Speech by Lim Kit Siang Siang in the debate on the royal address in Parliament on Thursday, 22nd March 2012:
“I was born in Malaysia and I shall die in Malaysia.”
Recently, there has been a coarsening and vulgarisation of politics in Malaysia, even in this august House of Parliament, where lies and falsehoods are disseminated without conscience or compunction whatsoever.
During the present and past meetings of Parliament, the most irresponsible and despicable falsehoods had been made against me, accusing me of having instigated the deplorable May 13 riots 43 years ago in 1969.
For four decades, the police, the security forces and the government could not pinpoint who caused the May 13 riots in 1969, but suddenly, somebody knew who caused the May 13 riots – and I have been accused in this House of having caused May 13, through making the most racist slogans in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969.
As a result, these lies and falsehoods that I had incited and sparked the May 13 riots, particularly in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969 had been blazoned on the blogs of UMNO cybertroopers.
In fact, I was never in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969. I contested in Bandar Melaka, was in the counting centre in Malacca until the early hours of May 11 , 1969 for the results, returning to my family in Petaling Jaya later on May 11 (Sunday). On Monday, May 12, 1969, I returned to Bandar Melaka constituency for a thank-the-voters procession in the evening and a thank-the-voters public rally on Monday night, both of which were peacefully conducted.
I must have the signal honour of being the only elected representative in 1969 to have both a thank-you procession and public rally as I was booked to fly to Sabah on the morning on Tuesday, May 13, 1969 to help campaign for the Independent candidates as the Sabah and Sarawak polling days were to be held a week after the Peninsular election results.
I was speaking at a public rally in Kota Kinabalu on the night of May 13 when I first learnt of May 13 troubles in Kuala Lumpur.
To accuse me of inciting the May 13 riots with racist outbursts and abuses in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13 are the most irresponsible and despicable of lies.
In my first speech in Parliament on Feb. 23, 1971 after my release from my first Internal Security Act detention and the restoration of Parliament, on the Constitution Amendment Bill 1971, I called for the establishment of a Parliamentary Commission, which should include non-MP Malaysians eminent in their respective fields, to among other things, “find out the cause of the May 13 racial riots” and “to make recommenjdations as to how to prevent a recurrence of May 13 racial riots and arrest the racial polarisation in Malaysia”.
This was what I said in July 1969 in response to my detention under the Internal Security Act, record of which I am sure are still in the Home Ministry archives:
“My every public statement and stand was motivated by my sense of Malaysian nationalism and patriotism. I was born in Malaysia and I shall die in Malaysia. I have no other land as my home. I have children who are growing up in Malaysia and who are going to live in Malaysia. I feel it is my duty to do my part to build a multi-racial and harmonious Malaysia for, without such a society, all Malaysians will suffer.
“I believe that the policy followed by the Alliance is not producing or generating a sense of Malaysian consciousness and identity transcending all racial language and cultural differences. I believe that the only formula to build a Malaysian nation is to give every Malaysian regardless of his race, language or culture, a stake in the political economic social and cultural development of the country, where no group feels that ti is being discriminated against on racial, cultural, language or religious grounds. It is this philosophy which guided all my public actions and utterances.”
This was my statement of love, loyalty, commitment, nationalism and patriotism when I was 28 years old. I am proud to say that I have stood by this statement.
My children are all in Malaysia, making their contribution towards the building of a modern, progressive, competitive, democratic and just Malaysia.
The next general elections will be a great test for Malaysia whether we can become a normal democratic country, where Malaysians have the right and power to peacefully effect a change of power and government through the ballot box.
I invite the Prime Minister and all Barisan Nasional leaders to join Pakatan Rakyat to prove that we are all Malaysian nationalists and patriots who could work together by establishing a Joint Commission to ensure that the 13th General Elections is the most clean, free and fair in the nation's history in the process to prove to the world and ourselves that we have graduated to become a normal democratic ountry.
In his campaign rounds, Najib recently extended an apology for past Barisan Nasional (BN) mistakes resulting in its loss of several states and electoral seats in the last general elections.
Some three weeks have passed but nobody knows what mistakes Najib was apologizing for.
There are many past UMNO/BN mistakes he needs to tender an apology, but there are also many of his own mistakes made during his 35-month premiership which he needs to apologise for.
Time does not permit me to enumerate these mistakes made by Najib. I will just mention one – his failure to restore public confidence in the efficiency, independence and professionalism of key national institutions, whether the judiciary, police, the Attorney-Generals Chambers, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Elections Commission.
The refusal of the Prime Minister to set up a judicial tribunal into grave allegations of abuses of power, subversion of the rule of law and the perversion of the course of justice, made against the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail and the former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan, made by former top police officers, including former CCID Director Datuk Ramli Yusof and the former KL CID Director Datuk Mat Zain, going back to the fabrication of evidence in the Anwar Ibrahim “black eye” incident, the Anwar trials in 1998, the Tajudin Ramli MAS bailouts, and the new information on the “ “bizarre five-year-old case allegedly involving the country's most powerful police officer, the attorney-general and an underworld figure”, implicating even the Deputy Home Minister at the time, Datuk Johari Baharum, raises grave questions about the Prime Minister's commitment to the rule of law.
Is the Prime Minister going to avoid taking a stand when it is seriously alleged that only very recently, the country's topmost legal and police officers in the land, the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police, were criminals – and the same AG is still in office?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor