Lawyer and Perak DAP State Treasurer will be DAP candidate in the Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election

Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): This is to announce that the DAP candidate for the Teluk Intan Parliamentary by-election will be lawyer and Perak DAP State Treasurer, M. Kulasegaran, 39. Born and educated in Sitiawan before he went to Lincolnís Inn in London to read law, Kulasegran was the DAP candidate for Taman Canning state assembly seat in Perak during the 1995 general elections.

The DAP is conscious that it is very difficult to win the Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election. The DAP won the Teluk Anson parliamentary seat once in the 1969 parliamentary elections when Chan Fu King defeated the MCA Minister for Health, Dr. Ng Kam Poh in one of the major upsets of the general elections.

However, since the redelineation of the parliamentary constituencies in 1974, 1984 and 1993, the parliamentary constituency of Teluk Anson in 1969 had become very changed in voter composition and character.

Of course, every time we fight in an election, we fight to win - and Teluk Intan will be no exception. However, the DAP knows that it would be very difficult to win the Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election on May 17. But we intend and we are confident that we can put up a great fight in the by-election, not only for the rights of the voters in Teluk Intan but also for the people in the whole country.

The importance of the Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election is not confined to Teluk Intan constituency but would have far-reaching significance for future political developments and nation-building policies and directions for the whole country.

DAP leaders will develop the theme as to why the Teluk Intan by-election is important for the future of the people, not only in the constituency, but throughout the country, during the by-election compaign from May 6 to 17 and why the DAP is asking for solid support for the voters of all races in Teluk Intan.

Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Kepong, has been appointed the National Supervisor for the DAP Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election.

DAP now faces the prospect of having to fight seven by-elections.

May 12 is the date for the hearing at the Miri High Court of the election petition filed by the defeated SUPP candidate for Kidurong state assemby seat in the Sarawak state general elections challenging to declare the election of the present DAP State Assemblyman for Kidurong, Wong Sing Ai, null and void.

Already the DAP faces the possibility of having to fight six by-elections, the Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election on May 17, the Kemena state assembly by-election in Sarawak on May 24-25, the by-election in Kota Melaka parliamentary seat in view of the sentences passed by the Malacca High Court on DAP Deputy Secretary-General, DAPSY National Chairman and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, for offences under the Sedition Act and Printing Presses and Publications Act disqualifying as Member of Parliament and another by-election in Negri Sembilan resulting from the death of the incumbent. Then there are the two by-elections in Selangor arising from having to bring down a Cabinet Minister from the Federal level to the Selangor State Assembly to fill the post of Selangor Mentri Besar to meet the qualifications of being "clean and honest". If the DAP has to fight a by-election in Kidurong as well, the DAP will have to face the prospect of fighting seven by-elections!

Whether the DAP will contest the Parliamentary by-election in Kuala Selangor and the Permatang State Assembly seat as the result of the swapping of the seats between Datuk Abu Hassan Omar and Datuk Jamaluddin Adnan has still to be decided.

There can of course be different views as to whether the DAP should contest the by-elections created by the appointment of Datuk Abu Hassan Omar as Selangor Mentri Besar.

The argument against a contest is to give Datuk Abu Hassan an opportunity to have a new beginning first.

The arguments in favour of a contest is to highlight the need for a clean and honest administration in Selangor and the peopleís demand for the cleansing of the Augean stables.

The Sultan of Selangorís advice to the new Mentri Besar should be the open standards of the new Selangor State Government. Asked by the press as to what advice he would give to the new Mentri Besar, the Sultan said he must exercise greater care when carrying out his duties, be honest and sincere, must not tell lies and, most important, he must be trustworthy when dealing in matters of public interest.

I personally congratulate Datuk Abu Hassan on his appointment, which is a recognition of his integrity and professional approach. However, the very fact that Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had to ask a senior Cabinet Minister to descend to state politics is a poor reflection on the existing crop of Selangor UMNO Exco members and Assemblymen - indicating that not one of them is qualified to be elevated to be Selangor Mentri Besar!

In the circumstances, how much can one person do in Selangor?

Furthermore, Tan Sri Muhammad Taib is still UMNO Vice President and State Assemblyman although he had failed to give any account about the international reports about his vast properties in Australia and extraordinary expenditures.

A contest in the Selangor by-elections would serve to highlight the important fact that there has been no satisfactory resolution of the Muhammad Taib issue and a reminder to the new government of the expectations of the people that it must be able to cleanse the Augean stables.

The DAP Central Executive Committee will await the recommendations of the Selangor DAP State Committee and we are likely to endorse whatever decision is decided by Selangor State Committee, regardless of our personal views.


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong