DAP calls on 68,466 voters in Gopeng to vote and elect Dr. Lee Boon Chye as Member of Parliament for Gopeng
- on 2004 General Election
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Sunday): I am surprised by allegations by Perak Keadilan leaders that the DAP had “played” them out after promising not to field candidates in areas where Keadilan was contesting, in return for the withdrawal of Keadilan’s Perak state vice chairman Dr. Lee Boon Chye in Ipoh Timor parliamentary seat to allow for a straight fight between the DAP and the Barisan Nasional.
I am not involved in the seats negotiations between the DAP and Keadilan as the powers of decision-making in the matter were with the DAP Secretary-General Kerk Kim Hock and the respective State Chairmen.
Following the allegations, I phoned up Kerk and the Perak DAP State Chairman Ngeh Koo Ham to find out what actually happened.
According to Ngeh, seats negotiations had completely broken down by Friday morning on the day before Nomination Day (13th March 2004). In the previous 24 hours, there were four changes of position by the Keadilan on the question.
Firstly, there was the announcement by Perak Keadilan that it would field a candidate in Ipoh Timor, followed a few hours later by another announcement that Dr. Lee would contest in Ipoh Timor. This was followed by the decision of the Keadilan national leadership that it would stay out of Ipoh Timor, followed closely by a fourth position by the Keadilan national leadership to contest in Ipoh Timor.
There was further development on Friday night, which went into the late hours, following a fifth position that Dr. Lee would not contest in Ipoh Timor. In reciprocation, Ngeh pulled out the DAP candidate appointed to contest against the Barisan Nasional candidate, Dr. Ting Chew Peh, in the seat.
I asked Ngeh whether there was a DAP agreement that in return for Dr. Lee’s withdrawal from Ipoh Timor, DAP would withdraw candidates from the Jelapang and Simpang Pulai state seats.
Ngeh denied that there was any such agreement. There are now two versions, only one of which could be the truth. Either Ngeh or the Perak Keadilan leaders are not telling the truth.
As I have not been involved in the intricacies of the seats negotiations between the DAP and Keadilan, I am not in possession of any facts to say one thing or another. However, I know that Ngeh will not tell an untruth, as he is a good and pious Christian. For this reason, I believe Ngeh’s version is the true, honest and correct one and that the DAP had never agreed to withdraw candidates from Jelapang and Simpang Pulai.
Be that as it may, I call on the 68,466 voters in Gopeng to vote and elect Dr. Lee Boon Chye as Member of Parliament for Gopeng. His opponent, Dr. Ting Chew Peh will not be able to make any useful contribution after his re-election unless the Prime Minister or the MCA leadership could promise that he would be brought back into the Cabinet. This is because no MCA MP had ever distinguished himself for speaking out fearlessly to defend the fundamental rights of Malaysians for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.
As for seats where there are three-cornered contests, I call on voters in these constituencies to solidly vote for the DAP candidate to support the DAP’s objective to make Perak the second front-line state to achieve the triple objectives of firstly, restoring meaningful democracy, secondly, a strong DAP in Parliament and the State Assemblies to ensure that the new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi fulfil his pledge of a clean, incorruptible, trustworthy and accountable government and thirdly, to defend, preserve and promote the 46-year Merdeka “social contract” that Malaysia is a secular democracy with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State.
I said at the DAP Nomination Day ceramah last night that the DAP’s decision to make Perak the second front-line state has two objectives:(i) In the Kinta Valley, to win five parliamentary and 12 state assembly seats; and (ii) state-wide to win seven parliamentary and 18 state assembly (out of a total of 57) seats.
I call on Perak voters to give their fullest support wherever DAP candidates are contesting to give full endorsement to the DAP objective to make Perak the second front-line state and the two 2004 general election targets for the state.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman