Malaysians must be forewarned  that the Barisan Nasional "dirty tricks department" would repeat the Tengku Razaleigh election scam of 1990 to preserve the Barisan Nasional mould of political hegemony in the  next general elections


Speech
- General elections briefing to Pahang DAP state and branch leaders

by Lim Kit Siang  

(Triang, Sunday): Even before the dissolution of Parliament, the Barisan Nasional is already showing its true colours, that it would not hesitate to resort to the politics of lies and falsehoods in order to consolidate its political position.

In the past week, it has gone to the extent of accusing the DAP of wanting to abolish Malay special rights and create racial tensions by "resurrrecting" the Malaysian Malaysia concept, when the Malaysian Malaysia concept had been the DAP platform in the  seven general elections in the past three decades.

It is the UMNO  leaders  who have reacted in such an extremist  and sensationalist a manner who are guilty of the most irresponsible politics in a plural society, who seem to believe that  Malaysians of all races have not become more mature 42 years after Merdeka and are more discerning about  the allegations of Barisan Nasional leaders, especially through the Barisan Nasional-controlled print and electronic mass media which did not allow the Opposition parties a fair opportunity to rebut lies and falsehoods told about them.


Malaysians must be forewarned of more irresponsible, sensationalist and desperate tactics by the Barisan Nasional leaders with the approach of the general elections, especially as the Barisan Nasional face the unprecedented threat that the Barisan Nasional mould of political hegemony of the past four decades could be broken, unleashing new and creative forces and energies for the development of a healthier and more vibrant democratic polity and civil society.
In fact, Malaysians must be forewarned that  the Barisan Nasional "dirty tricks department" would not hesitate to even repeat the Tengku Razaleigh election scam of 1990 to try to preserve the Barisan Nasional mould of political hegemony in the  next general elections.

Just two days before polling day of the 1990 general elections, the Barisan Nasional-controlled print and electronic media swamped newspaper space and air time about the Semangat 46 President, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as having sold out the Malay race and honour and betrayed the Islamic religion by depicting him wearing a Kadazan headgear purportedly bearing a Christian cross.

Both the television and Bahasa Malaysia media incited the Malay communal feelings and religious sensitivities by alleging that the Malays throughout the country were rising up in anger against Razaleigh for such betrayal.

Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian carried a huge photograph of Tengku Razaleigh with the Kadazan headgear with the so-called cross, which was repeated until polling two days later to reinforce the incitement of Malay communal sentiments about the betrayal of the Malay race and Islamic religion.

Without access to the media, in particular to television, there was no way for Semangat 46 to counter these lies and falsehoods in the last days of the 1990 general elections campaign and prevent the Malays who were predisposed to vote Semangat 46 from being panicked and stampeded back to the UMNO fold.

Tengku Razaleigh is now back in UMNO. Did he in October 1990 sell out the Malay race and honour and betray Islam?  Of course not, but did anyone feel remorse or regret for such irresponsible and sensationalist electioneering tactics?

The answer is not only in the negative, but  from the irresponsible and sensationalist attack on the DAP on the Malaysian Malaysia issue, it is clear that the Barisan Nasional "dirty tricks" department would have no hesitation to repeat such a Tengku Razaleigh election scam, without any scruples about truth, honour or morality whatsoever.

For three decades the Malaysian Malaysia concept of the DAP had been the central theme of our political struggle. It contains basically four strands:

Firstly, to establish that Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious society where the nation-building process must be by way of integration and not assimilation.  When the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad announced Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia (with Ministers claiming that Bangsa Malaysia incorporated the Malaysian Malaysia concept) and publicly admitted a few years ago that the Barisan Nasional government has decided to abandon its original nation-building policy of assimilation in favour of integration, this plank of the Malaysian Malaysia had been vindicated.

Secondly, Malaysian Malaysia is about social democracy where the weak, the oppressed and the exploited are given all possible assistance for their socio-economic and educational upliftment.  The DAP is not opposed to Malay special rights but to the abuse of Malay special rights to foster KKN - corruption, cronyism and nepotism.

Thirdly, Malaysian Malaysia is also a battle for democracy and human rights, against oppressive laws like the Internal Security Act, the Official Secrets Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

Fourthly, Malaysian Malaysia is for a clean, honest and incorrupt government and good governance.

With the Barisan Nasionalís concession that nation-building should be by way of integration and not assimilation, the time has come to unite Malaysians regardless of race and religion to create a New Malaysia where every Malaysian can enjoy justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

With  the UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders (including Gerakan leaders who had been publicly claiming that Malaysian Malaysia was also their aim) now suddenly attacking the DAP and Malaysian Malaysia, trying to distort its meaning and purpose, is the Barisan Nasional having second thoughts about Bangsa Malaysia and  Vision 2020?

(16/5/99)


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