Let Guan Eng’s Malaysian Dream from Kajang Prison of  "Ten Essential Freedoms" be the Dream of all Malaysians for the new millennium

- Malacca DAP Annual  State Convention

by Lim Kit Siang  

(Malacca, Monday): DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Guan Eng, will be completing his fourth month in jail on Christmas Day on Friday.  He has lost some 20 pounds since his incarceration on August 25 and developed a back pain which I fear might trouble him for life.

The past four months had  been a most trying and difficult period for Guan Eng.  The enforced separation from his  family and loved ones had been as painful for his family members  as it  had been for him.  Of course, the loss of personal liberty for Guan Eng had been  devastating.

The physical, emotional and mental sufferings Guan Eng had to endure as a prisoner was quite unexpected. It is soul-destroying for a parliamentarian  to be thrown into prison and treated like a common criminal for a crime he did not commit nor  even considered as constituting a crime.

Only his  abiding and unshakeable  faith that he  had tried to do right, correct injustice and  uphold the truth enabled Guan Eng to maintain a sense of  balance and proportion to face all the daily rigours, indignities and humiliations of prison life as a common criminal.

Guan Eng is holding firm to the belief that he is no criminal when all he  had tried to do was to help  Puan Pendek binti Ahmad, a poor, old and illiterate lady seek justice for her granddaughter who had been raped.  And he  harmed no one when he  questioned why the police detained the rape victim, a minor,  but not her rapists.

He  harmed no one when he  demanded that women’s rights be respected, not violated, so that rape victims are protected instead of being punished and rapists imprisoned instead of being set free.

To Guan Eng, the central issue is still justice or rather the lack of it, which allows the rape victim  and the parliamentarian  who exposes it to be  detained and imprisoned whilst the rapists get away scot-free.

Even  though Guan Eng   will likely be disqualified as  MP with loss of all financial benefits and his political career terminated, he has  the satisfaction of knowing that he  tried to fulfil his  role as a MP to the best of his  ability.

He believes that If his  imprisonment is necessary to prevent such perversion of justice, where the rape victim is punished, whilst the rapists are unpunished, from occurring again -  then he had  done his duty and he had  no regrets and his  conscience is clear.

He told me that it is this knowledge which allowed him  to sleep tranquilly at night, even in prison. And dream dreams - dreams of a better Malaysia.

His dream is a dream of a social democratic Malaysia founded upon ten  essential freedoms.

One, the freedom of full and effective participation in democracy to  create a healthy, meaningful and functioning democratic culture.

Two, freedom from inequality to ensure that there is no mockery of the concept of equality before the law - so that there is no selective prosecutions and double-standards between the rich and poor or based on political considerations.

Three, freedom from corruption  which is essential to economic prosperity, productivity and financial well-being. Cronyism, nepotism and money politics must end.

Four, freedom from fear to protect, promote  and preserve basic human rights and prevent abuses by an oppressive and repressive government.

Five, freedom from want which is vital to ensure that all can enjoy economic wealth  - that in pursuing economic prosperity, we must not forget existing social inequities and the poor especially poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy and economic imbalances.

Six, freedom of  religious belief in  recognition of our cultural and religious diversity that makes up our Malaysian nation.

Seven, freedom of  opportunity must be given to every Malaysian to realise his or her full potential - including groups that were disadvantaged historically  which must first be assisted to allow them to compete equally with other groups.

Eight, freedom of telecommunications realises the importance of  IT to the economic survival and prosperity of Malaysia in the New Millennium.

Nine, the freedom to preserve and promote family values and social order which is crucial to a stable, prosperous, moral and democratic society.

Ten, the freedom from environmental degradation to uphold  the right to a clean, healthy, natural and quality life.

This may be the dream of one prisoner in  Kajang Prison, but it can also be the dream of all  Malaysians who cherish their  rights,  know their responsibilities and understand their obligations of Malaysian citizenship.

Let the DAP throughout the country disseminate Guan Eng’s Malaysian Dream of Ten Essential Freedoms as an important part of the national movement for political reform.
Let Guan Eng’s Malaysian Dream from Kajang Prison of  "Ten Essential Freedoms" be the Dream of all Malaysians for the new millennium


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