by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Wednesday, 18.1.1995:
Anwar Ibrahim is inheriting the mantle of Ghazalie Shafie as the Barisan Nasional ideologue when he said that the country can do without an Opposition
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is inheriting the mantle of Ghazalie Shafie as the Barisan Nasional ideologue when he said in Kuching yesterday that the people can do without the Opposition as the Barisan Nasional is able to play “the Opposition’s role” effectively.
Anwar Ibrahim is trying to inherit the mantle Ghazalie Shafie as the Barisan Nasional ideologue when he made such a preposterous statement – for it was Ghazalie Shafie who said in the early 1970s that an Opposition in Malaysia was both ‘unnecessary’ and an ‘evil’.
Ghazalie Shafie made such a statement at the height of his power and influence in the early 1970s (when he was seriously considered as a potential Prime Minister and who was nearly appointed Deputy Prime Minister in 1976) immediately after the formation of the Barisan Nasional.
The Malaysian people however have proved Ghazalie Shafie wrong in the general elections in the past two decades, for the DAP has proved that it had made a great contribution to stand up for democracy, oppose human rights violations and avert the country from moving towards a nation-building policy which repudiates the multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious character of Malaysia.
Without the firm and unrelenting stand of the DAP for the great principles of justice, equality and national unity both in Parliament and outside in the past two decades, Malaysia could not have started on the self-correction in nation-building policies in the past four years – which the DAP has described as ‘minor liberalisation’ as it is still far short of the ‘full liberalisation’ which we want.
The Opposition parties had in fact made a great contribution to make the democratic process work since Merdeka, for the political stability and the economic status enjoyed by Malaysia is not solely the contribution of the Barisan Nasional, but of all opposition parties and the Malaysian people who have committed themselves to the democratic political process.
Now, on the eve of the next general elections, Anwar Ibrahim has resurrected Ghazalie Shafie’s anti-Opposition theme. This reflects the great confidence of Barisan Nasional leaders that the next general elections is not only going to be a very good round for the Barisan Nasional but their growing belief and arrogance that they could also crush the Opposition or give the Opposition its greatest electoral defeat since the first general elections in the country in 1959.
Anwar Ibrahim’s statement that the people can do without an Opposition in Malaysia may reflect the undemocratic face and dimension of the Deputy Prime Minister, which has never manifested itself before.
It is again to be left to the wisdom of the Malaysian electorate in the next general elections to decide whether they will accept Anwar Ibrahim’s anti-opposition theme when for the last 20 years they had rejected Ghazalie Shafie’s double condemnation that Opposition in Malaysia is both ‘unnecessary’ and an ‘evil’.