In the past six years, however, Kuching had conceded its premier role as the political vanguard and conscience to Bintulu and Sibu, as reflected by the results of the 1995 parliamentary and 1996 state general elections, which had taken up the torch dropped by Kuching to fly the DAP banner whether in Parliament or the Sarawak State Assembly.
The time has come for Kuching to reclaim its place in the vanguard of democracy to help spearhead the nation-wide movement for political and economic reforms in the new millennium for a just, equitable, democratic, developed and prosperous Sarawak and Malaysia, and I call on the Kuching voters to ensure the election of the DAP into the Sarawak State Assembly on Thursday in the Pandungan and Pending constituencies.
The SUPP and the Sarawak Barisan Nasional had resorted to the most contemptible electoral tactics in the eighth Sarawak state general elections to try to frighten and even panic the voters to vote SUPP and reject DAP.
The SUPP hopes to have a clean sweep in the eighth Sarawak state general elections based on a three-prong campaign of falsehoods, deceit and fear.
Firstly, SUPP leaders claimed that the Sept. 27 poll is for Sarawakians to support or oppose, condemn or condone the Sept. 11 terrorist mass murders at the World Trade Centre in New York and Washington, and even more shocking, to ensure that the barbaric and horrendous crimes against humanity in the United States on Sept. 11 where commercial airplanes and innocent civilians were turned into deadly bombs in a holocaust to kill over 6,000 people do not happen in Sarawak and Malaysia by voting for the Barisan Nasional. Throughout the state, in roundabouts, billboards, banners and pamphlets, SUPP urged the people of Sarawak toreject “jihad”, oppose riots and wipe out terrorism.
This is a downright lie. This is one of the dirtiest, most irresponsible and utterly despicable election tactics in the history of elections in Sarawak and Malaysia, as the Sarawak elections on Thursday is not a battle or contest between political parties and candidates who are divided on whether to support or oppose, condemn or condone the Sept. 11 US terrorist mass murders.
All political parties and candidates, whether from the Barisan Nasional or Opposition, are united in condemning the Sept. 11 US terrorist mass murders. I challenge the SUPP leaders to justify this dishonest election campaign or name one opposition party or candidate who supports the Sept. 11 US terrorist mass murders!
When SUPP comes out with screaming slogans on peace and denouncing “jihad”, riots and terrorism, it is acting in a most irresponsible and reprehensible manner in trying to create public fear, alarm and panic, when nobody disagrees about wanting peace and opposing “jihad” warfare, terrorism and riots.
DAP is not only in full agreement with SUPP’s call for peace and opposition to “jihad” warfare, terrorism and riots, DAP goes one step further in condemning all forms of “terrorism”, including the “political terrorism” of the Barisan Nasional government such as all forms of power abuses through detention-without trial laws like the Internal Security Act and other draconian legislation like the Official Secrets Act, Printing Presses and Publications Act, Police Act and Sedition Act to violate fundamental freedoms and human rights of Malaysians.
The second “card” used by SUPP in the Sarawak state general elections is to give the impression that the Sept. 27 poll is to decide whether Sarawak is to become an Islamic State by calling on Sarawakians to reject an Islamic State by voting against the DAP and the Opposition.
The DAP’s stand against an Islamic State for plural Malaysia had been a constant and consistent position since the establishment of the party 35 years ago – holding firm to our commitment that Malaysia with its diverse races, religions, languages and cultures shall remain forever a democratic and secular nation.
The SUPP is being most dishonest on the Islamic State issue – as SUPP is only opposed to PAS’ Islamic State but not against UMNO’s Islamic State.
This was why when UMNO President and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad announced at the UMNO General Assembly in June that UMNO has established an Islamic State in Malaysia which is universally recognized and respected in the Islamic world, there was no objection or protest by the SUPP leaders.
Unlike the SUPP, however, DAP is opposed to the establishment of an
Islamic State, whether by PAS or UMNO, because we believe that an Islamic
State is not suitable or feasible for a plural society like Malaysia
with over 40 per cent of the population who are non-Muslims – unlike Middle
East countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran or Iraq which have over 90 or even
95 per cent of Muslim population.
SUPP leaders are also being most dishonest when they played their third “card” in the Sarawak state general elections – that a vote for Barisan Nasional is a vote for development, as if the DAP is opposed to development.
It is a shame for Malaysian democracy that development should be used as an issue in every election in the past four decades. This is because development, which comes from the taxpayers’ money and not from the private charity of Ministers or Barisan Nasional elected representatives, is not only the duty of every government, but must be recognized as a fundamental human right of every citizen, community and state and should never used as a weapon to fish for votes in elections.
The Malaysian Constitution should be amended to specifically provide that development is a fundamental human right of Malaysians and that no citizen or community should be discriminated against in development because of political differences.
DAP fully supports development to give the people a better quality of life, but where we differ with SUPP and the Barisan Nasional is that we reject corrupt “development” meant to benefits cronies when the top priority and primary target groups of any development, whether educational or socio-economic, must be the ordinary rakyat.