Challenge to MCA to conduct the cleanest by-election in history in Sanggang  and to pledge that its campaign workers would not  resort to the  lies and falsehoods that DAPís co-operation with PAS in BA will result in the Malaysian Chinese losing their existing political, religious, cultural and social rights

Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday):  The tenth general election was the dirtiest general election in the history of Malaysia.

The MCA played a major role in making the recent general election the dirtiest in the nationís history by its despicable campaign of lies and falsehoods to frighten the Chinese voters that the DAPís co-operation with PAS in the Barisan Alternative will result in the Malaysian Chinese losing their existing political, religious, cultural  and social rights.

In the last general election, the MCA, together with Gerakan and SUPP, through its "vegetable basket" tactics by word of mouth or irresponsible pamphlets, succeeded in frightening the Chinese voters to abandon the struggle of the  DAP and the Barisan Alternative for "A Just Malaysia" and to vote for the Barisan Nasional.

I myself was defeated for the first time in 30 years for a seat in Parliament because the Chinese voters of Bukit Bendera -  like Chinese voters in the rest of Malaysia -  were made to believe that if I was elected, there would be no pork, no alcohol, no karaoke, no temples, no Chinese schools, beautiful women would have no work and there would be the chopping of hands and feet.

If the Chinese voters in the country had paused to give serious thought to the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP campaign of lies and falsehoods, they would have realised that with the DAPís record of over three decades of its leaders detained under the Internal Security Act  and dragged to court, with Lim Guan Eng jailed and disqualified as a Member of Parliament and disenfranchised of his political and civil rights for five years, it is impossible that the DAP could have supported policies to deprive Chinese of their political, religious, cultural and social rights in Malaysia - or for that matter, to support any policies which would deprive Malaysians of whatever race, religion or language their fundamental basic rights.

I have been told that if I had stayed in Tanjong to contest and not moved to Bukit Bendera parliamentary seat, I would still be a Member of Parliament.

I have no regrets whatsoever in moving from Tanjong to Bukit Bendera as in politics we should not just think of oneself, but even more important, about the larger national interests of how to bring about a paradigm shift to create a new politics in Malaysia which are  issues-centred on questions of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance rather than dominated by issues of race and religion.

However,  my parliamentary defeat the first time in 30 years will not be completely in vain if it can help the Chinese in Malaysia to see through the lies and falsity of the  MCA, Gerakan and SUPP campaign that DAP is supporting PAS to deprive the Chinese of their political, religious, social and cultural rights.

I was in Sarawak during the weekend for the Sarawak DAP State Convention and DAP comrades gave me an irresponsible pamphlet distributed by SUPP campaign workers during the general election together with other SUPP campaign material, bearing  the heading "Big Conspiracy",  which spread the propaganda line that DAPís co-operation with PAS will result in the Chinese losing their political, religious, cultural and social rights, such as:
 

Sarawak DAP Parliamentary Candidate for Bandar Kuching, Chong Chieng Jen, had lodged a police report against this pamphlet, but the SUPP leadership had expectedly denied responsibility on the ground that the pamphlet was not their work, as it did not bear the identity of the printer and publisher.

I expect the same dirty campaign to be repeated by the MCA in the Sanggang by-election where the Chinese voters represented some 33 per cent of the electorate and will have a major say as to whether UMNO or PAS will win in the by-election.
DAP challenges the  MCA to conduct the cleanest by-election in history in Sanggang  and to pledge that its campaign workers would not  resort to the  lies and falsehoods that DAPís co-operation with PAS in Barisan Alternative will result in the Malaysian Chinese losing their existing political, religious, cultural and social rights.

MCA should either come out boldly and gentlemanly to declare that DAPís co-operation with PAS means anyone or all of the following to the Chinese in Malaysia:
 

Alternatively, MCA should issue an open directive to all its campaign workers to stop such a campaign of lies and falsehoods against the DAP whether through word-of-mouth campaign of its "vegetable basket" tactics or by other irresponsible means, and take on the DAP and the Barisan Alternativeís challenge to bring about justice, freedom, democracy and good governance for all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.

DAP has co-operated with PAS, KeADILan and Parti Raykat to form the Barisan Alternative on the common platform of "A Just Malaysia" based on the principles of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

It would be a violation of the Barisan Alternative common manifesto of "A Just Malaysia" if anyone of the eight allegations above is true and this is why we challenge  MCA in the Sanggang by-election to either prove them or conduct the cleanest instead of the dirtiest by-election in the nationís history.

(14/3/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman