Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at Seventh Penang ‘Tanjong 3’ Marathon Thousand-People Dinner held at Bagan on Friday, October 21, 1994 at 8 pm
If in Malaysia, ‘We Are ALL One Family’ then MCA and Gerakan should not be ‘in Government but not in Power’ but should be ‘In Government and in Power’
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s favourite saving to Chinese audiences in Mandarin is ‘We Are All One Family’.
Anwar Ibrahim has adopted the vocabulary of the DAP’s objective of a Malaysian Malaysia, but he has not yet adopted the nation-building policies and programmes to achieve a Malaysian Malaysia.
Malaysians of all races, languages, cultures, religions and classes cannot overnight become ‘One Family’ just because the Deputy Prime Minister is now very adept in the phrase in Mandarin, and can even do Chinese calligraphy of the phrase – placing Anwar in a more superior position than the Presidents of the two Barisan Nasional component parties which claim to represent the Malaysian Chinese in the country.
This is because the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Liong Sik and the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng could not do any Chinese calligraphy at all!
Anwar Ibrahim can speak a thousand or ten thousands times in Mandarin that ‘We Are All One’ Family’ or write a thou¬sand times the Chinese calligraphy of the phrase, but without any basic changes in government nation-building policies, such utter¬ances will not bring Malaysians any closer to the position where they are in fact ‘We Are All One Family’.
This is why the DAP is launching a nation-wide political campaign calling for ‘Full liberalisation’ which will ensuve that the ‘We Are All One Family’ philosophy is the guiding spirit of all nation-building politicies in the country, whether politi¬cal, economic, educational, cultural or religious.
Malaysia could not reach the stage where we can really claim that ‘We Are All One Family’ so long as two political conditions persist in the country:
Firstly, the division of Malaysians into bumiputras and non-bumiputras, and
Secondly, the political situation where other Barisan Nasional component parties like MCA and Gerakan are ‘In ment but not in Power’.
If in Malaysia ‘We Are All One Family’, then all Malaysians should be regarded as bumiputeras and-MCA and Gerakan should not be ‘In Government but not in Power’ but should be ‘In Government and in Power’ as well.
If DAP’s ‘Full Liberalisation’ is implemented, then MCA and Gerakan would not be playing so irrelevant and margina¬lised a role in the Barisan Nasional Government because of their long-standing position of subservience to UMNO, but would be able to enjoy a position of ‘In Government and In Power’.
It is therefore very surprising and even shocking that MCA and Gerakan leaders should be so vocal opponents of DAP’s call for ‘Full Liberalisation’ which would confer on MCA and Gerakan leaders in Government real ‘powers’ as Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries.
Ever since the DAP’s announcement of our Nation-Building Policy of ‘Full Liberalisation’ at the start of the Penang DAP ‘Tanjong 3’ Marathon Thousand-People Dinners on Octo¬ber 3, Gerakan leaders like Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, Kerk Choo Ting and Dr. Kang Chin Seng had been ‘shouting from the rooftops’ that DAP’s call for ‘Full Liberalisation’ will lead to chaos, turmoil and even disintegration of Malaysia as happened to the former USSR.
Can Keng Yaik, Choo Ting and Chin Seng explain how putting MCA and Gerakan in a position where they are ‘In Govern¬ment and In Power’ can lead to unrest, turmoil and even disintegration of Malaysia?
Have the MCA and Gerakan leaders in Government been so accustomed to being ‘In Government but not in Power’ in the Barisan Nasional for so long that they find it inconceivable and are afraid of being ‘In Government and In Power’?
Recently, I read a book about an Egyptian Queen in ancient times who wanted to free her slaves, but those who ob¬jected most to the manumission of slaves were none other than the slaves themselves, who could not contemplate of any other apart from being slaves.
The MCA and Gerakan seem to be in this position. They have become so used to subservience in the Barisan Nasional Government, of playing the role of ‘In Government but not in Power’, that they are now the strongest opponents of DAP’s ‘full Liberalisation’ which will redress such political inequality and imbalance and ensure that the MICA and Gerakan are ‘In Government as well as In Power’ – for MCA and Gerakan leaders cannot contem¬plate of any other political role for themselves.
Challenge to Gerakan and MCA leaders to cite which one of the DAP’s ‘Ten Democratisations’ can lead to unrest, turmoil disintegration of Malaysia
The MCA and Gerakan leaders should stop their irre¬sponsible ‘scare’ tactics to try to frighten the people into believing that DAP’s ‘Full Liberalisation’ campaign will lead to unrest, turmoil and disintegration of Malaysia.
I challenge the Gerakan and MCA leaders to cite which one of the DAP’s ‘Ten Democratisation’ under the ‘Full Liberalisation’ nation-building policy could lead to unrest, turmoil and disintegration of Malaysia.
The ‘Ten Democratisations’ which the DAP is advocating as the basis for the ‘Full Liberalisation’ of nation-building policies in Malaysia are:
DEMOCRATISATION of the political process, where there is free and fair general elections for the people to elect Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen of their choice, together with Parliamentary reforms and the denial of two-thirds majority of the Barisan Nasional in Parliament to make it the highest and meaningful tribunal in the country;
DEMOCRATISATION of the nation-buiding process to recognise all Malaysian citizens as equal and not divided into bumiputras and non-bumiputras, restore the independence of the judiciary, respect the freedom of religion of all Malaysians and uphold Malaysia as a secular state;
DEMOCRATISATION of the entire government to make it fully responsible, trustworthy and accountable to the people where there is no room for the incompetent, the irresponsible and the corrupt whether among the public service or the political leadership in power;
DEMOCRATISATION of laws to repeal draconian laws which deny Malaysians the fundamental liberties guaranteed in the Malaysian Constitution, like the Internal Security Act, the Official Secrets Act, the Sedition Act, the Police Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, etc;
DEMOCRATISATION of local government with the restoration of city, municipal, district and local council elections;
DEMOCRATISATION of the information prosess, where the mass media both printed and electronic, are free, fair and responsible instead of propaganda tools of ruling parties to spread and falsehoods against the Opposition;
DEMOCRATISATION of the decision-making ensure that the interests of many are not sacrificed to the interests of the few, whether decisions about privatisation, massive compulsory land acquisitions or development projects affecting the environment and quality of life of Malaysians;
DEMOCRATISATION of the economic order to ensure social and economic justice so that the farmer and worker cart enjoy the full fruits of their labour and where wealth can be created and shared fairly when economic opportunities are open to all Malaysians irrespective of rase or creed;
DEMOCRATISATION of cultural life in Malaysia so that all cultures and cultural forms can develop in Malaysia;
DEMOCRATISATION of educations in Malaysia both in terms of mother-tongue education as well as ade¬quate opportunities in vocations, technology, science and higher institutions ‘of learning, so that our youths have the skills and expertise to have a place in a modern information age.
If the MCA and Gerakan leaders cannot cite a single one of the above ‘Ten Democratisations’ as prejudicial to the development, stability and progress of Malaysia, then let MCA and Gerakan leaders have the courage to openly endorse the DAP’s call for ‘Full Liberalisation’ and ‘Ten Democratisations’.