The heavy responsibility of the 628 delegates at the Party Congress tomorrow is to Save DAP from its worst crisis in 32 years, elect an united and solid CEC and move ahead immediately  to translate the unprecedented political possibility of denying the Barisan Nasional two-thirds parliamentary majority into a reality in the next general elections


Eve-of-DAP National Congress Message
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Friday):  The 628 delegates to the Party Congress tomorrow have a heavy responsibility -  to save DAP from its worst crisis in 32 years, elect an united and solid Central Executive Committee and move ahead immediately to translate the unprecedented political possibility of denying the Barisan Nasional two-thirds parliamentary majority into a reality in the next general elections.

DAP leaders, members and supporters had been "heart-sick" by the worst DAP crisis in the party history, particularly by the organised,  systematic and vicious campaign of lies and falsehoods by KOKS leaders, making full use of Barisan Nasional resources of television prime time and newspaper space  to destroy the party image, credibility and integrity painfully built up by DAP leaders, members and supporters in the past 32 years through countless selfless sacrifices, whether Internal Security Act detentions, political persecutions or selective prosecutions.

All DAP leaders, members and supporters have made their contribution in the past to the making of the DAP today, to stand tall as the largest parliamentary opposition party for the past quarter of a century.  It is most tragic however that some of the KOKS leaders have wiped out all the contributions they have made in the past two decades by the reckless and destructive campaign they had embarked on in the past three months, creating the worst DAP crisis in 32 years!

I have only one hope for the Party Congress tomorrow: that it would send out a clear and unmistakable message to friends and foes alike - the end of  the DAPís worst crisis in 32 years, so that the Party can  turn its back to the party turmoils of the past three months and  march in unison with confidence and vision  to focus undivided attention on the historic mission to write a new political chapter in Malaysian history, starting with the denial of the Barisan Nasionalís two-thirds parliamentary majority in the next general elections.

This is the time when all Party leaders, members and supporters should unite to give the fullest support, sympathy and solidarity to Lim Guan Eng, who may have only three days of freedom left, as he will begin to serve his jail sentence on Monday, August 24, if the Federal Court on that day upholds the Court of Appeal sentence of 36 months jail for offences under the Sedition Act and Printing Presses and Publications Act.

With the day-by-day countdown for Guan Eng towards the Federal Court appeal on Monday, August 24, there has been a new flood  of email, from both inside and outside the country, expressing support, sympathy and solidarity for Guan Eng. Last night, party leaders, members and supporters had a deeply-touching gathering  in Malacca in Support, Sympathy and Solidarity (SSS) with  Lim Guan Eng with the theme  "Keep Justice Alive, Keep Guan Eng Free".

It is most sad and tragic that when there are such large numbers of people both inside and outside Malaysia who could rally behind Guan Eng in his last few days before the Federal Court hearing which might sent him to prison, there are DAP leaders whose every waking moment is to  think of more effective ways to undermine and destroy public support for Lim Guan Eng in his hour of travail, as to try to raise doubts about the status and propriety of public donations for the SSS Lim Guan Eng campaign.

These DAP leaders are not bothered whether Guan Eng goes to jail on Monday or not.  They are only interested in undermining public support in the SSS Lim Guan Eng campaign to "Keep Justice Alive, Keep Guan Eng Free" by raising issues about the party funds calculated to raise public suspicion about the honesty, uprightness and integrity of DAP leaders, as if the DAP Secretary-General has become a thief who has misappropriated public donations whether the RM30,789.54 raised during the Teluk Intan by-election in May last year or the RM114.288.28 donations raised from over 100 SSS with Lim Guan Eng activities since April 1, 1998, being proceeds from  sales of badges, T. shirts, auction of goods donated by well-wishers such as rice, biscuits, dumplings, chili sauce, etc. and public donations.

The donations raised by the SSS Lim Guan Eng campaign are used to fund more SSS activities - in other words, it is a rolling fund collecting donations from one SSS Lim Guan Eng programme to fund more SSS Lim Guan Eng programmes.  Every sen is accounted for and every sen is banked into the Party accounts.  The donations are not meant for Lim Guan Eng or for any DAP activity, but strictly to meet the expenses for launching and sustaining the SSS with Lim Guan Eng campaign,  one of the most successful national campaigns in the nationís history, which has now been broadened to another parallel National Movement for Justice, Freedom, Democracy and Good Governance.

Party delegates have basically two choices in the party elections tomorrow: to allow the turmoil and anarchy in the DAP to continue, with public confidence in the purposefulness, unity,  discipline, cohesion and  vision of the DAP leadership plunging to new depths in the coming months and  destroying all remaining public respect for the credibility and integrity of the DAP leadership.

This will be the outcome of proposals that party delegates vote "both sides" - for it is a recipe for the perpetuation of the present party leadership chaos and collapse of discipline after the Party Congress, rendering the DAP completely impotent and unequal to the historic challenge  of the times to bring about a new breakthrough in Malaysian politics.

For the sake of the DAP, the people and the country, the DAP cannot afford to continue the present party turmoils.  There must be a clean and total end to the worst DAP crisis in 32 years.  This can be done by the DAP delegates deciding  that the new CEC to be elected tomorrow is completely united in the sense of purpose and commitment that the one and only one overriding priority of the DAP is how it could fully commit its energies and resources to create a New DAP to build a New Malaysia - the first step being the denial of  the Barisan Nasionalís two-thirds parliamentary majority in the coming general elections.

In view of the clearly irreconcilable differences which have emerged between the KOKS leaders and the DAP mainstream leadership, the DAP delegates tomorrow should either give full and total support to the KOKS team of candidates or candidates who are prepared to work as a team with the present  DAP mainstream leadership so that after tomorrow, the DAP leadership will speak with one clear, united and collective voice.

(21/8/98)


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