My chances in Bukit Bendera and Kebun Bunga have fallen by eight to ten per cent as a result of the  five inflammatory "fear and scare" full-page advertisements of the Barisan Nasional in all the newspapers yesterday


Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Penang,  Monday): When I leave  Tanjong to contest in the Bukit Bendera parliamentary  and Kebun Bunga State Assembly seats, I am taking very high political risks as I have no surety that I could win in the two constituencies.

The two Gerakan incumbents in the two constituencies are very formidable opponents, as the Gerakan Bukit Bendera candidate Chia Kwang Thye is the  Gerakan Secretary-General while the Gerakan Kebun Bunga candidate Dr. Teng  Hock Nan is MPPP President as well as three-term Assemblyman for the area.  Furthermore, they will get the full support of the Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and the entire  Penang  State Government.

I rate my chances in Bukit Bendera on nomination as 48-52 per cent in Chia Kwang Thyeís favour and 45-55 per cent in  Dr. Teng Hock Nanís favour. I am prepared to take such political risks  as among other things, I want to send a clear message that DAP leaders must be prepared to come out of their safe seats to fight high-risk constituencies for the sake of the people and party.

I am prepared to do my utmost during the snap eight-day campaign period to try to persuade the Bukit Bendera voters to return me to Parliament to continue to speak up for Malaysians against the Barisan Nasional political hegemony and the Kebun Bunga voters to return me to the Penang State Assembly so that it could become  alive, vibrant and exciting  again, where the concerns of the state and people are not swept under the carpet.

I will not be able to devote all my time to Bukit Bendera and Kebun Bunga in the snap eight-day campaign, and there will be many areas in these two constituencies I will not be able to visit, as I will have also go to other states and constituencies to help in the DAPís national campaign - as we hope that we can achieve the historic political breakthrough  nation-wide to break the Barisan Nasional political hegemony and two-thirds parliamentary majority.

My electoral contests in Bukit Bendera and Kebun Bunga are therefore full of risks and danger.  Barisan Nasional leaders have said that I would be defeated in these two constituencies.  I accept these risks and I place my political future entirely in the hands of the people of Bukit Bendera and Kebun Bunga.

However, my most formidable opponent in Bukit Bendera and Kebun Bunga are not Chia Kwang Thye, Dr. Teng Hock Nan or even Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, but the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who would fulfil his life-long ambition if I can be defeated and knocked out  from Parliament.

Mahathir has already shown his hand when he  said earlier  that the tenth general election would the "dirtiest" in the nationís history.

On the first day of the snap eight-day general election yesterday, the Barisan Nasional has come out with five full-page advertisements in all the different
language local newspapers, which are the  most inflammatory and  incendiary in the 42-year election history calculated to create fear among the 9.6 million voters to obstruct them from  freely voting without coercion or duress in the Nov. 29 general election.

The five full-page advertisements, under the headings "Donít Let Hatred Win",  "Donít Let Violence Triumphí,  "Donít Let Anarchy Rule",  "No To Violence",  "Donít Let Mob Rule Lead Us", suggest that DAP leaders are mobsters, advocates of violence and  anarchy,  are highly seditious,  criminal defamation as well as election offences. This is why I lodged two police reports, one in Penang and another in Kuala Lumpur yesterday against the Barisan Nasional for these five "fear and scare" political advertisements.

Politically, the Barisan Nasional "trump card" to use  these five "fear and scare" political advertisements to  create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity had been very  damaging to the chances of DAP candidates.
I would estimate that my chances in Bukit Bendera and Kebun Bunga have fallen by eight to ten per cent as a result of these   five inflammatory scare full-page advertisements of the Barisan Nasional in all the newspapers yesterday.

I am shocked that instead of responding to my call yesterday that the Barisan Nasional should cease and desist from continuing with these irresponsible, inflammatory and incendiary advertisements, the Barisan Nasional has come out with new  "fear and scare" advertisements today.

In the Star, Sun and all  the Chinese newspapers, the Barisan Nasional "dirty tricks" department have come out with two new half-page "fear and scare" advertisements.

One is to engender fear among the voters that there would be "riots destroying property, endangering lives and affecting the livelihood of hawkers and small businessmen in this country", which carried the following text:

"Two weeks in March 1999 will always be remembered in infamy.  Supporters of a certain opposition alliance took to the streets to vent their anger at the Malaysian government - a government that was duly elected by the rest of the law-abiding citizens of the country. They were angry because the authorities had arrested and charged the husband of one of their leaders for breaking the law.

"So instead of appealing through the proper channels, they begin an orgy of burning and destroying public and private property."

This is another irresponsible, incendiary and inflammatory "fear and scare" advertisement of the Barisan Nasional, and I challenge the Barisan Nasional to state what are these "two weeks in March 1999" where there was "an orgy of burning and destroying public and private property".  I am not aware of any such incidents in March 1999, which appears to be a complete figment of imagination of the Barisan Nasional "dirty tricks" department.

If the Barisan Nasional cannot prove that there were "two weeks in March 1999" where there was "an orgy of burning and destroying public and private property", then the Barisan Nasional leadership should publicly apologise for telling such lies in trying to create fear and insecurity among the voters.

The other half-page Barisan Nasional "fear and scare" advertisement is even more irresponsible, carrying a photograph of a "rioter" kicking a police car, with the heading: "If they can attack a police car today, will they attack your car tomorrow?" , calculated to create the image that the Opposition are mobsters and anarchists.

In this connection, Parti Keadilan Nasional leaders have accused police agent provocateurs of creating such an incident as depicted in the "fear and scare" advertisement.  What is most pertinent is that up to now, the police had not arrested and charged the persons who are depicted in these "fear and scare" advertisements of taking the law into their own hands, when there should be no problem in identifying and arresting them, as they appear in the police photographs. This would strengthen the KeADILan allegation that the persons photographed as kicking police cars, burning trashcans and smashing windows of private businesses were police agent provocateurs who would not be arrested and charged although they had been photographed!

The two new Barisan Nasional "fear and scare" tactics are breaches of the law and the DAP will lodge further police reports against the Barisan Nasional for election offences under the Election Offences Act 1954, sedition under the Sedition Act, criminal defamation under Penal Code, and false news under the Printing Presses and Publication Act.

I call on the Attorney General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah, to take immediate action to stop the Barisan Nasional "dirty tricks" department from continuing their blatant violation of the laws of the land.

(22/11/99)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP Secretary-General, Parliamentary Candidate for Bukit Bendera and State Assembly candidate for Kebun Bunga