Speech (3) by Lim Kit Siang at the opening of the new RM800,000 Kuching DAP premises at Jalan Abang Abdul Rahim, Kuching on Monday, 8th March 2010 at 10 am:
Target of Pakatan Rakyat in Sarawak in the forthcoming state general elections expected anytime this year must be to form the next State Government or at minimum to deny Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority in Sarawak State Assembly
I feel great satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment at today’s opening of the RM800,000 Kuching DAP premises as it is the culmination of the blood, sweat and tears of DAP leaders, members and supporters in Sarawak in the past 32 years since 1978 when Sarawak DAP was first formed.
We pay tribute to the Chairman of the Building Committee Sdr. Chong Siew Chiang, the founding Sarawak DAP Chairman who had planted the DAP flag in Sarawak in 1978 with a handful of Sarawakian visionaries. Another such visionary, who is with us today, is Sdr. Ling Sie Ming, the “dragon slayer” in the 1982 general elections when Sarawak DAP made the parliamentary breakthrough winning two parliamentary seats.
But the DAP struggle in Sarawak was a very arduous and testing one, as we were unable to make a breakthrough in the Sarawak state general elections for 18 years until 1996 when we first sent the Rocket to the Sarawak state assembly with the election of three Sarawak DAP State Assemblymen.
The May 2006 Sarawak state general election saw another historic breakthrough when DAP Sarawak sent six representatives to the Sarawak state assembly out of a total of nine successful Opposition candidates – a prelude to the March 8 political tsunami of the 2008 general elections in Malaysia.
The question Malaysians are asking is whether the forthcoming Sarawak state general elections, expected anytime this year, will be another curtain-raiser to the completion of the “political tsunami” in Malaysia in the next national general elections to put the Pakatan Rakyat in power in Putrajaya?
Now, Sarawakians can seriously think about the possibility of unseating the Sarawak Barisan Nasional as the next Sarawak state government.
If this is to be achieved, the Opposition must win at least 36 out of the 72 State Assembly seats in Sarawak. At minimum, the objective in the forthcoming Sarawak state general election must be to win at least 24 seats to deny the Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority in the Sarawak State Assembly.
DAP cannot achieve on its own achieve either of these objectives in the next Sarawak state elections.
It is the challenge to Pakatan Rakyat as it can only be achieved through the collective effort of the Pakatan Rakyat parties together with the support and co-operation of friendly political parties, groups and individuals in Sarawak.
I am hopeful that the Pakatan Rakyat parties in Sarawak have learnt from the lessons of the 12th general elections in 2008 and that the Pakatan Rakyat will fight as one unit in the forthcoming state general elections.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor