Let all party leaders, members and supporters who do not want to miss out on the historic political opportunity to deny the Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority in the next general elections march forward without being deflected by internal distractions or external pressures


Speech
- Special Penang Branch Committee Membersí Meeting

by Lim Kit Siang  

(Penang, Saturday): At its meeting on July 1, 1998, the DAP Central Executive Committee decided  to  convene special meetings of branch committee members in each state  to allow for a full discussion of  the issues of internal party democracy, party reform, nepotism and KOKS (Knock Out Kit Siang) campaign.

The resolution of the DAP Central Executive Committee on July 1 reads:

The DAP is poised on an unprecedented political take-off because in the past three years, and in particular in the last ten weeks, the DAP had toiled to create a new political equation with a new national movement enlisting the support of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or even party affiliation to stand up for the causes of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

This is one result of the DAPís programme of party reform, renewal and rejuvenation launched after the electoral debacle suffered by the DAP in the April 1995 general elections.

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, launched as a result of the nation-wide outrage at the patent injustice of the Lim Guan Eng case,  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 assembly seats 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.

Let all party leaders, members and supporters who do not want to miss out on the historic political opportunity to deny the Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority in the next general elections march forward without being deflected by internal distractions or external pressures.

Many DAP supporters are worried and even a bit disillusioned that the recent DAP crisis would mar the great  political opportunities for Malaysians in the coming general elections for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

Let us give an assurance to the people and country that whatever the outcome of the DAP crisis, the DAP leadership and membership is determined on one thing - that we will not allow the political momentum for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance which we had so painfully built up in the past three years to go to waste.

It may be no coincidence that those who are the main personalities in the DAP crisis are those who had not made any contribution whatsoever to the three-year party reform, renewal and rejuvenation or to the gathering momentum for the national movement for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

Everyone is welcome to contribute and gird his shoulder to the wheel but if those who had not made any contribution whatsoever to this movement still withhold their support, it is not going to stop by one iota the gathering momentum of the campaign of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

(11/7/98)


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