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Speech by Lim Kit Siang Siang at the public forum “From May 13 to 1Malaysia – The Future of Malaysian Nation Building” at the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre on Wednesday, 13th May 2009 at 9 pm: 

After March 8 “political tsunami”, Malaysians put the 40-year spectre of “May 13” behind them as the new haunting image is the “May 7” Day of Infamy of the Perak Speaker physically dragged out of Assembly

Thousands of Malaysians from all races and religions are gathered here tonight on the 40th anniversary of the traumatic May 13 riots in 1969 to send out a clear and unmistakable message – that after the March 8 “political tsunami” last year, Malaysians have put the 40-year spectre of “May 13” behind them as the new haunting image is the “May 7” Day of Infamy of the Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar physically dragged out of the Assembly.

This is an image which has instilled such fear in the Barisan Nasional that it has banned television stations from playing video footages of the “May 7” Day of Infamy in the Perak State Assembly – which will be as effective as the book-burning orgies of tyrants of olden ages.

Barisan Nasional leaders do not seem to realize that while they can ban television stations and mainstream media from reproducing the horrifying images of the Perak Speaker being physically dragged out of the Assembly, in Speaker robes and Speaker chair, there is no way to wipe out the pictures from the minds of Malaysians, for the pictures and video footages can be played in every home and in fact are already viewed and disseminated worldwide through the Internet.

The spectre of May 13, recycled in every general election in the past 40 years to intimidate and blackmail voters to cast their votes for the Barisan Nasional, had been used to stunt the healthy growth of Malaysian nation building and demoracy, as it had been used to:

  • Perpetuate Umno/Barisan Nasional divide-and-rule of the ethnic groups in the country;

  • Consolidate Umno rule and hegemony in Barisan Nasional and the country, turning all the other Barisan Nasional component parties into subservient subordinates;

  • Crack down on human rights and fundamental liberties;

  • Spawn the culture of corruption and power abuse;

  • Transform Malaysia from a nation of meritocracy to one of mediocrity with the emigration of two million of the best and brightest Malaysians to foreign shores;

  • Frustrate Malaysia’s destiny from becoming a developed high-income state ahead of other nations, losing out to one economy after another, whether Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan or Hong Kong and in peril of losing to others like Thailand and Vietnam.

As a result, Malaysia is taking on the contours of a failed state like Zimbabwe, Sudan and Somali in Africa, particularly after the May 6 Day of Infamy, when the police and goons violated the sanctity of the Perak State Assembly to bodily drag out the lawful and legitimate Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar from the Assembly.

Despite Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s new slogan of “1Malaysia”, it is the Pakatan Rakyat comprising DAP, PKR and PAS which is more Malaysian and legitimate than the Barisan Nasional, which is why the Barisan Nasional is mortally afraid to do what is right to resolve the Perak crisis – dissolution of the Perak State Assembly to return the mandate to Perakians to elect the state government of their choice.

Today is not only the 40th anniversary of the May 13 riots of 1969, it is also the 40th Day of Najib’s premiership.

What has Najib achieved in the first 40 days of his premiership? His slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” is fast degenerating into a cruel joke.

His various initiatives for reform and other promises of change have failed to enable him to overcome the crisis of credibility, integrity and legitimacy he immediately faced as Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The only credit he might be able to claim in his first 40 days as Prime Minister is the discovery of the political wonder-boy, the “3-in-1 Mandela. Gandhi. King” usurper Perak Mentri Besar, Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir!

The Perak crisis had been a traumatic time for Perakians and Malaysians – particularly the unethnical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in February and the May 7 Day of Infamy at the Perak State Assembly.

After the May 7 Day of Infamy, it would have been quite impossible for anyone to produce another scenario to plunge public confidence in Umno and Barisan Nasional to a new low, but this was what happened in the past two days.

Malaysians were never so hopeful for decades about the judiciary than on Monday, 11th May, when the Kuala Lumpur High Court produced a new star in the judicial firmament with the landmark judgment by Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim to uphold the law and the constitution declaring that Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin is the lawful Mentri Besar of Perak.

These hopes were cruelly crushed in less than 21 hours when Zambry’s appeal and application for a “stay of execution” was fasttracked and granted by a single-judge Court of Appeal the next morning.

However, when Nizar applied to discharge Zambry’s “stay” today, the hearing fixed is Monday, 18th May 2009.

Questions that are immediately asked are:

1. Why the Court of Appeal could fast-track to hear Zambry’s application for “stay” in two hours and grant it in another hour; while it is snail-pace in needing five days to hear Nizar’s application to discharge Zambry’s “stay”; and

2. Whether Malaysians can expect justice in cases involving top Umno leaders when there is an Umno Chief Justice, Tan Sri Zaki Azmi?

There is not only the question of the “stay” granted by the single-judge Court of Appeal, but also how Zambry could operate as Perak Mentri Besar.

This is because the “stay” granted to Zambry by the single-judge Court of Appeal “stayed” Nizar from returning to his lawful office as Mentri Besar, but did not overturn the High Court decision that Zambry is usurper Mentri Besar and could be no licence for him to re-usurp the office of Mentri Besar.

Zambry has cast Perak into a constitutional limbo where there is no Mentri Besar – as Nizar is prevented from carrying out his lawful duties by the “stay” order, while an illegal and illegitimate Zambry cannot under any stretch of imagination be allowed to usurp the MB’s office!

Let the spectre of May 13 haunting and stunting the growth of Malaysia and democracy be put firmly behind all Malaysians, so that we can unite our strength and energies to exorcise the spectre of May 7 which is preventing the birth of a New Democracy and a New Malaysia.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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