Telok Intan people continue to play their historic role in  providing political leadership in being the first in the country  to respond to the "Save DAP Campaign" to prevent the DAP from collapsing financially


Speech
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DAP Telok Intan thousand-people dinner to remotivate DAP
by
Lim Kit Siang 

(Telok Intan,  Wednesday): The people of Telok Intan will always  have a special meaning for the DAP and me.  On 17th May 1997, the voters of Telok Intan responded to the DAPís call to "write history, create miracle" in the by-election to vote  M. Kula Segaran as the DAP MP for Telok Intan, a seat regarded by the Gerakan as an invincible Barisan stronghold.

For 30 months, Kula Segaran made the people of Telok Intan  proud for he transformed Telok Intan into  a famous political  household term in Parliament and the country, speaking up loud, clear and courageously for justice, human rights and democracy for all Malaysians.

Unfortunately, a month ago,  DAP lost in Telok Intan in the dirtiest general election in the nationís history by 2,783 votes.  As a result, Telok Intan and the nation lost the opportunity to see the emergence of  another great parliamentarian as I have no doubt that the DAP parliamentary candidate N. Rajendiran would have continued in the tradition of Kula Segaran as an outspoken MP had he been elected on Nov. 29, 1999.

I thank the voters of Telok Intan for electing Seah Leong Peng as the DAP State Assemblyman for Pasir Bedamar with a 5,038-vote majority.  Although the voice of Telok Intan will not be heard in Parliament for the next five years, Seah will ensure that the voice of Telok Intan will be heard in the Perak State Assembly. Seah has been co-opted as a DAP Central Executive Committee member at the CEC meeting on 12th December 1999.

I pay tribute to the people of Telok Intan tonight for continuing  to play their historic role in  providing political  leadership in the country, by  being the first  in the country to respond to the "Save DAP Campaign" to prevent the DAP from collapsing financially.

Two weeks ago, I had urged  Malaysians to rally to the "Save DAP campaign", not only to prevent the DAP from collapsing financially, but also to help the DAP raise RM5 million to fund the DAP for the next five years to enable us to carry out a total political and organisational revamp.

I thank the people of Telok Intan for their warm-hearted and spontaneous donations at tonightís dinner, totalling RM4,565.

I am very touched by the continuing concern, support and  encouragement of so  many people in  Telok Intan, urging me not to yield to pressures for me to resign from all party posts to take responsibility for the DAPís  recent catastrophic election performance.

Yesterday, for instance, another former DAP Member of Parliament had posted a long article on the Malaysian electronic media, Malaysiankini, setting out his demand that  I should retire completely from politics.

I have said I would decide my political future  during the Chinese New Year holidays and I would definitely take into consideration all views which had been expressed, those who want me to quit and those who want me to stay put, including the great and warm-hearted concerns of the people of Telok Intan.

Whatever my political future, the DAPís political struggle for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance must go on, not just for the next five years but for the next few decades.

In the recent eight-day general election campaign, Malaysian Chinese fell victim to  the MCA/Gerakan campaign of falsehoods and fear, making them believe that a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS,  an Islamic state and that there will no  pork, no alcohol,  no temples, no karaokes,   beautiful women cannot find jobs and that there would be the  chopping of hands and feet.

PAS won the Terengganu state government and one the first things it had done was to lift the ban on the rearing and slaughter of pigs in the state, which had been banned for nearly ten years by the previous Barisan Nasional Terengganu state government, which had a MCA Exco member.

In the recent Terengganu State Assembly, UMNO Assemblymen strongly protested against the lifting of the ban on the rearing and slaughter of pigs in Terengganu.  Does the MCA support this UMNO stand, just as it had supported for the past ten years the ban on the rearing and slaughter of pigs in the state?

If my defeat for the first time in 30 years from getting elected into Parliament can help to make the  Malaysian Chinese more aware that they should not in future so easily trust the campaign of falsehoods and fear of the MCA and Gerakan in  an election, then my personal setback would not be completely in vain.
 
(29/12/99)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman