Prime Minister  should consult with Opposition before appointing new Chairman of Election Commission to replace Harun Din

- Sarawak DAP state and branch leadersí general elections preparation meeting

by Lim Kit Siang  

(Sibu, Sunday):  DAP and KeADILan have reached a new understanding to ensure that there will be no repetition of "teething problem" in their co-operation

DAP and KeADILan have reached a new understanding to ensure that there will be no repetition of Ďteething problemsí in their co-operation to present a strong front against the Barisan Nasional in the coming general election.

The leaders of the two parties at their meeting  in Kuala Lumpur on Friday have reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen co-operation and give greater meaning and substance to bilateral relationship in the cause of justice, human rights and democracy.

To ensure that the strong bond of friendship between the two parties would be sustained and not jeopardised in any way, both parties have agreed to consult with one another before any member or former member  from one party is accepted as a member of the other party and to ensure that no one is allowed to pursue any personal agendas and undermine inter-party co-operation and friendship.

Opposition parties do not deny that they have differences, or there would be no need for the existence of different political parties as they could then be merged into one political party.

The DAP and PAS, for instance, disagree on the issue of Islamic State. The question is whether the DAP and PAS can put aside their differences about Islamic state and to co-operate, as far as the coming general election is concerned, to break the mould of  Barisan Nasional political hegemony of the past four decades, which is the root cause for the erosion of the rule of law and the system of justice in Malaysia.

Another question is whether the DAPís traditional ground can understand, accept and support DAP co-operating with opposition parties to restore and re-establish justice, freedom, democracy and good governance and can rebut Barisan Nasional propaganda by explaining that any co-operation with PAS is purely limited to the issues of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance and does not extend  to support for an Islamic state.

I for one will not vote for the DAP in the next general election if the DAPís co-operation means support for an Islamic state.

The record of DAP in the past three decades shows that DAP leaders are people of conviction and principle who do not treat politics as a commodity to be marketed to the highest bidder.

If any co-operation with PAS means support for an Islamic state, then MCA President, Datuk Dr Ling Liong Sik had been one of the earliest MCA leaders to support the establishment of an Islamic state.

This was because Liong Sik was first elected a Member of Parliament in 1974 and became Deputy Minister when PAS was a member of the Barisan Nasional coalition.

Is Liong Sik prepared to admit that he had supported the establishment of the  Islamic state when he first became MP and Deputy Minister in the seventies in a Barisan Nasional coalition which had included PAS as a component party?

The next election is not about an Islamic state, but whether the mould of Barisan Nasional political hegemony could be ended to allow justice, democracy and an open, clean, accountable and transparent governance a new lease of life.

This is why DAP will do its utmost to bring about opposition co-operation to ensure a Ďone-to-oneí contest against the Barisan Nasional in the next general election, to create a new political mould for a New Malaysia by  ending the 42-year Barisan Nasional culture of political hegemony.

Liong Sik is trying very hard to strike fear among the people about an Islamic state, not because he believes that there is any possibility for the establishment of an Islamic state after the next general election, but because he is afraid that Malaysians of all races, whether Chinese, Malays, Indians, Ibans and Kadazans could unite to demand for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance by denying and ending the Barisan Nasionalís unbroken two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Liong Sik knows that once the Barisan Nasionalís two-thirds majority in Parliament is broken in the next election, it is a warning  that the Barisan Nasional could be toppled from power in the subsequent general election whether in 2,004 or 2,005 - ie. a two-step plan to topple the Barisan Nasional from power.

Sarawak DAP has to play an important role in this two step plan for a major political breakthrough by ensuring that at least five DAP Members of Parliament could be elected in Sarawak in the next election - to make up the numbers necessary for the denial of Barisan Nasionalís two-thirds majority in Parliament when Malaysia enters the new millennium.


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