Arrival Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Bintulu on Friday, September 15, 1995 at 1 p.m.
Call on the people of Sarawak to respond to the DAP’s nation-wide RM100 Life Membership campaign to save the DAP to fight for democracy and development in Malaysia
I wish first to thank the people of Bintulu for their election of a DAP MP for Bintulu in the April general election. The election of Chiew Chin Sing as DAP MP for Bintulu, defeating Datuk James Wong, the veteran of Sarawak politics, is the only light in an otherwise very bleak general election result for the DAP.
I believe that although there was elation and joy in Bintulu at the election of a DAP MP after the April general election results were known, this elation and joy in Bintulu must have been very subdued because of the ‘thrashing’ the DAP received in the rest of the country – to the extent that the question was raised as to whether DAP could survive or should close shop.
The great DAP victory in the Bagan by-election last Saturday, where the DAP won by an unbelievable majority of 11,802 votes – which was 100 times the majority which the DAP received in the April general election – has given new hope to the DAP and Malaysians who are concerned about the state of democracy and ‘check-and-balance’ of the government in Malaysia.
Although the DAP had won the Bagan by-election, the DAP is still facing a crisis of political survival, especially financial survival.
One of the goals of my present trip to Sarawak is to seek the support of the people of Sarawak to save DAP and democracy in Malaysia. Last night in Miri, the DAP officially launched the nation-eide RM100 Life Membership campaign, which has two objectives:
Firsty, we need more Malaysians to come forward to support the DAP cause for democracy and development in Malaysia. Secondly, we need urgent financial ‘rescue’, as after the disastrous April general election result, the DAP immediately faced an acute financial crisis.
The DAP had always depended on donations from DAP MPs and State Assemblymen – from their allowances – to meet our financial needs. In April general election, however, the DAP’s elected representation was slashed from 20 MPs and 46 assemblymen to none MPs (now left with eight) and 11 Assemblymen, which means an immediate slash of our incomes by about 65 per cent.
This is one reason why we are launching a nation-wide RM100 DAP Life Membership campaign, which is a temporary three-month reduction from our usual rate of RM200 for Life Membership – to give an opportunity for Malaysians who are concerned about the revival of DAP and the restoration of democracy in Malaysia to make a concrete contribution to save the DAP from financial disaster so that democracy in Malaysia could be restored.
I hope that the people of Bintulu will respond to the DAP RM100 Life Membership campaign so that the DAP can stand tall to fight for the right of all Malaysians to democracy and development in the country.