Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secre-tary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Bagan by-election ceramah at Taman Bagan held on Tuesday, September 5, 1995 at 10.30 p.m.
Barisan Nasional is already too strong and does not need another MP while a victory for DAP in Bagan will nurture of the ‘seed of democracy’ in Malaysia after the dismal Opposition showing in the last general election
The choice before the Bagan voters this Saturday is stark and clear.
A victory for Barisan Nasional is meaning as the Barisan Nasional is already too strong in Parliament and does not need another MP. In fact, a defeat for Barisan Nasional in Bagan would be more significant and useful in the long run as with the five-sixth majourity in Parliament, the Barisan Nasional is in danger of losing the ‘check-and-balance’ necessary to ensure that a government provides a good, clean, fair, responsive and progressive administration.
The scores are completely different as far as the DAP is concerned, as a victory or defeat for DAP in the Bagan by-election would have far-reaching implications and consequences.
A DAP defeat would mean a further weakening of the voice of the Opposition in Parliament after a very dismal showing by the Opposition and the DAP in the April general election. In Parliament, the voice of the DAP is the voice of the people and a further reduction of DAP’s already very weak representation in Parliament must mean the stifling of the voice of the people in the highest political and legislative chamber in the country.
A DAP victory however would mean a clear signal that while there is a strong Government under Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed as Prime Minister, the people also want to have a strong and effective Opposition to prevent abuses of power, malpractices, corruption and all forms of deviations.
A DAP victory would nurture the ‘seed of democracy’ in Malaysia after the dismal Opposition showing in the last general election and mean that democracy in Malaysia and DAP could still be saved.
This is why I call on the people of Bagan to measure up to their historic opportunity which would come only once in their lifetime where everyone of them could be a ‘Defender of Democracy” and turn into a “Democracy City”, by being the first urban constituency after the last general election to express in no uncertain terms their desire to save democracy and DAP in Malaysia.
The loss of the Petaling Jaya Utara seat makes the DAP winning the Bagan by-election even more urgent
In the last general election, the DAP’s parliamentary representation was slashed from 20 seats to nine seats.
We had hoped to end up eventually with 10 DAP Parliamentary seats during term of Parliament, as we believe that the DAP would win another parliamentary seat if there is a by-election for the Prtaling Jaya Utara constituency.
On Nomination Day, the DAP candidate for Petaling Jaya Utara, Dr. Kua Kia Soong was disqualified on the flimsiest of grounds denying the people of Petaling Jaya Utara their democratic right to elect the MP of their choice.
In Gua Musang, the UMNO candidate who was disqualified on Nomination Day for making an even bigger mistake succeeded in his election petition and there had to be a by-election in Gua Musang, where the Semangat 46 President, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah retained his seat in a by-election on August 29.
In comparison with the election petition of the UMNO candidate for Gua Musang, the DAP has a definitely stronger case in the Petaling Jaya Utara election petition, which means that there should be a by-election in PJ Utara.
However, Dr. Kua’s election petition was rejected yesterday on a technical ground, leading to the DAP being deprived of a second parliamentary seat after Bukit Bintang although the choice of the people in these two areas to be represented by the DAP is indisputable.
Barisan Nasional leaders are waiting for the DAP to lose a third parliamentary seat – as they expect DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, to be convicted and disqualified as MP next year for political charges which had been preferred against him.
The voters of Bagan must make clear their disapproval of these undemocratic tactics, protest against the appointment of two MCA MPs by the courts and not by the voters (Bukit Bintang and PJ Utara) and not allow Bagan to be another constituency to be deprived of DAP parliamentary representation on Saturday.
Call on Bagan voters to prove MCA leaders who believe that the Bagan people are not fit or qualified to be “Defenders of Democracy” to be very wrong
MCA leaders are claiming that the Bagan by-election cannot be so important that the future of democracy and DAP could turn on its result, and that ir is a hyperbole – ‘talking big’ – for me to say that Bagan could become a “Democracy City” by being the first constituency after the general election to fly the standard to save democracy and the DAP.
They also believe that the people of Bagan are not so politically sophisticated as to be able to talk or think in terms of democracy or to be able to play any role to save democracy and DAP.
The voters of Bagan should prove MCA leaders who believe that the Bagan are not fit or qualified to be “Defenders if Democracy” to be very wrong.
This only shows the ignorance of MCA leaders who had never been on the frontline in the battle for democracy in the entire political careers and are strangers to the dynamics of democracy.
I know that the Bagan by-election is not an easy battle for the DAP and that with their politics of money, bribery and phantom voters, the MCA might beat the DAP. However, because of the far-reaching implications of the Bagan by-election, I hope that the people of Bagan could ensure not only that the DAP could win, but win with a completely unexpected majourity to send a loud and clear message that a nation-wide movement to save democracy and DAP has started in Bagan September 1995!
If the Baganvoters could use the Bagan by-election to save democracy and DAP, and thus deserve the title of “Democracy City” for Bagan, then the Bagan voters would have taught the MCA leaders a precious lesson in politics in general and democracy in particular.