KeADILan must establish itself as a multi-ethnic Malay-based party in the next election by competing and beating UMNO in the Malay heartland

Speech (2)
- DAP General Election brainstorming session
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Kota Melaka, Sunday): Last Friday, the Sin Chew Jit Poh carried an interesting and thought-provoking commentary under the title: "KeADILan - threat to who?"

The writer listed six existing parties, namely UMNO, PAS, PRM, MCA, Gerakan and DAP and asked which one of them is most threatened by the establishment of KeADILan.

It concluded that KeADILan would not make much a dent on UMNO and would not be much of a threat to PAS, PRM, MCA  or Gerakan, but would pose the greatest threat to DAP.

DAP has made a distinct contribution to Malaysian politics, democracy and nation-building for the past 33 years, and DAP leaders and members realise that the party must be able to continue to respond to the imperatives for change in the new era or become castaways in the current of history.

This is why the DAP is advocating a New Malaysia, where  Malaysians regardless race and religion are entitled to justice, freedom, democracy and good governance and the country prepared to face the challenges of information technology.

It would be a tragedy, however, if with all its promises, KeADILan ends up only as a threat to the DAP, with UMNO virtually unscathed.

The next general election will the first and greatest test for KeADILan where it must  establish itself as a multi-ethnic Malay-based party in the next election by demonstrating that it could compete and beat  UMNO in the Malay heartland constituencies.

Otherwise, it will be left with being "multi-ethnic" but bereft of being a ‘Malay-based" party.

PAS President Fadzil Nor is right when he said at the PAS Muktamar on Friday that Chinese voters had voted for PAS in previous general elections. In fact, it was the Chinese voters who in 1969 ensured the defeat of Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in the Kota Setar parliamentary constituency in Kedah and the victory of his PAS opponent, when Mahathir said he did not need the Chinese votes to win the election.

But it is a mistake, however, for anyone to conclude that the Chinese had voted for PAS because they supported the PAS concept of an Islamic state.

In the 1990 general election, the Chinese and Indians also voted for Semangat 46. In fact, many Semangat 46 parliamentary and state assembly candidates in 1990 would have lost their deposits if not for the non-Malay support, especially after the Malays abandoned Semangat 46 after the dirty electoral trick played by the Barisan Nasional on the eve of polls depicting Tengku Razaleigh as having sold out the Malay race and betrayed the Islamic religion for purportedly wearing a Kadazan tengkolok with a Christian cross!

What is sad is that the biggest  victims of the Tengku Razaleigh election scam of 1990, i.e. Tengku Razaleigh and Datuk Rais Yatim have so short memories that they are now prepared to help the Barisan Nasional to perpetrate such dirty electoral tactics on the present Opposition.

Last night, for instance, Datuk Rais Yatim appeared on TV1 Wawancara together with the former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Ghafar Baba and former Cabinet Minister, Tan Sri Samad Idris,  and insinuated that the DAP wanted to abolish the Malay rulers as the DAP is "socialist" and socialists are republicans who want to do away with the rulers.

Rais has become blind to the truth.  Why did Rais as Semangat 46 President co-operate  with DAP if the DAP stands for the abolition of the Malay rulers?  Rais has also come perilously close to sedition, when he knows that the 1971 Constitution Amendment Bill makes it a offence of sedition for anyone to question the position  of the Malay Rulers.

In any event, I feel sad that Rais should descend to the level of those who have no moral scruples whether for truth or honesty as to be capable of the despicable Tengku Razaleigh election scam in 1990, when he tried to incite Malay sentiments against the DAP by insinuating  that the DAP is socialist and socialists want to do away with Malay rulers.

The DAP is democratic socialist or social democrats - like the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Tony Blair, or Lionel Jospin, the Prime Minister of France. Is Tony Blair, as leader of  the British Labour Party trying to dethrone the British Queen and abolish the British monarchy?  Rais should have greater respect for the intelligence of Malaysians.

Rais had commanded considerable respect in serious Malaysian circles, especially with his scholarly study in his book "Freedom under Executive Power in Malaysia".

In Rais’ own words, it was a study on the conflict between the rule of law and executive power in Malaysia, "how the supremacy of the executive can be achieved and maintained within the so-called democratic process through political manipulations".

In his Preface, Rais’ lamented how  the "very mechanism of democracy" had "been able to render subservient both the judiciary as well as parliament".

Let me tell Rais that what the DAP is seeking to do in the New Malaysia is to restoration of rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the supremacy of Parliament - which he has now abandoned.


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