Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the tenth. Penang ‘Tanjong 3’ Marathon Thousand-People Dinner held at Nibong Tebal on Monday, October 24, 1994 at 8 pm
The ‘Minor Liberalisation’ of the past three years was made possible because the DAP created history in the 1990 general elections by smashing the ‘Pendulum Theory’
In the past fortnight, the Gerakan Publicity Chief, Dr. Rang Chin Seng, had the unenviable task of trying to counter the DAP’s inessage for ‘Full Liberalisation’ to achieve a Malaysian Malaysia.
Chin Seng put up a valiant effort to try to rebut the DAP assertion that the ‘Minor Liberalisation’ in certain educational and economic fields in the past three years were the result of the people’s support for the DAP struggle in the past three decades for a Malaysian Malaysia.
He said that if the argument that the ‘DAP’s pressure led to the liberalisation of valid, is valid, then the nation-building policies should be most liberal when DAP had the most Parliamentary seats, i.e. in 1986 when the DAP had 24 MPs.
He argued that this was riot the case, as the liberalisation process gained momentum only after the 1990 general elections, when the DAP’s par1iamentary representation fell from 24 MPs to 20 MPs.
I am shocked that the National Publicity Chief of Gerakan could show such political naivety with such shallow analysis and arguments.
If the Gerakan and MCA leaders want to disprove that it was because of the DAP’s 1990 general election results which forced the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to embark on ‘Minor Liberalisation’ measures, they should come up with more cogent and convincing arguments and analysis.
The ‘Minor Liberalisation’ of the past three years was made possible because in
the 1990 General Elections, the DAP smashed the ‘Pendulum Theory’ which had operated an election law for over three decades since the nation’s first general elections in 1959.
Under this general elections ‘Pendulum Theory’, the urban voters would switch their support between the ruling party and the Opposition with every general elections.
This applied in the first seven general elections from 1959 to 1986, with the Opposition notching up victories in the urban• areas in the 1959, 1969, 1978 and 1986 general elections while the Barisan Nasional regaining urban electoral support in the 1964, 1974 and 1982 general elections.
The Barisan Nasional had used this law of the ‘Pendulum Theory’ in the urban areas as an excuse not to undertake any radical review of nation-building policie,, when the DAP scored victories in the urban areas as the MCA and the Gerakan argued that the urban electorate would be returning to the Barisan Nasional fold in the subsequent general elections.
This Pendulum Theory lasted until the 1990 general elections when the DAP smashed it into smithereens as the DAP maintained its urban electoral support for two consecutive general elections, which is electoral history in Malaysia.
It is true that. the DAP Parliamentary representation fell from 24 MPs to 26 MPs, but the loss of four DAP parliamentary seats were because of the peculiar political developments in Sabah state on the eve of the general elections where the PBS pulled out of Barisan National. If not for this development, the DAP would not only have regained the four Parliamentary seats in Sabah but could look forward to winning a few others as well.
If Mahathir had listened to MCA and Gerakan philosophy after 1990 general elections that the Chinese in Malaysia should be ‘contented’, there would be no ‘Minor Liberalisation’ in the past three years
The smashing of The Pendu1um Theory in the 1990 general elections where the DAP created history in being the only political party in the history of Malaysia to win solid urban electoral support in two consecutive general elections so shocked the UMNO leaders that UMNO Ministers openly accused the Malaysian Chinese for being ‘ungrateful’ and demanding to know why they did not support MCA and the Gerakan in the 1990 general elections.
At that time, the response of the MCA and Gerakan leaders were best summed up in Liong Sik’s public statement: “The Chinese in Malaysia should be contented because they have more political economic, educational, cultural and religious rights than the Chinese Lit any other country”.
There would not by any ‘Minor Liberalisation’ in the last three years, if this MCA and Geraken philosophy had been adopted by Mahathir.
It was precisely because the DAP stood up in Parliament to tell the Barisan Nosional Government loud and clear that what the Chinese in Malaysia wanted was their full citizenship rights, that Mahathir realised that if the Barisan was to compete with the DAP to win the hearts and minds of the people, he had to initiate ‘Minor Liberalisation’ measures.
The credit for the ‘Minor Liberalisation’ of the past three years must undoubtedly go to the people who for the past three years had supported the DAP’s struggle for a Malaysian Malaysia.
Penang must be the ‘engine -head’ for the nation¬wide ‘Full Liberalisation’ campaign to achieve a Malaysian Malaysia
The greatest challenge before the people of Malaysia is to translate the ‘Minor Liberalisation’ of the past three years into ‘Full Liberalisation’ not only to restore all the lost rights of Malaysians, but to establish a Malaysia where all Malaysians can enjoy an equal place under the Malaysian sun.
The ‘Tanjong 3′ Battle is therefore a challenge to the people of Penang to be the engine-head’ for the nation-wide ‘Full Liberalisation’ campaign to achieve a Malaysian Malaysia.
Tonight is the tenth and last of the 10-Night ‘Tanjong 3’ Marathon Thousand-People Dinners to announce the DAP’s ‘Full Liberalisation’ and ‘Ten Democratisations’ programme as the next phase of the DAP struggle for a Malaysian Malaysia.
Our next step is to launch a nation-wide ‘Full Liberalisation’ Campaign which will be start from Malacca on November 5 to spread the message to the people throughout the country that the next general elections is not about ‘Minor Liberalisation’ but about ‘Full Liberalisation’.
We had intended to release in conjunction with the second series of five ‘Tanjong 3’ Marathon Thousand-People Dinners in Butterworth, Bukit Mertajam and Nibong Tebel the DAP’s next five Declaration of Nation-Building Policies, on land, housing, labour, environment and the second part of Penang as Model State.
In view of the DAP decision to launch a nation-wide ‘Full Liberalisation’ campaign from state to state, the next five declarations of nation-building policies will be released during the nation-wide campaign – with the first one on Land Policies to be released in Malacca on November 5.