Instead of retracting his earlier dismissal of the Hua Tuan Appeals as a "threat" and his statement that the Barisan Nasional only want "unconditional support from the people", Mahathir continued to warn that "giving in to unreasonable demands of any community will lead to the collapse of the Barisan Nasional" and that "demands made in the narrow interest of certain races would only create animosity among the people".
Coming after the statement by the MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik that he would explain to the Cabinet tomorrow the 17-point Hua Tuan petition, Mahathirís speech in Kangar is no ground for optimism that the Cabinet tomorrow would reaffirm the right of all sectors of Malaysian society to make clear their demands about their political, economic, social and educational aspirations with the approach of general election.
In fact, Malaysians are asking whether Liong Sik would even raise the Hua Tuan petition at the Cabinet tomorrow.
I hope Liong Sik would not cause a disappointment tomorrow, and he should not only raise the 17-point Hua Tuan Appeals at the Cabinet but get the Cabinet to decide and announce what are the 17-point Malaysian Chinese Organisations Appeals which it regards as reasonable and acceptable as well as those which it regards as unreasonable and unacceptable.
The attitude that Malaysians must give "unconditional support" to the Barisan Nasional and cannot make use of the forthcoming general election to make demands or express their political, economic, social, educational and other nation-building aspirations is most undemocratic and feudalistic, making a mockery of the entire electoral process.
It is to counter and eliminate such an undemocratic and feudalistic mentality which regards the political leaders as the masters while the people and voters as the servants that the "People are the Boss!" Declaration has becoming particularly meaningful and relevant.
Together with other DAP leaders, I have endorsed the "People are the Boss!" Declaration. I call on Liong Sik to raise this Declaration at the Cabinet tomorrow and ask the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and all Cabinet Ministers to endorse the "People Are the Boss!" Declaration to demonstrate that they subscribe to the true spirit of a democratic society.