If Mahathir is right that "the Opposition will suffer a crushing defeat in the next general election", with the DAP reduced to two or three MPs, it will be an unmitigated disaster for the Malaysian nation

Media Conference  Statement 2
- launching of the “No to 911, No to 929, Yes to 1957” People Awareness Campaign in Bukit Bendera  parliamentary constituency 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang,  Sunday)The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad yesterday predicted that “the Opposition will suffer a crushing defeat in the next general election”, and if he is right, and the DAP is reduced to two or three MPs, it will be an unmitigated disaster for the Malaysian nation as UMNO and Barisan Nasional will be totally without check and balance and would be able to do what they want.  

In the 1999 general election, the DAP suffered a severe electoral setback as a result of the Barisan Nasional campaign of fear, lies and money politics. When the DAP  hopes of winning 30 to 35 Parliamentary seats were  crushed, the Malaysian nation and people paid a heavy price - in particular the “929 declaration” by Mahathir at the Gerakan national delegates’ conference on September 29, 2001 that Malaysia is an Islamic state, disregarding the 44-year Merdeka Constitution and the 1957 “social contract” reached by our forefathers from the major communities and extended to the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak in 1963 that Malaysia shall forever remain a democratic, secular, multi-religious, tolerant and progressive nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic state.  

Gerakan leaders have been attacking the DAP claiming that the DAP must be held responsible  for three things:


On the first point, I had pointed out the ridiculousness of the contention, as in Kelantan and Terengganu, where Barisan Nasional lost 21 parliamentary seats, there was not a single seat in the 1999 general election where the Chinese votes could have made any  difference. In other words,  even if there had been a 100% turnout of the Chinese voters for the Barisan Nasional in the 1999 election, UMNO could not have won back anyone of these 21 seats.  

On the second point, I had countered that it was precisely because the DAP failed to win 30 to 35 Parliamentary  seats to ensure a balanced multi-ethnic Opposition representation in Parliament that led directly to Mahathir’s “929 declaration”. If Mahathir had to take into account not only the 27 PAS MPs, but also 30 to 35 DAP MPs, then he would not have made the “929 declaration”.  

The third point, the claim by  Gerakan leaders that the  DAP must take the blame for the Gerakan support for Mahathir’s “929 declaration”, as if Gerakan acted on the “directive” of the DAP,  is so  ridiculous and outrageous that it  is not worthy of  any response.  It is pathetic that the Gerakan leaders are unable to blame themselves,  dare not blame Mahathir and should want to find the easy way out  by blaming the DAP instead for  Gerakan’s  support for  Mahathir’s “929 declaration”.  

If Mahathir is right in his prediction yesterday, and the DAP is “crushed” in the next general election, it would be taken as a national multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural endorsement for Mahathir’s “929 declaration” and the signal for Malaysia to formally embark on the road of an Islamic state.  

In fact, there is no need for the DAP to be “crushed” to have this national effect, as the DAP’s  maintaining its present ten parliamentary seats in the next general election would not be able to stop the momentum started by the “929 declaration” to propel Malaysia towards an Islamic state.  

The only way to stop such a “929” momentum towards an Islamic state is for Malaysians to speak loud and clear in the next general election by electing into Parliament at least 30 to 35 Members of Parliament who are openly committed to the defence of the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and “social contract” that Malaysia remain a democratic, secular, multi-religious, tolerant and progressive nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic state.  

There have been a lot of queries as to why DAP Deputy National Chairman Sdr. Karpal Singh and I helped in Jelutong yesterday to put up the Gerakan’s 4302 poster bearing the photograph of the Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and myself at the “Solidarity with Fong Po Kuan” dinner in Kota Baharu on 4th March 2002 (hence the 4302 number).  

The reasons are very simple - because the Gerakan’s “4302” posters are dishonest, below-the-belt and contemptible “dirty” political tricks to denigrate the Opposition and we want such Gerakan posters to be put up all over Penang so that the people  have the opportunity to think and judge as to whether  it is  right, honest and responsible for any political party to indulge in such “dirty” politics.  

The Gerakan had successfully used such dirty political tricks  in the 1999 general elections to defeat Karpal Singh and myself, such as the falsehood that a vote for the DAP was a vote for PAS and a vote for a Malaysia where there would  be no pork, no alcohol, no temples, no Chinese primary schools, etc.  

I am sure that if the voters had the time to think about such “dirty” tricks and propaganda, they would not have been influenced by such falsehoods as to think that Karpal and I would go against what we stood and  fought  for over three decades -  and even being detained under the Internal Security Act - for a just, fair and democratic Malaysia where every citizen will have an equal place under the Malaysian sun. However,  in the intense heat of the election campaign, such “dirty” political tricks worked.  

This is the best time, when we are not in the heat of an election campaign, for such “dirty” tricks to be exposed, and I thank Gerakan for  coming out with such a “dirty” poster campaign in response to the DAP’s “No to 911, No to 929” people’s awareness campaign.  

In fact, the DAP is prepared to render all assistance to help the  Gerakan put up these  “4302” posters as an immediate lesson and case study of the type of dirty “political” tricks the Gerakan is capable of.  DAP is prepared to accept a few thousands of the Gerakan’s “4302” posters to help put them up in Penang. Alternatively, the DAP can have a trade-off with Gerakan, where DAP will put up a few thousands of the Gerakan’s “4302” posters in exchange for Gerakan putting up a few thousands of DAP’s “No to 929” posters.  

The DAP is prepared to go one step further, to help Gerakan design its next poster campaign which it had overlooked - the “8502” campaign, with the  photograph of the handshake between Mahathir and  PAS president Datuk Fadhil Nor at a public forum on the Palestinian issue in Kuala Lumpur  on Wednesday.  

The Gerakan’s “4302” poster campaign is based on the premise that any political leader from another party who is seen publicly or who shakes hands with a PAS leader is betraying his political principles to PAS,  which is the reason for the Gerakan poster showing me with Nik Aziz, and by such logic,  Mahathir would have committed political betrayal in meeting and shaking the hand of Fadhil Nor - and even Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon as he must have met and shaken hands with Nik Aziz countless times in the past decade in attending the Conference of Chief Ministers and Mentri-Mentri Besar in the past decade.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman