If the Star opinion survey that 63 per cent  will vote for Barisan Nasional is right, then DAP is facing the possibility of being wiped out on Nov. 29

Media Conference Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang

(Kuala Lumpur,  Wednesday): A survey conducted by the Star has  found that 63 per cent of voters will vote for the Barisan Nasional in the Nov 29 general election.

The Star daily conducted the survey with a team of mass communication lecturers from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in a one-week field work that ended on the day Parliament was dissolved on Nov 11.

A total 21 per cent gave their votes to PAS, five per cent to DAP, six  per cent to Keadilan and five per cent to others.

The Star survey found:

If the Star opinion survey that 63 per cent will vote for Barisan Nasional is right, then DAP is facing the possibility of being wiped out on Nov. 29, suffering an even worse defeat than in the 1995 general election.

The Star survey proves that I was not being alarmist when I told the DAP National General Election Conference in Klang on Sunday that the 1999 general  general election will be a "do or die" battle for the DAP.

I said that in the general election on November 29, the DAP can win an unprecedented victory in the DAPís 33-year history, better than the 1986 general election when DAP won 24 parliamentary seats or suffer unprecedented defeat, even worse than the 1995 general election when the DAPís parliamentary representation was slashed from 20 to nine MPs.

If the Star survey is right that 63 per cent of the voters will vote for Barisan Nasional, with only five per cent support for the DAP, then the DAP may be wiped out altogether on Nov. 29 and be completely unrepresented in Parliament for the first time in three decades.

In the previous seven general elections, the percentage of the votes polled by the DAP and the number of parliamentary seats won are as follows:

Year              Percentage             No. Parl. Seats won
                voters polled

1969                  11.9                       13
1974                  18.3                        9
1978                  19.1                       16
1982                  19.57                       9
1986                  21                         24
1990                  17.2                       20
1995                  12.08                       9

If in the 1999 general election, DAPís popular vote sunk to its lowest in history to only five per cent as forecast by the Star opinion survey, then we are staring at the stark  possibility of Parliament being without a single DAP voice for the first time in 30 years!

In 1982, the DAP won only 9 seats although we polled 19.57 per cent of the national vote, getting only 5.8 per cent of the parliamentary seats.   This highlights the undemocratic gerrymandering with the electoral constituencies where DAP constituencies have electorates four to five times bigger than  other constituencies.

This is why DAP always fight with great handicaps in every general election, where to win one per cent of the parliamentary seats the DAP will have to win four or five per cent of the national vote!  If in the next election, the DAPís national vote is reduced to five per cent, then the DAPís Parliamentary score is either one or zero in the tally on Nov. 29.

Furthermore, if the Star survey is right that PAS will secure  21 percent of the national vote, then PAS will win about 20 - 25 Parliamentary seats - as in the 1995 general election, PAS won seven parliamentary seats with 7.31 per cent of the national vote.

The Star survey therefore forecasts a Barisan Nasional returned with another landslide victory, firmly ensconced in its political hegemony with two-thirds majority, PAS with 20 - 25 parliamentary seats, Keadilan (with six per cent support) about 1 - 3 seats while the DAP is completely wiped out!

Such a result will be a  triple disaster:

However, if the Star survey is wrong and  the people are not deflected, misled and scared by the four Barisan Nasional "trump cards", but are prepared to give full support the DAP and the Barisan Alternative to deal with the real issues of crushing the Barisan Nasional political hegemony and ending the Barisan Nasional two-third majority, then we can look forward to about 70 to 75 Opposition MPs, with DAP, PAS and Keadilan each winning about 25 parliamentary seats.

Malaysia will then be set for a new political era for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance to create a new Malaysia in the new millennium.

Which way will the election go in the election on Nov. 29?


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