Time to consider  a format of  co-operation between DAP and BA for the common goal of restoring  justice, freedom, democracy and good governance

- Lumut DAP "Solidarity with Fong Po Kuan" Dinner 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Sitiawan,  Friday):  The people of Lumut tonight are witnesses to two instances of serious erosion of democracy and human rights after the 1999 general elections.  The first is the case of DAP MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan, victim of  the brute Barisan Nasional majority in Parliament which suspended her for six months without allowance not because she has committed any crime or offence but because she was prepared to do what Barisan Nasional MPs  dare not do - to fearlessly speak up in Parliament against all forms of injustices in the country.

The second is the denial of the human rights of Malaysians to freedom of assembly and expression with the undemocratic ban and restrictions on public political  meetings, where people are allowed to gather to eat and drink, but not  to speak and discuss national issues. 

The Barisan Nasional government wants to turn Malaysia into a highly-developed "zoo" where the people can eat and drink in comfort, but who do not speak, discuss or think. 

I salute the people of Lumut who have responded to the DAP call to stand and by  unanimous show of hands declare their rejection of the  Barisan Nasional vision of turning the Malaysian nation into a  highly-developed "zoo" and to affirm that they  want Malaysia to be "civilised society" where the people enjoy the fundamental human rights of free speech and peaceful assembly.   

I also salute the people of Lumut tonight for unequivocally resolving by a unanimous show of hands  to send a clear message to the voters of Ketari to ask them to speak up for all Malaysians to protest against these two undemocratic developments, viz:

The September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States are being used by the Barisan Nasional to carry out an even more vicious campaign to suppress the democratic freedoms and human rights of Malaysians - as in the Fong Po Kuan case and the blanket ban on ceramahs.

In the 1999 general elections, the Barisan Alternative was formed by the DAP, PAS, Parti Keadilan Nasional and PRM for the common goal to  restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

These objectives remain as valid today as ever, as in many areas of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, there have been a deterioration instead of improvement.

Although the DAP has withdrawn from the BA because of our fundamental differences over the issue of an Islamic state, we still share the common goals in wanting to see a more just, freer, more democratic and better governed Malaysia.

In the circumstances, the time has come for all concerned to consider whether there could be a format of  co-operation between DAP and BA for the common goal of restoring justice, freedom, democracy and good governance in Malaysia while respecting our fundamental differences.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman