(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Mohamad Isa and MCA leaders have publicly declared their confidence not only in retaining the Repah state assembly seat, but in winning with a majority bigger than in the April 1995 general elections.
In the 1995 general elections, the Barisan Nasional won Repah state assembly seat with a 2,791-vote majority.
This means that if Barisan Nasional secure a majority not more than 2,791 votes, the Barisan Nasional has already lost because the boasts of Mohd Isa and the MCA leaders have been debunked.
However, the DAP and the voters of Repah should not be content to prove Mohamad Isa and the MCA leaders wrong when they claim that they would win Repah, a Class 1 stronghold of the Barisan Nasional, with an even bigger majority than two years ago.
DAP has called on the people of Repah to create a "political earthquake" in the by-election with the three-fold objective of nationally, to demand that the Barisan Nasional government must clean, fair and people-oriented in its policies and programmes; at the state level, to send a clear message to Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that the time has come for Negri Sembilan to have a new Mentri Besar to restore public confidence in the state government as one which is fair, just and transparent; and at local level, to send out a clear signal that Repah wants full development attention of both the Federal and state governments.
The Barisan Nasional victory yesterday in the Sarawak by-election of Kemena - which is in a politically seismic zone - with Datuk Celestine Ujang winning with a 5,471-vote majority after securing 6,928 votes against 1,457 votes cast for DAP candidate Chiew Chiu Sing, is evidence that it is not easy to generate a political earthquake in a politically non-seismic area like Repah.
However, Teluk Intan has shown that political miracles are still possible at this age and time, and it is not completely impossible for a political earthquake to take place in Repah on polling day on Thursday - although the odds are one in a million.
Repah voters of all races should collectively create this "political earthquake" and make a great contribution to the realisation of a more mature democracy and a good government, whether at national or state level.
In addition to the Ten Fundamental Demands and Aspirations yesterday, the voters of Repah should present another ten fundamental demands and aspirations on behalf of all Malaysians - which should be known as the Repah 20-Points:
11. SUPPORT that a vote of no confidence be moved in the July meeting of Parliament against the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah for his series of highly controversial decisions made in pursuance of the exercise of his discretionary powers provided under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution to "institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence", which show a pattern of bias and selective prosecution against the Opposition and NGOs, seriously undermining public confidence in the independence and integrity of the office of Attorney-General. Among the series of highly controversial decisions as Attorney-General, Mohtar Abdullah should explain the unprecedented and most extraordinary decision to publicly announce on 30th April 1997 that the Attorney-Generalís Chambers would appeal against the sentences imposed on DAP Deputy Secretary-General, DAPSY National Chairman and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, as inadequate "in view of the gravity of the offences which is against the administration of justice".
Furthermore, the Attorney-General should give a satisfactory accounting as to which case is more serious, the case involving Lim Guan Eng or the case of the High Court judge who wrote a 33-page poison-pen pamphlet alleging corruption, abuses of power and misconduct against the Judiciary, specifically making 112 allegations against 12 judges. In this case, the Attorney-General in his discretion decided not to prefer any charges against the High Court judge.
12. DECLARE that development is the fundamental right of the people of Repah and that of every Malaysian, and should not be used as a "government bribe" to get votes, as all citizens pay taxes to contribute to the government coffers and there should be no discrimination against the people in development on grounds of who is elected Assemblyman for the area.
13. CALL for a fair land distribution policy to Malaysians who need land, either for housing or cultivation and a public housing programme to provide affordable housing to all Malaysians.
14. EXPRESS grave concern that Malaysia is lagging behind other countries in creating a world-class educational system and CALL for fundamental educational reforms to make Malaysiaís universities internationally recognised as top educational institutions in the world. Asiaweek recently ranked Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as the second most powerful individual in the Asia-Pacific after Chinese head of state and Communist Party chief, Jiang Zemin. It also did a ranking of Asiaís 50 best universities in the region. Not a single Malaysian university is ranked in the top best 10 universities, while only three local universities managed to make into the list of the 50 universities. University of Malaya is ranked No. 11, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia ranked No. 20 and Universiti Science Malaysia ranked No. 49.
15. URGE that the country introduce a life-long education system where tertiary education is made universal and affordable to all Malaysians with the abilities and inclinations to continuously better their knowledge or improve their skills.
16. CALL for a Government IT Plan for Repah so that the people of Repah can be in the forefront of Information Technology revolution and not fall behind among the "Information Poor" - with a strategy to adopt a "IT For All" Agenda with a "one family, one computer" programme to benefit the new generation.
17. DEMAND a master plan for the short, medium and long-term development of Repah to become one of the better developed areas in the state.
18. PAY TRIBUTE to the voters of Bagan, who gave DAP and democracy a new lease of life when democracy was at its darkest hour, by giving the DAP a 11,802-vote majority in the Bagan by-election on 9th September 1995, which was 100 times the DAP majority of 118 votes four months earlier, declaring that the people of Malaysia want democracy as well as development, earning the appellation of "Bandar Democracy" for Bagan;
19. PAY TRIBUTE to the voters of Teluk Intan who "wrote history, create miracle" on 17th May 1997 when they generated a Richter 6 "political earthquake" wiping out the Barisan Nasionalís 13,968-vote majority two years ago and giving the DAP a 2,916-vote majority instead - an awesome turnaround of 16,884 votes. Teluk Intan has earned the appellation of "Defend Constitution Town" in highlighting the utmost importance to defend the fundamental constitutional rights of all Malaysians and to oppose any violation or erosion of these rights.
20. RESOLVE to continue in the great tradition of the Bagan and Teluk Intan by-elections through the creation of a political earthquake in a non-seismic political zone to underline the commitment and the yearing of Malaysians for a fair, just, clean, honest and accountable government and a free, tolerant, democratic, equitable and developed Malaysia as encapsulated in the REPAH TWENTY-POINTS.