by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang,in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 24th January, 1995:
DAP has referred to our lawyers Anwar Ibrahim’s speech in Kangar on Sunday and the Utusan Malaysia and Utusan Melayu editorials today which are not only most seditious and inflammatory but also highly communal and defamatory
DAP takes the strongest objection to the speech by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Kangar on Sunday and the Utusan Malaysia and Utusan Melayu editorials today.
The Utusan Malaysia and Utusan Melayu editorials, under the heading “Jangan Khianati Pembangunan Bangsa”, started with the following paragraph:
“Ingatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim kelmarin terhadap agenda politik DAP yang cuba memastikan kaum bumiputera terus kekal miskin dan hidup dalam keadaan daif seharusnya dijadikan iktibar oleh bangsa itu.”
Yesterday, Utusan Malaysia gave “Awas Pengkhianat” as the front-page headline to Anwar’s speech with the secondary headline “Anwar kecam pihak yang diperalat oleh DAP”, together with the following lead:”Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hari ini menggesa rakyat supaya rakyat mengepikan pengkhianat pembangunan dikalangan orang Melayu sendiri yang sebenarnya didalangi oleh DAP.”
These are most seditious, inflammatory, defamatory and very communal allegations, especially in a multi-racial country like Malaysia.
DAP has referred Anwar Ibrahim’s speech in Kangar and the Utusan Malaysia and Utusan Melayu editorials to our lawyers for study and action.
With the approach of the general elections, the UMNO leadership may be rattled particularly by two recent developments in the country:
*Firstly, the nation-wide opposition to the land acquisition abuses and injustices which is gaining strength throughout the country
*Secondly, the inroads made by the DAP among the Malays demonstrating that the DAP is a party which fights for justice and fair play for all Malaysian regardless of race, whether at Pantai Merah, Pantai Kundor or Kerpan, or involving FELDA or FELCRA settlers.
This is why at the recent DAPSY ceramah in Malacca town last week, the majority of the crowd were Malays – which is a breakthrough by itself. As a result, the propaganda and lies spread over the years that the DAP is anti-Malay is being broken.
From the national point of view, as well as from the standpoint of Vision 2020 the second development where more and more Malays could accept and support the DAP should be welcomed and encouraged, although from the narrow party point of view, UMNO would be opposed to it.
However, there can be no excuse or justification for such highly seditious, inflammatory, communal and defamatory allegations and editorials to try to frighten the Malays from accepting and supporting the DAP, for this would do irreparable harm to a multi-racial nation like Malaysia.
Leaders and editorial writers should also exercise greater responsibility when addressing the land acquisition issue, and not to communalise an issue which has nothing to do with race but concerns the striking of a fair balance between development needs and the property rights of Malaysia, whether Malays, Chinese or Indians.
The accusation that the DAP is trying to sabotage the ‘development’ of the Malays because we spoke up on behalf of the villagers at Pantai Kundor, Pantai Tanah Merah and Kerpan should never have been made by any responsible Malaysian – unless the DAP is also to be accused of wanting to sabotage the ‘development’ of the Chinese when the DAP also championed the landowners at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Paya Mengkuang and Kuala Sungai Baru in Malacca, Gelang Patah in Johore, Seremban II land acquisition in Negri Sembilan and Bandar Aman Jaya in Sungai Patani (although there are also Malay landowners in some of these projects) because of unfair, inequitable and arbitrary land acquisitions.
The DAP has made it very clear that we are not against development, but it must be development with justice to the landowners and not purely to benefit individuals or private companies with special connections to the top Barisan Nasional leadership in the various states.