By Lim Kit Siang
I was sent by DAP to fly the DAP flag in Malacca and stood as a candidate for the then Bandar Melaka parliamentary constituency in 1969.
I believed that I had discharged the trust and the mandate of the party to the best of my ability from 1969-1986 when I was for three terms MP for Bandar (and then Kota) Melaka and Malacca State Assemblyman.
In my years as elected representative of Malacca, I had raised in Parliament the grievances and legitimate expectations of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region – whether the economic, political, social and cultural expectations of the Chinese in Malaysia, the plight of the padi farmers and the Felda settlers, the impoverishment of the estate labourers, the grievances of the Orang Asli or the legitimate grievances of the Sarawakians and Sabahans.
I remember that although the thought of becoming a Minister at the age of 30 was tempting, I had no hesitation in rejecting the MCA proposal from the then MCA President, Tun Tan Siew Sin for DAP’s dissolution and join MCA for Chinese Unity as we are not just Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans or Kadazans, we are first and foremost Malaysians.
After the 1986 general election, where I campaigned in Penang to be the front-line state for change and a better Malaysia, Lim Guan Eng took over as the MP for Kota Melaka.
He continued the DAP battle for all Malaysians, and went to jail and was disqualified as a Member of Parliament for fighting the cause of an underaged Malay girl – for DAP is committed to the well-being and welfare of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.
This is the first time, and remain the only case, of a political leader going to jail and sacrificing his MPship for championing the cause of a Malaysian involving another race.
That we are first and foremost Malaysians, and not just Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli, must remain at the very core in the battle for the Malacca state general election on Nov 20, 2021 which is being forced on the Malacca voters in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Malacca state general election on Nov. 20 is a forerunner to the 15th General Election which must be held less than 19 months away by May 2023.
DAP Malacca workers in the Malacca general election must always work not for Malacca alone, but for a better Malaysia.
We do not know what is in store in the 15th General Election.
The 14th General Election had been a game-changer.
Who would have expected the invincible and the unbeatable UMNO to be toppled in the 14th General Election in 2018, giving way to a Pakatan Harapan government?
Malaysians expected a lot of changes with the establishment of the Pakatan Harapan government, but they were disappointed when the Pakatan Harapan government was toppled by the Sheraton Move conspiracy which ushered in a backdoor, undemocratic and illegitimate government – one followed by another in the last two years.
The Pakatan Harapan government was slow in the start, and before it could initiate many changes, it was toppled in 22 months by the Sheraton Move conspiracy. The Pakatan Harapan government thought it had five years to fulfil the Pakatan Harapan election pledges but it was toppled before it could develop the momentum for wide-ranging reforms and changes.
But the Pakatan Harapan government did make mistakes and the Malacca state general election is an opportunity for a review of these mistakes.
All Pakatan Harapan leaders and workers must remain humble and modest in the election campaign to restore confidence and hope for a Malaysia which, in the words of Bapa Malaysia,Tunku Abdul Rahman could be a “beacon of light to a difficult and distracted world” – which sums up the Malaysian Dream of all Malaysians.
(Speech by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang at the launch of the DAP Malacca General Election Machinery at DAP Malacca headquarters on Sunday, 24th May 2021 at 5 pm)
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This post first appeared on Lim Kit Siang‘s blog.