Barisan Alternative Parties have come together not to share the spoils of power but to break the Barisan Nasional political hegemony to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance in Malaysia


Speech
-
launching of the Barisan Alternative Common Manifesto
by
Lim Kit Siang 

(Kuala Lumpur, Sunday): This is a moment of history. For the first time in the 42-year political history of the nation,  the  four major opposition parties in the country have come together on a common platform, "Towards A Just Malaysia", to seek the support of the ten million Malaysian voters  in the next  general election.

The Barisan Alternative Parties have come together not to share the spoils of power but to break the Barisan Nasional political hegemony to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance to build a new Malaysia in the new millennium.

Malaysia is the only Asian country rising from the ravages of the Asian financial crisis which has refused to undertake far-reaching political and economic reforms, resulting in the country undergoing a multiple crisis of confidence - political, economic, social, cultural, moral, judicial, spanning the whole spectrum of nation building.

Never before in the history of the nation has public confidence in the system of justice and governance fallen so low as at present, with every other day, new examples of gross injustices and abuses of power adding to the long catalogue of national shames and wrongs, such as the cases of Lim Guan Eng, Anwar Ibrahim, Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, Irene Fernandez, Murray Hiebert, Param Cumaraswamy, Zainur Zakaria, Tian Chua, Dr. Jeyakumar Devaraj,   Dr. Tai Eng Teck, N. Selvamalar, Mohd Zailani Mohd Salleh (the last three being  victims of police trigger-happy shooting).

Public credibility of the Barisan Nasional government reached a new nadir when the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Friday heard the explosive testimony of former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Seri  Anwar Ibrahim who accused some of his former Cabinet colleagues of a high-level conspiracy  to oust him from office:
 

 
Many of these serious allegations of corruption and abuses of power are not new and are widely known by Malaysians through the Internet, as they had been made by Anwar for the past year and constituted his four police reports lodged  on 9th July, 21st July, 30th July and 20th August this year, but they had been ignored by the local mass media until Fridayís trial.

Something is gravely wrong with our system of governance and justice that these serious allegations of corruption and abuses of power could be made without any attempt by the high officials named to clear their reputation  or for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to be established to clear the name of the government and country.

This is all because of the arrogance and unaccountability of the  Barisan Nasional political hegemony after 18 years of Mahathirís premiership and uninterrupted two-thirds parliamentary majority for 42 years.

This is why the Barisan Alternative parties have to come together to rid Malaysia of its many ills - whether corruption, cronyism, nepotism; subversion of the doctrine fo the separation of powers;  undermining of the independence, integrity and professionalism of the key institutions of state, whether the Judiciary, Parliament, the Attorney-General, the Auditor-General, the Police, the Election Commission, Bank Negara Governor, a free and independent mass media,  a vibrant civil society; or undemocratic and repressive laws which violate the human rights of Malaysians and placed the country in the half-light of democracy.

It will be a test of the maturity of the Barisan Alternative parties as well as the Malaysian electorate as to whether our historic initiative and commitment to restore good and demoratic governance in Malaysia can begin to bear fruit.

Mahathir has warned that the next general election will be the "dirtiest" in the nationís history.  With the launch of todayís Barisan Alternative Common Manifesto for the general election, we challenge the Barisan Nasional to join the Barisan Alternative parties to make the 10th general election the cleanest in the nationís history - to win the hearts and minds of the voters on issues and programmes and not on lies, falsehoods, threats, blackmail or money politics.

(24/10/99)


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