anti-corruption laws, with a completely autonomous Anti-Corruption Commission answerable only to Parliament, to root out money politics as well as high-level political corruption.
Vision 2020 would only have meaning if Malaysians can look forward to greater democratization in political as well as in other spheres of national life, year by year, and not until the year 2020.