Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the DAP “Abolish
ISA” ceramah at Serdang, Selangor on Sunday, 28th September 2008
Over 60% of grassroot in Gerakan, MCA, MIC
and over 80% of Sabah/Sarawak parties want to quit BN
The front-page headline in the evening
edition of tomorrow’s Chinese newspapers is the speech by the Gerakan
acting president Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon that at least 60 per cent of
the grassroots in Gerakan want the party to leave Barisan Nasional (BN)
to be “relieved of the heavy emotional burden of BN”.
Speaking at the opening of the Federal Territory (FT) Gerakan Wanita and
Youth delegates conference this morning, Koh said the Gerakan Central
Committee would undertake a more objective and rational analysis of the
“quit BN” sentiments in the party.
I dare say without much fear of contradiction that if given the
opportunity to voice out, it is not just over 60 per cent of the
grassroots in Gerakan but also over 60 per cent of the membership in MCA
and MIC would want their parties to leave Barisan Nasional – and the
percentage will be even higher for the Barisan Nasional component
parties in Sabah and Sarawak, even exceeding 80%.
This is because the UMNOputra leadership, despite the major blow
suffered by UMNO political hegemony in the March 8 general election by a
multi-racial and multi-religious Pakatan Rakyat, has proved to be
utterly insensitive, blind and deaf to the legitimate aspirations of all
Malaysians, including ordinary Malays.
Although the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, had
immediately declared after the March 8 “political tsunami” that he had
finally heard the message from the voters and would deliver the many
reform pledges which he had failed to implement, things have gone from
bad to worse with the widening and deepening of the multiple crisis of
confidence in the country in the past seven months.
Recent events have highlighted the worsening multiple crisis of
confidence on the political, economic, institutional and nation-building
• The 2008 United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development World Investment Report that Malaysia’s foreign
direct investment outflows surpassed inflows last year - outflows
surged by 82 per cent from 2006 to RM38 billion compared to inflows
of RM29 billion, up 39 per cent. According to HLeBroking Research,
foreign investors are exiting the country “at a worrying rate”,
totaling RM125 billion for the first half of 2008.
• The plunge in the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index from an all-time
high of 1,524 points in January to 1,157 shortly after the March
general election, to a two-year low of 963 on September 18.
• The 10-placing plunge in Malaysia’s ranking in the Transparency
International Corruption Perception Index during the five-year
premiership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from No. 37 in 2003
to No. 47 in 2008;
• The recent gross abuse of the Internal Security Act in the
arbitrary arrests of Sin Chew reporter, Tan Hoon Cheng, DAP MP and
Senior Exco Teresa Kok (both since released) and blogger Raja Petra
Kamaruddin and the continued detention of the Hindraf Five and other
• Malay chauvinism and communalism rearing their ugly heads –
evidenced by the emphasis on ketuanan Melayu in direct conflict with
the Vision 2020 objective of Bangsa Malaysia, which should focus on
ketuanan rakyat Malaysia and the furore over Ahmad Ismail’s
“penumpang” speech at the Permatang Pauh by-election.
With at least 60 per cent of the grassroots
in Gerakan wanting to quit BN, is Koh and the Gerakan party leadership
going to respect and accept these grassroots sentiments or are they
going to ride roughshod over these majority sentiments of the Gerakan
grassroots by dismissing them as irrational and emotional?
This is of course a decision which would have to be decided by the
Gerakan internally, but Malaysians at large are waiting and watching the
outcome of the Gerakan “soul-searching”.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor