(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): I have absolutely nothing to say on what former Perak DAP State Chairman and former MP for Ipoh, Sdr. Lau Dak Kee said yesterday about the KOKS campaign and the names that he had revealed.
I have said that it is no breach of party discipline for any party leader or member to join or lead the KOKS campaign, whether to canvas delegate support to topple Dr. Chen Man Hin, Karpal Singh or me. What we do not want is an irresponsible campaign spreading falsehoods and lies about the party leadership which can only divide and destroy the party and undermine party unity and credibility.
It is unthinkable that the lies and the falsehoods that are being spread by our Barisan Nasional opponents about nepotism or authoritarianism should be adopted and spread maliciously inside the party.
Furthermore, it is also unacceptable that party leaders can defy the important principle of collective leadership and responsibility, without which no leadership in any political party or human organisation can operate or function.
Let me just say that no action would be taken against those mentioned by Dak Kee as involved in the KOKS campaign.
It is the democratic right of any party member to join or lead the KOKS campaign. However, nobody has the democratic right to spread lies or falsehoods or to defy the principle of collective leadership and responsibility.
I have said and I reiterate that the doors of party leadership are always open to those who are prepared to see the error of their ways and I am always ever ready to meet any party leader about their discontents or grievances.
I think too much time and energy has been spent on the DAPís internal problems and I call on DAP leaders, branches and members to refocus their energies and time on creating a new political equation in Malaysia for a national movement for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.
Four political events of earthquake proportions took place after the 1995 general elections:
The first was the Bagan parliamentary by-election result of Sept. 9, 1995 which is Richter 3 scale. In the Bagan by-election, the political tremors it created is not because the DAP through Sdr. Lim Hock Seng retained the seat which became vacant as a result of the untimely death of Sdr. P. Patto, but because the DAP won Bagan with a 11,802-vote majority, which is 100 times the majority of 118 votes four months earlier in the April 1995 general elections.
The second was the historic breakthrough by DAP in the Sarawak state general elections for the first time in 18 years when in September 1996, three DAP State Assembly got elected into the Sarawak State Assembly. Although this was a Sarawak state event, it had seismic effect for the whole of Malaysia.
The third was the Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election result where the Barisan Nasional lost its stronghold in a most decisive manner, wiping out the previous 13,986-vote majority of the Barisan Nasional and the DAPís M. Kulasegaran winning instead with a 2,916-vote majority - an awesome turnaround of 16,884 votes. This was why I had described the Teluk Intan by-election result akin to a Richter 6 political earthquake.
The Arau parliamentary by-election is the fourth seismic event, with the PAS candidate winning a traditional 43-year-old UMNO stronghold since 1955, which will have vast implications on the political scenario, both for the present and in the next general elections. In the Arau by-election, PAS wiped out the previous UMNO 6,889-vote majority in the April 1995 general elections and won with a majority of 1,323 votes - or a most impressive turnaround of 8,212 votes. I would describe the Arau by-election to be akin to a Richter 5 political earthquake.
These four seismic political developments, together with the gathering momentum of the national movement for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, securing the support of Malaysians regardless of race, religion or even party affiliation, holds the promise of a new political equation which will place at risk numerous Barisan Nasional parliamentary and state assemblyseats in the next general elections.
In fact, I would say that for the first time in Malaysian political history, the possibility of denying the Barisan Nasional a two-thirds parliamentary majority is very real.
We must not spoil these great political possibilites in Malaysian politics. Let the internal problems of DAP be resolved inside the party channels and let all DAP leaders, members and branches concentrate on the great political challenge not only to the DAP but to all Malaysians - to deny the Barisan Nasional the two-thirds parliamentary majority in the coming general elections, and to write a new chapter in Malaysian politics and democracy.