Call to Mahathir to lead the country to return to political sanity instead of trying to booby-trap the Opposition into provocative situations by arbitrary denial of the fundamental right to peaceful assembly and wild allegations


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The wild allegation by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad yesterday implying  that Parti Keadilan Nasional and the Opposition want to create violence and riots is most deplorable and unbecoming of the head of a responsible government.
It is most shocking and outrageous that without an iota of evidence, Mahathir could make the allegation that at the  planned commemoration of the  anniversary of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahimís imprisonment on April 14, Parti Keadilan people  are "prepared to beat up the police, bring weapons, sticks and to make Molotov cocktails" - and for such allegations to be given top billing in all the electronic and printed media.

DAP, which has been in Malaysian politics for 34 years, will be the first to endorse the call by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi for politics to be free of hooliganism, gangsterism and all forms of violence, but we unreservedly condemn such a wild allegation by the Prime Minister.

DAP, and I am sure all parties in the Barisan Alternative, will give their full co-operation with the Barisan Nasional and the Police to ensure a Malaysian politics free of hooliganism, gangsterism and all forms of violence. In fact, we want to go one step further - a Malaysian politics which is also free of hooliganism, gangsterism and all forms of violence perpetrated by organs of the state at the behest of the ruling parties.

As his political position is now secure with his uncontested nomination as  UMNO President for another term, Mahathir should rise above petty party politics to try to heal the unprecedentedly deep divisions in the country in what he himself described would be his fifth and last term as Prime Minister.

I call on Mahathir to lead the country to return to political sanity instead of trying to booby-trap the Opposition into provocative situations by arbitrary denial of the fundamental right to peaceful assembly and wild allegations.

There was no good and acceptable reason in a democracy for the police to disallow a political party to celebrate its anniversary, as happened to Parti Keadilan Nasional in Malacca and Kuala Lumpur in the past two days.

Similarly, so long as the Opposition parties and  leaders can give a firm and serious pledge to the police that their public meetings and commemorative events would be held peacefully, the Police should be mindful of their duty to further the Rukunegara objective to uphold  "a democratic way of life" in Malaysia and not create unnecessary obstacles to the holding of such peaceful and legitimate political  activities.

(10/4/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman