(Penang, Thursday): It is not often that history knocks on the door of a people, as it is the lot of most people to read about history rather than be writing history. For Sungai Bakap, this is the first time that history has come a-calling.
It is not easy for ordinary people to write history as it calls for superhuman effort. It would not be easy for the people of Sungai Bakap to write history on Nov. 8, as nobody expects Sungai Bakap to write history just as nobody expects the DAP to win in the Sungai Bakap by-election.
The people of Sungai Bakap has as a tryst with history. The question is whether the people of Sungai Bakap can keep the appointment with history or would miss the opportunity to write history.
Gerakanís easy and comfortable win in the Sungai Bakap by-election is not the stuff of history, and in fact, when this happens, the Sungai Bakap by-election would be forgotten immediately after Nov. 8, because the people of Sungai Bakap would have missed the tryst with history.
But if the people of Sungai Bakap can "write history, create miracle" on Nov. 8 by creating a political earthquake, whether Richter 6 or 7, then Sungai Bakap will join the illustrious ranks of Bagan and Teluk Intan as the new political centres of the next millennium leading the people towards the 21st century where the peopleís rights and interests are of paramount importance.
There are five important reasons why the voters of Sungai Bakap should "write history, create miracle" on Saturday and give every support to the DAP candidate, Goh Kheng Huat.
Firstly, to make the 30 Fundamental Positions, Demands and Aspirations of the people of Sungai Bakap, which should be known as the 30-Point Sungai Bakap Declaration For Good Government, as a historic political document which should be the basis for nation-building and political reform for Penang and Malaysia for the next five years.
Secondly, endorse the great political statements by the Voters of Bagan in September 1995 and the Voters of Teluk Intan in May 1997 that Malaysians want democracy as well as development.
Thirdly, to represent the people of Penang and Malaysia to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Barisan Nasional Government, whether at state or federal level, that development is the fundamental right of all Malaysians, and the peopleís money should not be used during the elections as a "bargain" to give votes to Barisan Nasional candidates.
Fourthly, to start a new political era in Penang politics, where there has been a political vacuum since the disastrous DAP defeat in the 1995 general elections, marking the beginning of a DAP recovery and restoration of a strong and effective Opposition in Penang to keep the Barisan Nasional government on its toes again.
Fifthly, to honour the memory and uphold the good name of the late Ooi Theng Bok and to protest against the despicable besmirching of his name and reputation, just to garner votes for the Gerakan candidate.
I do not know whether the people of Sungai Bakap would keep its tryst with history on Saturday to "write history, create miracle". I would be leaving for New Delhi on Saturday to attend the Socialist International Asia-Pacific Committee meeting as well as the Socialist International Council meeting.
I would however be waiting expectantly for the results. In September 1996, I was in New York in the United Nations for the 20th Socialist International Congress when I was informed by phone of our great historic breakthrough in the Sarawak state general elections where for the first time in 18 years, we won in the State Assembly elections with three seats.
I do not know whether there would be such good news when I am in New Delhi, although I am still rather skeptical that Goh Kheng Huat could be elected the new DAP State Assemblyman for Sungai Bakap.
However, as I said, the people can "write history, create miracle" without the DAP winning in the by-election. They could do so if they bring about a Richter 6 political earthquake in slashing the previous Gerakanís 5,327-vote majority to below 500 votes.
Of course, there are other Richter levels of political earthquake which the people of Sungai Bakap can create, Richter 5 if they slash the Gerakan majority to below 1,250 votes; Richter 4 if they slash the Gerakan majority to below 2,000 votes; Richter 3, if they slash the Gerakan majority to below 2,750 votes; and Richter 2 if they slash the Gerakan majority to below 3,500 votes.
The people of Sungai Bakap must decide whether they want to be a Kidurong, where the DAP wins a moral victory although we cannot win the seat, which would be between Richter 2 - 5; or a Teluk Intan, which would be a Richter 6 by slashing the Gerakan majority to below 500 votes; or make Sungai Bakap a new political milestone for other parts of Penang and Malaysia to emulate - a Richter 7 in doing the unthinkable and impossible of electing Goh Kheng Huat the Assemblyman for Sungai Bakap.