Seven-point Permatang Pauh Declaration by Anwar Ibrahim on his political reformation movement supportable as it is consonant with the DAP's campaign for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance


Speech
-  Bintulu DAP Branch "Free Guan Eng" dinner
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Bintulu, Sunday):  Well before the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, I had spoken of the development of a new political phenomenon where the people of Malaysia would want to see major political changes.

I had said that the next general elections may be a watershed in Malaysian politics - the denial of the two-thirds majority of the Barisan Nasional in Parliament.

I had conceded that whether general elections are held this year or next year, the Barisan Nasional is assured of Federal power.

However, there have been deep-seated stirrings in the country for  change as  Malaysians want their aspirations for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance to be taken seriously by the Government, which is not possible when the government has a five-sixth majority in Parliament.

In fact, the Barisan Nasionalís unprecedented landslide victory in the April 1995 general elections is the root cause for the multitude of crises facing Malaysians, not just the worst economic crisis in the nationís history, but water shortage crisis in a country abundant with rainfall, the haze disaster, the information deficit crisis, the crisis of confidence in the judiciary, and lately, the full-blow political crisis with the unprecedented and shocking sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister..

In May last year, the  DAP scored a Richter-6 by-election victory in Teluk Intan  and a month ago, PAS scored a Richter-5 by-election victory in Arau. If there is a Teluk Intan wind in the next general elections, 27 MCA and Gerakan parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia  are not safe; and if there is an Arau wind in the next general elections, 23 UMNO parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia would not be safe.

There is no need for the Teluk Intan wind and the Arau wind to blow full-steam - for if there is half the Teluk Intan wind and the Arau wind in the next general elections, Malaysia would have made history in denying the Barisan Nasional its two-thirds parliamentary majority for the first time in four decades of  Malaysian nationhood.

These calculations have not taken into account the Sarawak and Sabah results in the next general elections.  As far as Sarawak is concerned, I believe that the time is ripe for Sarawakians to join hands with other Malaysians in other parts of the country to save democracy by denying the Barisan Nasional two-thirds parliamentary majority in the next general elections.

This is why the DAP will be focussing on seven parliamentary seats which the Sarawak DAP regards as winnable, namely Bintulu, Sibu, Lanang, Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Miri and Sarikei. I believe that Sarawak can contribute more than seven parliamentary seats in the historic mission to deny the Barisan Nasional its traditional parliamentary two-thirds majority in the next general elections, as I expect other constituencies in Sarawak as also being capable of being responsive to the political winds of change.

These were my expectations two weeks ago.  Since then, there appears to be a  sea-change on the Malaysian political scene, following the shocking and unprecedented sacking of Anwar Ibrahim as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, without any full, proper or satisfactory explanation by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad why the No. 2 man in government has suddenly become the No. 1 criminal in the country, charged and convicted  with a multitude of heinous crimes like sexual misconduct, corruption, sedition, murder and high treason - not in open and fair trial in court, but by a trial of media.

The failure of Mahathir in the past 11 days to arrest Anwar and charge him for heinous crimes against the state have raised the question as to whether Anwar is justified in claiming that he is a victim of a political conspiracy to topple him as Deputy Prime Minister, where the instruments of government had been manipulated to bring his downfall as DPM.

Yesterday, in his Penang constituency, Anwar issued the Permatang Pauh Declaration which spelt out seven points of his political reformation programme, namely:
 

Personally, I find these seven-point programme of Anwar's reformation movement supportable for they are consonant with the DAP's campaign for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

However, the DAP has not taken an official stand on the matter and the DAP Central Working Committee at its meeting on Tuesday will, among other things, discuss the Anwar political reformation movement as well as the Free Guan Eng national campaign.

(13/9/98)


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