DAP accepts UMNO Supreme Council invitation to an all-party meeting to protest against the resumption of French nuclear tests

By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, October 7, 1995:

DAP accepts UMNO Supreme Council invitation to an all-party meeting to protest against the resumption of French nuclear tests

DAP accepts the UMNO Supreme Council invitation, as announced by the UMNO President. Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad last evening, to an all-party meeting to protest against the resumption of French nuclear tests in the South Pacific and the proposal that the all-party meeting reach a consensus on a memorandum on the issue.

DAP has always made it clear that, on issues of common national and international interest, the DAP is prepared to transcend party politics to work with all other political parties, whether in government or in opposition.

Apart from the all-party meeting to take a common stand to protest against the resumption at French nuclear tests and to demand an immediate halt to further tests in the South Pacific, the Malaysian Parliament, should not again allow an opportunity to pass to take to lead for all Parliaments in the world in denouncing the French nuclear tests.

In the August Parliament, DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng had a motion to condemn resumption of French nuclear tests on the Parliamentary Order Paper, but the motion was not. debated because the government, did not allocate time for the motion to be debated.

As a result, the Malaysian Parliament missed the opportunity in August to be the first Parliament in the world to declare its stand on the issue and shape world opinion in the international protests against the French nuclear tests – at a time when the French had not exploded their first nuclear test.

Lim Guan Eng has resubmitted the motion condemning French nuclear tests for the Parliamentary meeting beginning on October 16, and I hope that the Government and all MPs would be able to stand as one to adopt an unanimous motion to oppose French nuclear tests to forwarded to the European Parliament and the French Parliament.

In this connection, I wish to correct Mahathir when ne said it was not possible to hold a Parliamentary-level meeting as proposed by the DAP since not all political parties have repreĀ¬sentatives in the House. The DAP had never suggested such a meeting. What, the DAP suggested was that the Malaysian Parliament must take a stand and lead the world Parliaments on the issue.

Since the August Parliament, French President Chirac and the French Government had exploded two nuclear devices in French Polynesia, one in the Mururoa atoll and the other at Fangataufa atoll , the latter rave, times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped by the US in Hirosnima in 1945.

The all-party conference to aenounce the French nuclear tests as proposed by the UMNO Supreme Council meeting and an unanimous Malaysian Parliamentary resolution to condemn French nuclear tests would definitely give greater strength and credibility to the Malaysian position in the United Nations and in international forums on this vital issue.

DAP proposes that the all-party conference launches a boycott of French goods and services as a strong protests against resumption of French nuclear tests.

French President Chirac has defied world opinion in continuing with the French nuclear blasts in the South Pacific which have undermined international efforts to achieve a safer, nuclear-free world.

By resuming nuclear testing, the French Government had caused a serious setback to negotiations for a Comprehensive Tests Ban Treaty and countered post-Cold War trends towards a global decrease in the development and use of nuclear weapons.

The French nuclear tests might in fact, spark off a new nuclear race, opening the doors for other countries to resume nuclear testing and for new members to join the nuclear club of nations.

In this context, the silence of the British Government in refusing to denounce the French nuclear tests is very ominous.

The French nuclear tests in the South Pacific are a grave threat to both the global environment as well as the South Pacific island economies.

The French nuclear tests will cause an escalation of radioactive isotopes into the sea, food-chains and surface environment and contaminate the Pacific fish stocks, undermining economies which are dependent on these marine resources.

Chirac and the French Government have turned a deat ear to the international outrage at the resumption of French nuclear tests and want to continue with its series of another six nuclear blasts.

This is unacceptable and intolerable behaviour by a a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and the DAP proposes that the all-party conference adopt a resolution to launch a nation-wide boycott of French goods and services as a strong protest against resumption of French nuclear tests and to back the Malaysian demand for an immediate half to all further tests.