Ketari by-election - far reaching implications for DAP and opposition politics in post-911 Malaysian scenario


Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Tuesday): At the final eve-of-polling ceramah at Perting in the Ketari by-election, I had said that Barisan Nasional leaders were preparing to celebrate a landslide victory with a majority of  between two to three thousand votes. 

I had asked the Ketari voters to deny the Barisan Nasional such a victory but it was a clear indication that the Barisan Nasionalís 2,210-vote majority was clearly on the cards. 

The Ketari by-election result has far-reaching implications for DAP and opposition politics as a whole in the post-911 Malaysian scenario in the run-up to the next general elections 

This is no time for recrimination but for a deep hard look at the causes of the 10-fold increase in the Barisan Nasional majority, the respective impact of the national and local issues, such as the sea-change in politics in  post-911 Malaysia, the Islamic state question (including the effect of the last-minute Gerakan dirty tactics  in using the hand-shake photograph between Nik Aziz and myself), constituency development, the Lim Ah Lek factor and the usual litany of Barisan Nasional electoral abuses and malpractices. 

The DAP post-mortem into the Ketari by-election will deal with both the plus and minus factors.  Although the minus exceeds the plus factors, one plus factor is that in Perting, where the DAP successfully  resisted the high-powered Barisan Nasional  onslaught featuring Lim Ah Lek and  involving the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself, the DAP won the highest percentage of votes among the younger voters, as illustrated by the results of the last four of the eight voting streams in Perting   where an average of  71% of below-50-year-old voters voted   for the DAP. The highest percentage of votes  cast for the DAP was the stream  of voters below 31 years where DAP secured over 74% of the votes. 

(2/4/2002)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman