Appeal to DAP members and supporters to be patient and to bear with me while I absorb and digest the demands for my retirement from politics and I make my decision next month on my political future


Speech
-
DAP Party Revamp Conference 
by
Lim Kit Siang 

(Kuala Lumpur,  Sunday): We are meeting here to chart out the stratety and blueprint as to how the DAP can undergo a total political and organisational revamp to reinvent the DAP to better meet  the political challenges of the new millennium.

If necessary, DAP leaders and members must be prepared to start from scratch to rebuild the DAP to ensure that the political opportunity to smash the Barisan Nasional political hegemony is not completely lost, and although we failed to achieve it in the last general election, we must ensure that its achievement is only delayed by five years.

There has been a completely different reaction and mood in the party this time as compared to the catastrophic result of the party in the 1995 general election - a sense of anger and outrage that Malaysians had been robbed of the historic opportunity for  a political and nation-building breakthrough by the Barisan Nasional in turning the tenth general election into the dirtiest in the nationís history.

DAP is prepared to accept the verdict of the people and be rejected in the polls, but it must be for the right reasons, as for instance, repudiating the DAPís call to break the Barisan Nasional political hegemony and two-thirds majority to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

In the recent general election, the Chinese voters swung against the DAP for all the wrong reasons, as for instance, in Bukit Bendera, succumbing to the Gerakan/MCA propaganda of falsehoods and fear that a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS and an Islamic state, and that if I am elected,  the there will be no pork, no alcohol, no karaokes, no  temples,  beautiful women cannot find jobs and there would be a chopping of hands and feet.

The DAP and the Malaysian people feel that they had been cheated of the historic opportunity to recast the Malaysian political landscape, which has been intensified by the announcement of a Jurassic Cabinet line-up completely out of sync with the aspirations of Malaysians for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

After the 1995 election catastrophe, the DAP leadership and rank-and-file were  completely demoralised resulting in division and   fault-finding and the Party wasted the first few years in destructive party infighting.

When the party leadership called for party reform, and I said "Reform Or Die", we have leaders who went away muttering "Reform And Die" and yet when they left the party, they declared themselves as the champions of party reform!

This is one important reason why the party reform launched after the 1995 election debacle failed.

This time, after the initial disappointments at the Nov. 29, 1999 election catastrophe, the party leadership and rank-and-file are largely united and there is  a steely determination and commitment to start work immediately not to allow the Barisan National to completely destroy  the political opportunity  to bring about a paradigm shift in Malaysian politics - and to  salvage the opportunity to recast the Malaysian political landscape although five years delayed!

I know there is considerable unhappiness in the party that I had announced that I would study public feedback and demands from outside the party that I step down as DAP National Chairman and that I would announce my political future during the Chinese New Year holidays.

Party leaders at national, state and branch levels, as well as members and supporters, are of the view that whether I should stay as chairman or not is a party internal matter and should not be decided by outsiders.

I would appeal to DAP members and supporters to be patient and to bear with me while I absorb and digest the demands for my retirement from politics and I make my decision next month on my political future.

I thank party leaders and members for their confidence and support for me as National Chairman and there is no need for any form of demonstration of support for me from inside the party.  This is why I would ask all DAP State Conventions which will be held in the next two months not to introduce resolution on my position inside the party, lest detractors of the party level their accusations that  DAP and I are staging some political  "drama".

While I am fully satisfied and happy with the support given to me by all levels of the party, I have to address the demands by certain quarters outside the party demanding that I retire from politics - both from bona fide observers as well as from mala fide elements who have their political axes to grind or ulterior agendas to serve.

Even the mala fide "detractors" are entitled to their say and I am giving them almost two full months to give their views.

I thank concerned Malaysians who have given their support by email and other forms, as for instance, the following email on 10th January 2000:
 

(16/1/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman