Appeal to hardcore DAP members and supporters to have faith in DAP leaders as the decision to use Pakatan Harapan common logo is not to betray the DAP objectives but to achieve the Malaysian Dream

The decision to use the Pakatan Harapan common logo, and for the first time in 52 years not to use the Rocket symbol, is a very difficult and heart-wrenching, with some DAP leaders privately shedding tears.

Despite the announcement by the DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng three days ago, many hard-core DAP members and supporters still cannot accept it.

They still feel the pain and agony of not using the Rocket in the forthcoming general election.

I fully understand their pain and agony, for I myself still feel such pain and agony, as I had used the Rocket symbol in 11 general elections and one by-election in the past five decades.

I appeal to hardcore DAP members and supporters to have faith in DAP leaders, as the decision to use the Pakatan Harapan common logo – the PKR logo – is not to betray the DAP objectives but to achieve the Malaysian Dream.

This decision is one of the game-changers in the 14th General Election, for we want not only individual candidates and DAP to win but all candidates and all the four component parties of Pakatan Harapan – DAP, PKR, AMANAH and PPBM – to win to save Malaysia from a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state; we want every Malaysian to think not just of himself, his race, religion or even political party, but the entire Malaysian nation and how Malaysia can fulfill her potential as top world-class nation instead of becoming a global kleptocracy.

There are times when we have to be brave enough make decisions although they are difficult, painful or even dangerous - simply because it is the right and proper thing to do.

My first such moment was in 1969, after my first election as Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka. Although I had been accused by UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and quinoa cybertroopers of being the cause of the May 13 riots in Kuala Lumpur in 1969 leading illegal victory street processions, all such allegations were lies, false information and fake news as I was never in Kuala Lumpur in the period between the May 10, 1969 general election and the May 13 riots in Kuala Lumpur.

On the morning of May 13, 1969, I had flown to Kota Kinabalu to campaign for the independent parliamentary candidates as polling in Sabah and Sarawak was fixed a week after the polling day on May 10 for peninsular Malaysia

It was during the public rally in Kota Kinabalu in support of the independent parliamentary candidate for Kota Kinabalu that evening that I learnt about the May 13 riots in Kuala Lumpur.

My public rally speech in Kota Kinabalu that night was on the wasteful and dictatorial ways of the Sabah Chief Minister, Tun Mustapha Mohamad, who issued me with an eviction order from Sabah the next morning.

But I delayed leaving Sabah for a day and left Kota Kinabalu only on May 15, 1969.

As Subang Airport was closed because of the curfew in the Klang Valley, I disembarked in Singapore and kept contact with party leaders and my family by phone.

They asked me not to return to Malaysia was I was on the Internal Security Act “blacklist” and suggested that I stay abroad for a period until I could return without being arrested.

For me, this was not an option to be considered, and on18th May, 1969 I booked a flight from Singapore to Subang when the airport was re-opened, determined to return home to be with my constituents who had just elected me as their Member of Parliament as that was my place when my voters were in trouble.

I knew I would be detained under the Internal Security Act but I could have also disappeared – but I never entertained for a moment the proposal that I stay abroad to avoid the ISA detention.

It was the turn of Lim Guan Eng to make the difficult but necessary decision when as MP for Kota Melaka, he was approached to defend the dignity and honour of an underaged Malay girl, which led to his imprisonment in Kajang Prison for a year in 1998, disqualification as Member of Parliament, and loss of his civic rights both to stand for elective office and to vote for five years from the date of his release from Kajang Prisons in 1999.

It was a difficult and heart-wrenching time for me, but I never blamed Guan Eng taking up the case to defend the dignity and honour of the underaged Malay girl resulting in his imprisonment, disqualified as Member of Parliament and disenfranchised of his civic rights for five years – for this was a cross we must willingly bear if we hold ourselves out as the people’s representative.

The decision to use a Pakatan Harapan common symbol and not to use the Rocket symbol, which had virtually become part of our identity and consciousness, is equally painful and excruciating but necessary, if we are to set an example to all Malaysians to rise above their individual, race, religious and even political party selves to stand on a united common platform to promote and achieve the Malaysian Dream of generations of Malaysians for Malaysia to be a world top-class nation.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader