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  Speech (2)  by Lim Kit Siang at the Penang DAP Open House at Cheah  Association, Penang on Sunday, 10th February 2008 at 11 am:

DAP must concentrate on winning 30 � 40 Parliamentary seats while PKR and PAS focus on winning another 40 � 50 Parliamentary seats if a historic result is to be returned in next general election to deny BN two-thirds parliamentary majority

The next general election, however, is more important than just about  Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi�s premiership, his breach of his five famous sayings and pledges in his first 10 days as Prime Minister, his somnambulant government, his �half-past six Cabinet� and the rise of Little Napoleons and Little Mullah Napoleons (LMNs) in the public service.

The next general election is shaping up to be the most important  of all 12 general elections in the nation�s 50-year history.

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has warned that a thumping victory for the Barisan Nasional (BN)  and Umno in the next general election would end up as an endorsement for a coalition �centred on nepotism and corruption�.

 Mahathir is not the most ideal person to make such a prediction. However, what is most important is the song and not the singer, and for this reason, Mahathir�s warning must be taken very seriously.

Mahathir has said that even if Umno loses 20 or 30 of their candidates, the Barisan Nasional is going to win.

Mahathir is again right. The issue in the next general election is not whether the Barisan Nasional and Umno will be returned to power but whether Umno�s political hegemony stemming from the unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority of the Barisan Nasional could be ended to provide for  an effective and meaningful check-and-balance in the system of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.

With a total of 222 Parliamentary seats in the next general election, Barisan Nasional must be defeated in at least 75 seats if Malaysia is to bring down the curtain to Umno political hegemony in Malaysian politics and parliamentary democracy. 

The denial of 75 parliamentary seats to the BN in the 12th general election should be the  single-minded and common objective of all opposition parties, civil society and Malaysians who want to see the beginning of a new democracy with an effective check-and-balance for the first time in Malaysia�s system of parliamentary democracy.

To achieve this historic target, the DAP should concentrate on winning 30 � 40 parliamentary seats. Can Parti Keadilan Rakyat and PAS focus on winning another 40 � 50 Parliamentary seats? With a  85 per cent success in this electoral approach, Umno and BN would still be returned to power but bereft of its unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority.

I believe the DAP winning from 30 to 40 parliamentary seats is an achievable goal in the next general election, based on the following targets for the following states:

Penang 7
Perak    7
Selangor 4
N Sembilan 2
Malacca     1
Johore       2
Sarawak    6
Sabah       4

For the past few decades, the Barisan Nasional leaders have been frightening the voters into believing that if it loses two-thirds parliamentary majority, there will be chaos and anarchy, with some irresponsible elements even raising the spectre of May 13 riots and bloodshed.

Malaysia has just celebrated our 50th Merdeka anniversary and one meaningful way to mark the nation�s half-a-century of nationhood is to exorcise the May 13 spectre once and for all.   

Irresponsible BN politicians wont to raise May 13 spectre must be identified, isolated and condemned one by one as the greatest enemies of successful plural and democratic  Malaysian nationhood.

I challenge the Prime Minister or  any Barisan Nasional leader to come forward to say that the Barisan Nasional cannot form a stable government if it loses 75 parliamentary seats  � when it would still have 147 seats or a simple majority of 72 seats, which would be the envy of all governments in  Commonwealth democracies.

The denial of two-thirds majority should also be the objective of all opposition parties, NGOs and the civil society in the two DAP front-line states in Penang and Perak.

In Penang, the Barisan Nasional must be defeated in at least 14 seats if it is to be denied two-thirds majority in the Penang State Assembly of 40 State Assembly seats. DAP may be able to win from eight to ten State Assembly seats. If Parti Keadilan Rakyat can win from four to six seats, then the denial of the Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority in the Penang State Assembly is within sight.

Similarly for  Perak, the Barisan Nasional must be defeated in at least 20 seats if it is to be denied two-thirds majority in the Perak State Assembly of 59 State Assebmly seats. With DAP focusing on winning 15 state assembly seats in Perak, this denial of two-thirds majority could only be achieved if  Parti Keadilan Rakyat, together with PAS, can secure five to seven seats.

* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman


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