Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the opening of the Negri Sembilan DAP State Convention on Sunday, October2, 1994 at 10am
DAP will issue Declarations on its Nation-Building Policies, including a Charter on Mother-Tongue Education, during the 10-day ‘Tanjong 3’ Marathon Thousand-people Dinner in Penang this month, beginning tomorrow
DAP will issue Declarations on its Nation-Building Policies, including a Charter on Mother-Tongue Education, during the 10-day ‘Tanjong 3’ Marathon Thousand-people Dinner in Penang this month, beginning tomorrow.
The 10-day ‘Tanjong 3’ Marathon Thousand-People Dinner in Penang will be held from October 3 to 7 on the Penang Island, all at the Penang Chinese Town Hall, and from October 20 to 24 in Butterworth, Bukit Mertajam and Nibong Tebal.
The nation-building policies which the DAP will elaborate during the 10-day ‘Tanjong 3’ Marathon Thousand-People Dinners in Penang will include ‘Full Liberalisation’, ‘Democracy and Human Rights’, ‘Clean and Accountable Government’, ‘Penang as Model State’ and touch on issues like the independence of the judiciary, labour, environment and education.
Ever since the DAP’s establishment in 1966, the DAP had set out very clearly our nation-building objectives, encapsulated under the slogan – a Malaysian Malaysia.
It has taken the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, 26 more years to realize the pertinence and potency of the DAP’s message for a Malaysian Malaysia, when he proclaimed the Vision 2020 in February 1991 – five months after the Barisan Nasional was decisively rejected by the urban voters in the 1990 general elections.
It is as the result of the DAP’s political struggle, which received the consistent support of the people in the past three decades, that there is the ‘Little Liberalisation’ of the government in the past three years in certain economic and educational fields.
However, what the DAP and the people want are not the ‘Little Liberalisation’ of the past three years, but the ‘Big Liberalisation’ of nation-building policies which give full meaning to the favourite saying of Anwar Ibrahim to Chinese audiences – ‘We Are All in One Family’.
I have asked Dr. Chen Man Hin to continue to serve the cause of Malaysian Malaysia at the most difficult and challenging period of the DAP in the next general elections
The next general elections is the most difficult and challenging time for the DAP. Many political observers believe that the ‘macro’ political situation in the country is so favourable to the Barisan Nasional that the MCA and the Gerakan cannot but ‘win’ in the next general elections, while the Dap cannot but ‘lose’.
However, the political situation should be challenging not only to the DAP, but also to the entire political struggle for a Malaysian Malaysia.
If the DAP suffers its worst electoral defeat in its 28-year party history in the next general elections, the consequences could be unthinkable.
Malaysian must think back to the 1982 general elections when the DAP suffered its worst electoral debacle, when it was reduced to six parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia.
Both the MCA and the Gerakan succeeded in achieving a ‘political breakthrough’ in the 1982 general elections, but this was not marked by a ‘political breakthrough’ of the political, educational, economic, cultural and religious rights of the Malaysian Chinese, but a total ‘break-down’ of their rights.
This was made very clear when in the first Parliamentary meeting after the 1982 general elections, the Barisan Nasional government proclaimed its ‘One-Language, One-Culture Policy’ which had the full support of the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and MPs.
The next general elections could be a watershed in nation-building in Malaysia. If the DAP suffers the worst electoral debacle in the nest general elections where next month or next year, then there is a possibility that the ‘Little Liberalisation’ would stop in its tracks – and in fact, a creeping return to the old policies of ‘One-Language, One Culture’ Malaysia.
However, if what everything thinks is impossible happens – where the DAP not only defends it parliamentary and state assembly representation but made even greater headway to win more parliamentary and state assembly seats, and better still, capture the Penang State Government under the Tanjong 3 project, then a new political scenario would have been created where the ‘Little Liberalisation’ of the past three years could be catapulted into ‘Big Liberalisation’.
The next general elections is therefore not only the most difficult and challenging test for the DAP, but the most promising.
DAP National Chairman, Dr. Chen Man Hin, who had devotes close to 30 years of the best part of his life to leas the DAP struggle to achieve our ideals of a Malaysian Malaysia, suffering his share of the loneliness and burden of a leader particularly an Opposition leader in Malaysia, would like to retire and has indicated to me this wish of his.
However, at this most critical tome for the DAP struggle of a Malaysian Malaysia, which is to decide whether the ‘Little Liberalisation’ which we have helped to bring about could be translated to ‘Big Liberalisation’, the party needs the continued guidance, leadership and ‘steel in the soul’ of Dr. Chen Man Hin.
For this reason, I have requested Dr. Chen Man Hin to continue to serve the cause of a Malaysian Malaysia at this difficult and challenging period of the DAP in the nest general elections; and I have full confidence that Dr, Chen Man Hin would continue to dedicate himself to the party, people and country and be the classic case of the ‘candle which burns itself to light up the surrounding darkness’.