Speech (Part 2) by DAP Secretary-General , Parliamentary Candidate for Tanjong and State Assembly Candidate for Tanjong Bunga , Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP General Election ceramah at Fortuna Restaurant on Saturday, April 22 ,1995 at 11p.m.
Penang under a DAP State Government cannot be squeezed as the success of Penang will be the success of Malaysia while the failure of Penang will be the failure of Malaysia
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir had threatened that the Federal Government would not co-operate with a Penang State Government under the DAP.
I will be very surprise if no much threats are made during the election campaign, that Penang will be finished, that Penang will be squeezed by the Federal Government or that Penang will be reduced to that of Kelantan. If DAP succeeds in its Tanjong 3 Battle to capture the Penang State Government.
The very fact during his recent visit to Penang, Mahathir himself had to make so blatant a threat is the best indication chat however uphill the battle for Tanjong3. There is a chance that DAP can form the Penang State Government after Polling Day on Tuesday.
Although Mahathir has been Issuing threats that Penang is ‘finished’ if the DAP comes into power in the general election, he will have to accept the reality when the heat and dust of the hustings had settled down after the election that Penang is not Kelantan.
Barisan Nasional leaders have been accusing Kelantan of being backward in development under the PAS Government- but Kelantan had continued to be the poorest state in the country when it was ruled by the Barisan Nasional for 17 years from 1973 to 1990.
Mahathir should realise that if Penang is finished, Malaysia is also finished as the success of Penang is the success of Malaysia and the failure of Penang will be the failure of Malaysia.
Penang is not only the Silicon Valley of Malaysia but leads the whole of South East Asia in this area. The electronics and electrical industries earned over RM50 billion in 1993 for the country. With the total value of the manufacturing sector worth RM85 billion, the electronics and electrical sector is the largest foreign exchange earner of all manufacturing sectors.
Any Federal government squeeze against Penang will be a squeeze against Malaysia as a whole as it would damage this industry as well as other sectors costing the whole country the loss of billions of ringgit in foreign exchange. This will deflate the value of the ringgit which is now Singapore $1 to RM 1.7 and it may end up in $1 to RM2 or more!
If the Federal Government ‘squeezed’ Penang because it has a DAP State Government, Mahathir will have abandon his Vision 2020 to make Malaysia a fully developed nation
Any Federal government squeeze against Penang will also be a squeeze against top UMNO leaders and their relatives who have moved into high profit-making industries and businesses in Penang, whether manufacturing, banking, communication, transportation, medical facilities, leisure, housing, education etc.
The Penang Bridge, for instance, has been privatised to the United Engineer Malaysia well-known for its UMNO connections. Many relatives including children of top UMNO leaders are involved in major corporations in Penang, including Leader Universal which owns Dolphin Square Sdn. Bhd. Which demolish Hotel Metropole on Christmas Day in 1993.
Will UMNO leaders want to ‘squeeze’ themselves if the DAP captures the Penang State Government on Tuesday?
I have declared that a DAP Penang State Government will co-operate with the Federal Government for the good of the people of Penang and Malaysia.
In view of the strategic and important economic position and role of Penang in Malaysia, the Federal Government cannot treat Penang in the manner that it had treated Kelantan as it is not only Penang but also Malaysia as a whole who will be the losers- and Mahathir can then forget about his Vision 2020 of wanting to make Malaysia a fully developed nation.
I have no doubt that between squeezing Penang and allowing Vision 2020 to fail or ensuring the success of Vision 2020 by co-operating with Penang under a DAP government, Mahathir would want to work for the success of Vision 2020 rather than to work for the failure of Penang and Malaysia.