Call on Malaysians to make a millennium  commitment to dedicate themselves  to the cause of  justice, freedom, democracy and good governance for all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or political beliefs

2000 New Year Message
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Friday): Malaysians are ending the millennium with very mixed thoughts and feelings.

In the country, the people had just gone through the dirtiest election in the nation’s 42-year history, where 680,000 new voters were disenfranchised to protect the Barisan Nasional political hegemony and two-thirds parliamentary majority and the mainstream mass media broke all principles and rules of ethical and good journalism in a campaign of  falsehoods and fear among the electorate.

In the 1999 general election, the Barisan Alternative opposition parties were preaching and practising national unity encompassing the diversity of races and religions in Malaysia, but it is the Barisan Nasional ruling parties - which had ruled this country for four decades -  which were sowing inter-racial and inter-religious distrust, suspicion and disunity by raising the spectre of May 13.

The Barisan Alternative had a constant and consistent programme "For A Just Malaysia", but the Barisan Nasional spoke with forked tongues, telling the Malays that DAP Plus PAS Equals Islam Hancur while warning the Chinese 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.

The Malays did not take the bait but the Chinese voters fell victim to the fork-tongued campaign of falsehoods and fear of the Barisan Nasional.

The tenth general election has come and gone, and DAP calls on  Malaysians to make a millennium commitment to dedicate themselves to the cause of  justice, freedom, democracy and good governance for all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or political beliefs.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said in Jitra on Monday that the people, especially the Malays, should set aside their political differences and reunite now that the general election is over.

He said there was no point for the people to continue to be divided because of differences in political beliefs as this would not benefit anyone.

The DAP endorses the call by the Prime Minister to the people to put the general election behind them and to restore national unity which had been harmed by the divisive and destructive election campaign of the Barisan Nasional.

However, such a restoration of national unity can only come about on the basis of the principles of fair play, justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said in his  opening speech at the National Finance Council meeting that economic policies and measures in the 2000 Budget must not be politicised.

DAP also endorses this call by Abdullah as the time has come for the Barisan Nasional Government to show by deeds and not merely by words that it would not politicise economic policies and measures and would recognise the right to development of every Malaysian as a fundamental right, regardless of race, religion or political beliefs.

The first step the Barisan Nasional government should take to ensure that economic policies and measures are not politicised  is to ensure that the annual allocation of RM500,000 for Barisan Nasional MPs and RM50,000 for Barisan Nasional State Assembly members for minor development projects in their constituencies are  extended to all MPs regardless of party affiliation.

If the Barisan Nasional government cannot start the new millennium with such a refreshing policy to show that it is committed to the principles of fair play, justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, then all talk by the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister about national unity are meaningless verbiage.

For  the cause of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance in the new millennium, Malaysia must purposefully  work towards the following objectives:

  1. Expand democratic space for Malaysians by repealing  repressive and draconian laws which curtail human rights and fundamental liberties;
  2. Meaningful parliamentary reforms to make Parliament the highest legislative and political chamber in the land.
  3. Democratise the Election Commission by removing all undemocratic features and regulations of the electoral system, including the systematic cleansing of the electoral register to eliminate phantom voters.
  4. Restore independence of the Judiciary and public confidence in the rule of law.
  5. Create a new political culture with zero tolerance for corruption and placing Malaysia among the ten least corrupt nations in the world in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index.
  6. Sustainable economic development to ensure socio-economic equity for all.
  7. A world-class quality education system which embodies the aspirations and ideals of Malaysians for  the best primary, secondary, tertiary and mother-tongue education.
  8. An "IT For All" national campaign for every Malaysian to be part of the Knowledge Society.
  9. Environmental Master Plan to address environmental degradation and enhance sustainable resource use without compromising economic productivity and growth.
  10. Development of Malaysia into an international centre for the world’s great religions and civilizations which are all to be found in the country.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman