Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the Paya Terubong Branch DAP Chinese New Year Gathering in Paya Terubong on Saturday, February 11, 1995 at 8 pm
The Barisan Nasional will be playing the Chinese and the China cards as the main draws for the Chinese electorate in the next general elections
The Barisan Nasional will be playing the Chinese and China cards as the two main draws for the Chinese electorate in the next general elections.
In previous general elections, the Gerakan and MCA candidates had to depend on UMNO’s Malay votes to get elected. In the next general elections, Gerakan and MCA candidates are not only hoping to depend on UMNO’s Malay votes but also to bank on the draw of the UMNO leaders to win the Chinese votes.
This is why there has been such a frenzy of UMNO leaders doing Chinese calligraphy publicly. The Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim started the Chinese calligraphy trend of UMNO leaders with the seven-word “We Are All One Family”. The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed was next with the one-word “Patience” before the Chinese New Year.
The Chinese New Year brought forth a veritable explosion of Chinese calligraphy of UMNO leaders, with the Johore Mentri Besar writing “Prosperity”, the Malacca Chief Minister writing “Spring”, the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar writing “Wealth” and “Justice Under the Heavens”, and the Perak Mentri Besar writing “Beneficence”.
But no UMNO leaders have been asked to write “Auspicious” – except a leader from China who visited Malaysia recently!
Undoubtedly, the Gerakan and MCA leaders regard the UMNO President and UMNO Deputy President as even greater draws for the Chinese vote than the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik – and this is a sad commentary of the marginalised state of the Gerakan and the MCA in the Barisan Nasional scheme of things.
If in the next general elections, the voters regard form – such as Chinese calligraphy by UMNO leaders – as more important than substance, as whether Malaysians have in fact become “All One Family” by eliminating the distinction of Malaysians into bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras, the Barisan Nasional would be facing a most favourable general elections.
It is our challenge to make the voters see the distinction between form and substance, appearance and reality in Barisan Nasional policies of the past four years, why the DAP has described them as ‘Minor Liberalisation’ and is calling for ‘Full Liberalisation’.
Our progress to make voters see the distinction between form and substance, appearance and reality in Barisan Nasional policies, Minor Liberalisation and Full Liberalisation will decide whether the DAP’s Battle of Tanjong 3 to capture Penang state government and to make Penang the engine-head for a Malaysian-wide Full Liberalisation movement can succeed or not.