The special party EGM today agreed to postpone the party congress/conference to ONE year in view of the impending general elections which was widely predicted to be held some time end of this year.
Only six delegates disageed with the move which was largely endorsed by the party delegates all over the country. The party could now focus all its energy, finances and time in peparing for the coming general elections.
Party chairman Karpal Singh, SG Lim Guan Eng and Oppositoion Leader Lim Kit Siang spoke to the delegates on issues related to general elections and cooperation with PKR and other like-minded opposition parties and NGOs.
In the lunch-talk in the afternoon, special guest of honour (PKR’s advisor )Anwar Ibrahim thanked the DAP for going all out to help PKR in Ijok. And he streesed emphatically that what Umno fear most was opposition unity. He hopes DAP and PKR could move together closely from now on to reform Malaysia.
Anwar cetagorically denied that he would return to Umno; he even said that Umno is the real problem in Malaysian politics; to him , MIC, Gerakan and MCA were just “small boys who listen to the big brother”.
He spoke at length on issues such as the need to challenge SPR for electoral reforms, replacing NEP with a new Malaysian economic agenda , fair treatment for mother tongue education, freedom of religion, the jurisdiction of syariah courts, Islamic State and greater cooperation and understanding among the opposition parties.
I am reproducing DAP SG Lim Guan Eng’s speech in full here. Your comments are welcome.
Reclaiming Democracy & Restoring Bangsa
More than four decades ago, the DAP was formed with a singular idea of national unity through shaping a Bangsa Malaysia granting political equality and economic freedom to end social injustices. DAP believes that we can forge a great Malaysian nation by being part of Bangsa
Malaysia that rejects racial and religious divisions. DAP’s Malaysian Malaysia resonated with Malaysians who considers themselves as Malaysian First and Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan and Ibans second.
Our courageous struggle appeared to bear fruit when former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir adopted Bangsa Malaysia in 1991 as one the nine strategic challenges of Vision 2020 to make
Malaysia a developed nation. Mahathir defined Bangsa Malaysia as “people being able to identify themselves with the country, speak Bahasa
Malaysia and accept the Constitution”. Unfortunately Bangsa
Malaysia as part of national policy lasted only 15 years when Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak rejected it last year. Najib said Bangsa
Malaysia was not part of national policy but only a general concept. At a time when we are celebrating our 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations the country should be looking forward to the challenges of globalization and a market economy with new and current ideas of the new millennium. Instead the ruling regime continues to reach back 60 years ago to 1946 that stresses the idea of nationhood that revolves around the idea of racial dominance.
There is neither logic nor reason in preferring racial dominance to a Malaysian race. Self-interest to preserve the ruling party is the sole reason for such emotional appeals to the baser instincts of race. We have a historical duty to renew our struggle for a Bangsa Malaysia. However this contest must not be seen solely from the perspective of political rights or social injustices but also from the economic perspective of wealth creation and distribution. Malaysian First is a continuation of Malaysian Malaysia with equal economic opportunity as its central core.
Equal opportunity is not just giving everyone the right to study, the right to work, right to spend what is earned, right to own property and have the state as a servant and not as a master but also about our obligation to help the needy. No one is fated to be poor just as no one is entitled to wealth. Social justice gives everyone the opportunity to improve their standard of living. We must free up the potential of our greatest resource – our human resources. We must empower every Malaysian with economic freedom and equal opportunity to achieve the great Malaysian Dream of success through hard work and ability.
If we succeed, we can transform
Malaysia into a united nation identified with a common destiny sharing values of democracy, freedom, justice, integrity and human dignity. If we fail, we have a sham democracy that can not differentiate between right and wrong. Last week, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that the Ijok by-election showed that democracy was “vibrantly alive” in
Malaysia because the opposition was given every opportunity to campaign. No DAP or opposition supporter would agree that we were given every opportunity to campaign when BN can employ such dirty tactics of fear, deception, money, compulsion and violence.
Not only were DAP and PKR supporters beaten up in Machap and Ijok. Even a reporter and a photographer from Tamil newspapers were manhandled and threatened by BN leaders. No action was taken against the culprits and the victims were invariably blamed. In both Macap and Ijok by-elections, BN announced development projects of RM 30 million and RM 36 million or almost RM 3,000 per voter. Democracy under BN is both flawed and fraudulent. Malaysians need to reclaim democracy from those who cheat, frighten and buy our votes. Failure to resist such perversions of democracy would be no different from surrendering our right to treat the government as our servant.
Instead of getting a government that listens to us, delivers good governance and performs its constitutional duties in accordance with the rule of law, respects press freedom and basic human rights as well as overcome social injustices; that Confucious says “a cruel government is more rapacious than a ravenous tiger” will become a reality where –1. Corruption becoming more rampant until Transparency International ranking for, Malaysia has declined from No. 37 in 2003 to No. 44 in 2006 shown by:-1.1. The RM 900 million commission paid by the suppliers of war submarines and Sukhoi fighter jets to Abdul Razak Baginda and a former Melaka Chief Minister;1.2. The ACA Director-General is himself investigated for corruption and sexual crimes or the Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohamad Johari Baharom is investigated for the RM 5.5 million “freedom for sale” scandal involving the release of 3 kingpins of black society triads, one of the three allegedly the younger brother of a MCA Deputy Minister.1.3. The refusal of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to sue Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for his alleged involvement in the murder of a Mongolian model by his close aide Datuk Abdul Razak Baginda;2. Malaysians suffer the worst income inequality between the rich and poor in
South-East Asia with the share of income of the bottom 40% of the population declining from 14.5% in 1990 to 13.5% in 2004 whilst the share of the top 20% of the population increased from 50% in 1990 to 51.2% in 2004. 3. Unfair contracts against national interest given to highway concessionaires where total amount of toll collections and government compensation paid of RM 62 billion far exceeds the RM 27 billion construction and maintenance cost.4. The presence VIP politician godfathers involved in crime and the increase in crime by 10.7% for the first three months of the year thereby failing to ensure that Malaysian can live, work and study safely;5. The failure to share Petronas’ profits of RM 500 billion in since 1974 with the people;6. Poor delivery system with cracks on walls and ceiling collapsing in the new RM 270 million Kuala Lumpur court complex in Jalan Duta, following similar damage to other government buildings in Putrajaya. Yes, Bursa
Malaysia has risen to a record high of 1,363 points on Friday, but we are the last ones to do so in the region. China, India, Hong Kong and
Singapore are all nearly 30% above their previous record highs achieved in the 1990s. Even Thailand, Philippines and
Indonesia have broken their previous records many months ago. In this globally competitive world, its not about whether you grow, its how fast you grow in relation to other countries. And by this yardstick,
Malaysia is faring very very poorly. In the early 1990s, our stock market capitalisation was significantly larger than
Singapore’s. But today, in just a little more than a decade, the Singapore Exchange is now some 3 times larger than Bursa
In foreign investments, while Malaysia’s foreign direct investment has fallen from US$7.2 billion to US$3.9 billion in 2006 in 10 years,
Singapore’s FDI has increased more than 3 times from US$9.1 billion to US$31 billion within the same period. How many Malaysians have benefited from rising share prices when they find difficulty in bearing the financial hardships of inflation, rising prices coupled with no annual bonuses nor real wage increases this year? In the face of so much wealth why can’t the government follow
Singapore and distribute RM 5,000 yearly to the 40% of Malaysian households that do not earn the average household monthly income of RM 3,249?
Winning Together for Malaysian First.The theme of this year’s DAP Special Congress ‘Winning Together for Malaysian First’ requires us to examine the extent of our efforts in preparing for the next general election, which could be held as early as the end of this year. The CEC is concerned that party elections at both the national and state levels due at the end of the year may be severely disrupted if general elections are called then. There are already clear indications of an early poll. From Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman calling on new voters who wish to vote in the next general elections to do so by August 2007. UMNO Youth President Datuk Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn that UMNO members must be prepared for a general election to be called any time or even the printing of election materials.
As the party constitution does not allow for postponement of party polls for any period of time, any postponement in the event of general elections questions the legality and validity of our duly constituted CEC or state committees and organs. To avoid such an illegal eventuality, the CEC had decided to postpone party polls at the national and state levels for a period of 12 months. Only branch and Parliamentary liaison committee elections remain unaffected. The CEC seeks the endorsement of all the delegates. Further, such a postponement would allow us to focus on preparation by all state committees and branches for the general election. Let me be frank by saying that all state committees are still not in FULL election mode.
Malaysia is at a political crossroads the crossroad and to make DAP the choice of Malaysians we must present ourselves as “electable’ and fulfill high public expectations. （马来西亚处在向上提升或者继续往下沉轮的十字路口） To do so, let us all be crystal clear about this: that elections must be won by conscious effort! Contesting 54 Parliamentary and 115 state Seats Nation-wide In the Next PollsDAP state committees have proposed contesting 54 Parliamentary seats and 115 state seats nation-wide, including Sabah and
Sarawak. While at times individual candidates may have won elections by default or due to massive protests against Barisan Nasional, there is no way the entire party is going to win by just depending on BN’s misrule and maladministration.
In the first chapter of the much treasured Sun Zi’s treatise on war（《孙子兵法》）, Sun Zi said “The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. These are: (1) Principles; (2) Heaven (climate); (3) Earth (local factors); (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.” （道、天、地、将、法） Guided by these principles, let us ask ourselves how well are we prepared in face of the coming elections?
First, it is our belief that the principles of Malaysian First to reclaim democracy, restore Bangsa Malaysia, fair distribution of wealth and equal opportunity is the way forward for
Malaysia. Second, the political climate appears to favour the opposition but this situation may change with the short memory of the electorate, especially when the government distributes political goodies. Third, have we measured local factors in elections? Have we done enough in tilting local factors into our favour? Fourth, are our ‘commanders’, central, state and branch leaders, prepared? Are we prepared to lead our comrades and supporters to fight a good fight? Fifth, do we have disciplined machinery to do the job?
While we are well ahead of our opponents in terms of upholding the principles cherished by Malaysians and there may be a swing amongst Chinese voters in our favour, we are lagging behind in terms of the last three factors. The three factors are local factors, preparedness of all level of leadership and, finally, our machinery as evidenced by the recent Machap by-election. I urge you to take a hard look at the four bare minimum ‘Rs’ that are urgently needed to generate electoral victories. These should be our KPIs, or key performance indices, for the remainder of the year in preparation for the general elections. 1. Registration of new voters;2. Recruitment of volunteers and members trained not only as polling and counting agents but also as future party activists and leaders;3. Retailing The Rocket to overcome increasing press restrictions and media ban where Freedom House ranked press freedom in Malaysia as “Not Free” deteriorating from to 141 in 2006 from 150 in 2007; and4. Rapport with local constituents, associations and press media.
These are the 4 areas where we have to work hard together to survive. I am always hopeful and optimistic about DAP’s election prospects but the Ijok and Machap by-elections have injected a healthy dose of realism. Unless we have our machinery in place, BN will cheat, use money to buy and frighten voters to gain their dishonourable victories. For the first time in party history, state-wide meetings shall be held in place of state conventions solely to discuss election preparation. I urge the members to remember that when you face those who assure you of glorious victories by DAP do not be too over-confident and get carried away. Be humble and gently remind everyone of the dirty tactics employed by BN to win. When facing those who dismiss and unfairly criticize the party be patient, restrained and respond by “using constructive conduct to face destructive acts”.
6 Key Principles for Co-operationIn the coming general elections, the DAP does not walk alone. Apart from PKR’s Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, we are willing to co-operate with all public organizations or political parties that share the common platform of respecting basic human rights. Six key principles are crucial namely:-a) Acceptance of Bangsa
Malaysia,b) Respecting Bahasa
Malaysia as the official language as well as promotion and fair treatment of mother-tongue education;c) Acceptance of 1957 social contract as set out in the Merdeka Constitution that
Malaysia is not an Islamic state;d) Replacing the corrupt New Economic Policy with a policy that combines efficiency with needs and wealth creation with wealth distribution.e) Pursuit of excellence in education based on merit and equal opportunity; andf) Placing environmental protection equal in importance with development. This contest between Bangsa
Malaysia on the one hand and racial dominance on the other will decide not only the rights of all Malaysians but the destiny of our nation. Malaysians must choose between the two opposite principles of right and wrong. Racial dominance has not benefited the Malays who remain poor whilst the few BN leaders amassed huge wealth. We either prosper together as part of humanity or submit to common fears of prejudice that discriminates many to enrich the few? A million talented Malaysians have voted with their feet against BN by emigrating overseas for the last 35 years. The time has come for a change to stop the rot. DAP comrades, Let us stand together and united to reclaim democracy and restore Bangsa
Malaysia! LIM GUAN ENG
《新海峡时报》记者Chow Kum Hor今日在一篇评论中，引述行动党内部消息认为林冠英可能是因为担心在本届大选前举行的党选中得票不高，本身领导威信受打击，重演在2004年中委会选举中排名过低（在20获选中委排名第12名）的历史，所以才决定展延党选。