Question of DAPís pulling out of  the BA does not arise as the issue is how to ensure that BA can sustain and grow as a political force for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance


Speech (2) - at the Barisan Alternative ceramah held at Dome, Komtar
by Lim Kit Siang 

(Penang, Thursday): The question of DAPís pulling out of the Barisan Alternative  does not arise as the issue is how to ensure that the Barisan Alternative  can sustain and grow as a political  force for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

Before the recent general election in November last year, the DAP, PAS, Keadilan and PRM banded together to form the Barisan Alternative with the common objective of restoring justice, freedom, democracy and good governance and we had hoped to create a paradigm shift in Malaysian politics by crushing the political hegemony of the Barisan Nasional and denying its two-thirds parliamentary majority.

Although the Barisan Alternative component parties reached a common minimum programme in the form of the common manifesto, "Towards A Just Malaysia", there were major  political differences among us, especially between the DAP and PAS - or the four opposition political parties could have merged into one party.

The issue of Islamic state was one such major difference between the DAP and PAS. However, the Barisan Alternative common manifesto embodied  the important issues that we agreed upon, namely to end the high-handed and undemocratic practices in the country under the rule of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad so as to  allow democracy and justice an opportunity to take root  in the country and to ensure that injustices like the Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng cases can never happen again in Malaysia.

The four opposition parties could band together because what they could  agree  was more  important and pressing  for the country in the  last general election than their differences.

If the choice before the people was between a restoration of justice, freedom, democracy and good goverance or a continuation of  misgovernance and repetition of rank injustices like the Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng cases, the answer should be a very clear one.

However, if the people are made to believe as a result of the Barisan Nasional monopoly of the media and its propaganda of falsehoods and intimidation that the choice before them was on the one hand the continuation of injustices like the Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng cases under the Barisan Nasional or an Islamic State under the Barisan Alternative, majority support would undoubtedly  be for the former.

This however is  a false issue, for the DAP is in Barisan Alternative not to help PAS bring about an Islamic State, but to unite all available forces to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance while holding firm and steadfast to our founding principle that Malaysia shall remain forever a democratic secular state.

Political differences had surfaced particularly between the DAP and PAS in the past eight months after the last general election, and these issues would have to be addressed and resolved if the Barisan Alternative is to remain a tenable and viable political force committed to the restoration of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance in Malaysia.
 

(17/8/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman