|GERAKAN REFORMASI RAKYAT|
Speech by DAP National Chairman Lim Kit Siang at the PAS Permatang Pauh Ceramah on the occasion of the visit of Kelantan Mentri Besar, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat on Sunday, 10th September 2000 at 10 p.m.
Barisan Alternative would have ended Barisan Nasional political hegemony and removed its uninterrupted two-thirds parliamentary majority if general elections held now
If general elections are held now, the Barisan Alternative would have ended the political hegemony of the Barisan Nasional and removed its uninterrupted traditional two-thirds parliamentary majority, ushering in a new politics in Malaysia and unleashing democratic forces for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.
The past nine months since the last general elections have shown Malaysians of all races that the Barisan Nasional government is not a government to be fully trusted without an effective check-and-balance mechanism firmly in place in Parliament.
The Malays who had hoped to send a clear message for reforms have reasons to be disappointed at the outcome of the second Anwar Ibrahim trial, where he was convicted and sentenced to nine years of imprisonment which is to take effect after the former Deputy Prime Minister had served his first six-year jail sentence, putting him away from politics and public life for 15 years. The latest disappointment would be UMNO's politics of vendetta and hatred in the unilateral decision of the Federal Government to hijack the RM810 million oil royalty of the Trengganu state government, just because the voters of Terengganu had rejected UMNO and voted in a PAS state government.
The Malaysian Chinese are outraged by the 43rd Merdeka Day message of the Prime Minister, which likened Suqiu and the Malaysian Chinese society which supported it to terrorists and communists - which was not only unwarranted but a travesty of the truth after the Malaysian Chinese had ensured that the Barisan Nasional is returned to power with two-thirds parliamentary majority in the recent general elections.
For the Malaysian Indians, they are still reeling from the shock of the revelation two days ago from a new police study showing that Indian incidence in serious and violent crimes in the country is even higher than Malays and Chinese.
MIC President and Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu explained that the Malaysian Indian youths have lost hope in the country. The question is why the Malaysian Indians have become "a disgrulted underclass" whose youth have lost hope after Samy Vellu had been the sole Indian Cabinet Minister for over two decades?
The myriad of problems faced by Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, cry out for urgent attention, which can only be addressed effectively if there are far-reaching political, economic, educational and social reforms in the country.
Instead of focussing on these reforms for the good of all Malaysians, the Barisan Nasional and in particular UMNO leaders are only interested in the political game of how to consolidate their power positions and in particular win back lost Malay electoral support.
There is a subtle but dangerous conspiracy spawning various campaigns in the mainstream media trying to poison the people's minds about the Barisan Alternative, in particular the co-operation between the DAP and PAS for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.
One such campaign in the mainstream media, spearheaded by a very powerful personage whose intimacy with the Prime Minister is matched by only a handful and who had at one time in the seventies harboured the ambition of becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia one day, introduces dribs and drabs of poison to influence its readers against the DAP and PAS.
Today, for instance, he wrote about how "he and not a few others are repelled by PAS' and DAP's lack of scruples, exploitation of Islam and chauvinism" without giving any substantiation. Last month, it carried an editorial describing PAS as "totalitarian".
The DAP will have nothing to do with PAS if it is a totalitarian party out to create a totalitarian way of life. It is to PAS' credit that it is committed to the principles of democracy - especially as there are arguments that Islam is not compatible with democracy.
The commitment of the Barisan Alternative parties to parliamentary democracy and the democratic way of life is one of the fundamental principles agreed in the Barisan Alternative common manifesto in the last general election and it gives no room for any totalitarian politics as the insidious and poisonous Barisan Nasional campaign in the mainstream media are trying to make out.
- Lim Kit Siang -