Call on Malaysians who believe that DAP has still an important political role to play in the country to rally to  the "Save DAP Campaign" to prevent the DAP from collapsing financially


Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya,  Tuesday): On Sunday, 12th December 1999, the DAP Central Executive Committee at its second meeting after the Nov. 29, 1999 general election, adopted a resolution expressing
 

The CEC also expressed its
 

The CEC resolved  that the DAP should learn from the lessons of the 1999 general election and  undergo a total political and organisational revamp to reinvent the DAP to better meet  the political challenges of the new millennium.

There has been a completely different reaction and mood in the party this time as compared to the catastrophic result of the party in the 1995 general election - a sense of anger and outrage that Malaysians had been robbed of the historic opportunity for  a political and nation-building breakthrough by the Barisan Nasional in turning the tenth general election into the dirtiest in the nationís history.

DAP is prepared to accept the verdict of the people and be rejected in the polls, but it must be for the right reasons, as for instance, repudiating the DAPís call to break the Barisan Nasional political hegemony and two-thirds majority to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

In the recent general election, the Chinese voters swung against the DAP for all the wrong reasons, as for instance, in Bukit Bendera, succumbing to the Gerakan/MCA propaganda of falsehoods and fear that a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS and an Islamic state, and that if I am elected,  the Chinese cannot  eat pork, take  alcohol,  go to temples,  beautiful women cannot find jobs and that      there would be a chopping of hands and feet.

The DAP and the Malaysian people feel that they had been cheated of the historic opportunity to recast the Malaysian political landscape, which has been intensified by the announcement of a Jurassic Cabinet line-up completely out of sync with the aspirations of Malaysians for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

After the 1995 election catastrophe, the DAP leadership and rank-and-file were  completely demoralised resulting in division and   fault-finding and the Party wasted the first few years in destructive party infighting.  As a result, the party reform launched after the 1995 election debacle failed - and we had the spectacle of those who obstructed party reforms leaving the party claiming to be reformists!

This time, after the initial disappointments at the Nov. 29, 1999 election catastrophe, the party leadership and rank-and-file are largely united and there is  a steely determination and commitment to start work immediately not to allow the Barisan National to completely destroy  the political opportunity  to bring about a paradigm shift in Malaysian politics - and to  salvage the opportunity to recast the Malaysian political landscape although five years delayed!

This is why the DAP on Sunday held a meeting of all DAP MPs, State Assembly members and candidates to reaffirm their commitment that despite the catastrophic election result of Nov. 29, 1999, they are raring to start work immediately.

DAP has many weaknesses in organisation and  publicity which must be addressed and rectified if we are to be fully effective to salvage the lost opportunity to bring about a political breakthrough to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

This is why the DAP CEC last Sunday  resolved  that the party must  learn from the lessons of the 1999 general election and  undergo a total political and organisational revamp to reinvent the DAP to better meet  the political challenges of the new millennium.

DAP leaders and members are prepared to start from scratch to rebuild the DAP to ensure that the political opportunity to smash the Barisan Nasional political hegemony is not completely lost.

We are however faced with a insuperable obstacle - finance.   DAP is faced with an impending financial collapse.

The DAP had always operated on a shoe-string basis.  The primary source of income for the party had always been on the contributions of the DAP MPs and State Assemblymen.

The DAP had never received a single sen from foreign sources in our 33 years of existence.

The election debacle of the DAP in 1995 where DAPís 20 Parliamentary and 45 Assembly seats was slashed to nine Parliamentary and eleven state assembly seats (which was further reduced with the disqualification two MPs in the course of ninth Parliament) was a great financial blow to the party, as our financial mainstay was virtually destroyed.

Overnight, our income was unable to meet our expenditures, although we operated on a very shoe-string basis as compared to the Barisan Nasional parties.

We struggled along, eating into all our reserves and capital - hoping that in the 1999 general election, we could win enough MPs and State Assemblymen to make ends meet.

The 1999 election result was another disaster, winning 10 Parliamentary and 11 state assembly seats - which is grossly inadequate to finance the DAPís shoe-string operations.   At the rate that we are going, with all our reserves and capital completely wiped out, we cannot even afford our shoe-string operation after a year or two and we face the prospect of even having  to sell off our humble party headquarters.

But we do not want just to continue with our present shoe-string operation. We have ambitious plans to conduct a total political and organisational revamp of the party, which means  more staff and expenditures.

Our political spirit and commitment, despite our two consecutive election general setbacks in 1995 and 1999, are not only undimmed, but even stronger than ever, but we are faced with an impending financial collapse.

This is why the party has decided to appeal to Malaysians who believe that DAP has still an important political role to play in the country to rally to  the "Save DAP Campaign" to prevent the DAP from collapsing financially.

We estimate that if the DAP is to undergo a total political and organisational revamp to re-seize the political opportunity to bring about a paradigm shift in Malaysian politics, we need a million ringgit a year for our party operations - or about RM5 million for the next five years.

For Barisan Nasional parties, RM5 million is a paltry figure. Barisan Nasional would have spent  RM50 million just on its obnoxious mass media  advertising on radio, television and newspapers in the eight short days during the recent general election and RM500 million for the whole campaign.

But for the DAP, RM5 million for the next five years will decide whether DAP lives or dies in Malaysian politics.

Malaysians who wish to support the "Save DAP campaign" can contact any DAP leader or branch, whether in one-off donations or commitments to give monthly donations to prop up the DAP financially.

The National Treasurer, Sdr. Fong Kui Lun is head of the "Save DAP Campaign" committee to try to raise RM5 million to fund the DAP for the next five years.

(14/12/99)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman