Speech by Parliamentary opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at ninth Penang ‘Tanjonq 3’ Marathon Thousand-People Dinner held at Bukit Mertajam on Sunday, October 23, 1994 at 8 pm
Kerk Choo Ting, Kang Chin Seng and Koh Tsu Koon are the new political desperadoes of the Barisan Nasional who are resorting to the politics of to make the people abandon their struggle for a Malaysian Malaysia by supporting the DAP’s call for ‘Full Liberalisation’
Since the DAP’s praclamation of ‘Full Liberalisation’ as our major general elections theme at the inaugural ‘Tanjong 3’ Marathon Ten-Night Thousand-People Dinners on October 3, Gerakan and NICA leaders had been desperately trying to find a right and proper response.
Gerakan Deputy President, Kerk Choo Ting warned that DAP ‘Ten Liberalisation’ would lead to social unrest, turmoil and even national disintegration as happened to the former Soviet Union.
However, when I challenged Kerk Choo Ting to pinpoint how the DAP’s ‘Ten Democratisation’ Programme could cause social unrest, turmoil and even national disintegration of Malaysia, there was conspicuous silence from Kerk Choo Ting and the other Gerakan leaders – particularly the former Chinese educationists who regarded themselves as the ‘elite of Chinese intelligentsia’ in Malaysia who had pledged in 1982 to ‘Attack into the Barisan Nasional to rectify the Barisan Nasional’.
I have no doubt that if Kerk Choo Ting, Dr. Kang Chin Seng and Dr. Koh Tsu Koon had not ‘Attacked into the Barisan Nasional to rectify the Barisan Nasional’ and completely lost their sense of direction Arid purpose in the process, but had continued their work in the Chinese community and society, they would today be the strongest and advocates of ‘Full Liberalisation’ and ‘Tent Democratisatious’.
It is very sad that after 12 years of ‘Attack into the Barisan Nasional to rectify the Barisan Nasional’, these ‘elite of Chinese intelligentsia’ had been completely ‘rectified’ by the Barisan Nasional and have become the biggest enemies, of ‘Full Liberalisation’ to achieve a Malaysian Malaysia where every Malaysian can have an equal place under the Malaysian sun!
Kerk Choo Ting is a poor student of history and politics if he argues that DAP’s ‘Full Liberalisation’ and ‘Ten Democratisations’ could lead to the disintegration of Malaysia, just as happened to the former USSR.
It is doubly sad that after 12 years in the Barisan Nasional, the ‘elite of Chinese intelligentsia’ had been so thoroughly ‘overhauled” both in soul and spirit by the Barisan Nasional that they have completely changed ‘character’.
Instead of being idealists out to re-make the Barisan Nasional and re-educate Barisan Nasional leadership to change nation-building policies to introduce the values of justice, equality, freedom and non-corruptibility, these self-proclaimed ‘elite of Chinese intelligentsia’ has become the new political desperadoes in Barisan Nasional.
As the new political desperadoes in Barisan Nasional, they resort to the politics of fear, threatening the people that there would be unrest, turmoil and national disintegration if they suppoit the DAP’s call for ‘Pull Liberalisation’.
These new political desperadoes of Barisan Nasional are following a long tradition of Barisan Nasional, where at every stage of its history, there will be those who play the despicable role of trying to flighten and blackmail the people from their legitimate rights and aspirations.
Malaysians will still remember the 1990 general elections, where attempts were made to frighten the electorate that if they voted for the Opposition, there would be a repetition of the May 13 riots of 1969.
Now, these new political desperadoes of the Barisan Nasional – constituted by the former Chinese educationists in Gerakan – are also resorting to the politics of fear to make Malaysians abandon their struggle for a Malaysian Malaysia by demanding supporting the DAP’s call for ‘Full Liberalisation’.
To give credit to Kerk Choo Ting, Dr. Kang Chin Seng and Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, they are intelligent enough to know that they are playing a most dishonourable political role in opposing the DAP’s call for ‘Full Liberalisation’ and that as a result, their place in the history of the struggle of the people of Malaysia for justice, equality and freedom will not be all honourable one.
This is why the Gerakfua leaders dare not accept the DAP challenge to a series of public debates on ‘Full Liberallsation’, which will give the Gerakan leaders an excellent opportu-nity to expound as to how DAP’s coil for ‘Full Liberalisation’, ‘Ten Democratisations’ and a ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ will lead to social unrest, turmoil and national disintegration of Malaysia! However, Gerakan leaders dare not accept such a challenge because they know they have no case whatsoever.
Gerakan and MCA leaders oppose ‘Full Liberalisation’ because they are selfish and are afflicted by a ‘kiasu syndrome’
One important reason why Gerakan and MCA leaders oppose ‘Full Liberalisation’ is because they are selfish and are afflicted by a ‘kiasu syndrome’.
This ‘kiasai syndrome’ of the Gerakan and MCA leaders are different from the ‘kiasu syndrome’ of the Singaporeans.
In Singapore, the ‘kiasu syndrome’ caused the people in the island-state to go our of their way to better themselves and their children so as not to be found wanting wheel compared to their neighbours or their peers.
There are of course the positive, negative and even undesirable aspects of this ‘kiasu syndrome’ of the Singaporeans.
But the ‘kiasu syndromle’ of the Gerakan mid MCA leaders, which caused them to oppose DAP’s ‘Full Liberalisation’ campaign when they should be giving it full support, is ail negative and undesirable.
It is precisely because of this ‘kiasu syndrome’ that the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik ran away from his Mata Kuching parliamentary constituency in Butterworth in 1986 to the Labis parliamentary seat in Johore.
It is also because of this ‘kiasu syndrome’ that the Gerakan and MCA have opposed the lifting of the ban on public rallies, not because they would threaten public disorder or the security of the country but because they believe that DAP leaders are so great public speakers that MCA Ministers and candidates in the next general elections would be thrashed it public rallies are allowed!
It is again because of this ‘kiasu syndrome’ which has caused the Gerakan and MCA to openly oppose the DAP’s call for ‘Full Liberalisation’ as one of the ‘Tell Democratisations’ under the ‘Full Liberalisation’ programme is the restoration of city, municipal and local council elections.
Gerakan and MCA leaders know ttiat if city, municipal and local council elections are restored, their candidates would be wiped out and the DAP would be running the majority of the city, municipal and local council governments in the country.
This Gerakan and MCA ‘kiasu syndrome’ however is not good for democracy or development in Malaysia, and I call on Gerakan and MCA leaders not to allow their ‘kiasu syndrome, to stand in the way of Full Liberalisation so that Anwar’s favourite saying, ‘We Arc All One Family’ has real meaning.