Keeping faith with the Malaysian Dream

by Lim Kit Siang

Nearly half a century ago, a band of Malaysians came together and despite considerable difficulties and obstacles, succeeded on March 18, 1966 to register the Democratic Action Party (DAP) as a new political party to rally and mobilise Malaysians behind our call for a Malaysian Malaysia.

Transcending ethnic, religious and socio-economic differences, this band of idealistic Malaysians, regardless of whether Malays, Chinese or Indians, shared a common vision and Malaysian Dream – a Malaysia for all Malaysians regardless of race, religion, class or region where democracy, good governance and socio-economic justice could flourish to allow every Malaysian to achieve his or her fullest potential for the collective good and greatness of the nation.

In the past 47 years, DAP had traversed a long political road, with many DAP leaders and stalwarts tested to the limits of their convictions undergoing many trials and tribulations.

While many had fallen by the wayside, the party had kept faith and stayed true of our founding principles of freedom, justice, solidarity, integrity and good governance.

We became the first Pan-Malaysian political party in the country, active not only in Peninsular Malaysia, but also represented at both the Parliamentary and State Assembly levels in Sabah and Sarawak.

We have now 38 elected MPs, two Senators and 106 State Assembly representatives in the country.

DAP had contested in 10 general elections, but it is only in the last two general elections – the 12GE in 2008 and 13GE in 2013 – that the impossible seemed possible as with PKR and PAS in the Pakatan Rakyat, Malaysians are within reach of effecting a political transformation not only at the state level, as in Penang, Selangor and Kelantan, but also at the federal level in Putrajaya.

In fact, based on popular vote in the 13GE, Pakatan Rakyat should form the national government of the day.

The road to Putrajaya, although no more impossible, still requires great commitment, loyalty to principles, integrity and sense of purpose to accomplish.

DAP’s raison d’etre

My message to DAP veterans is: Keep faith with the Malaysian Dream – the raison d’etre of the DAP for 47 years.

The greatest challenge to DAP veterans is how to help the DAP to accomplish this journey to Putrajaya in the campaign – Putrajaya in 14th GE.

Just as 13GE ended Johore as BN “fixed deposit” state, PR must end Sabah and Sarawak as “fixed deposit” states to reach Putrajaya in 14GE

One of the highlights of the 13th General Elections was to transform Johore, one of the three “fixed deposit” states of Barisan Nasional with Sabah and Sarawak, into a Pakatan Rakyat front-line state.

During the last general elections, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir not only led the campaign to ask the people of Johore to ensure that Gelang Patah become my “kubur”, Barisan Nasional leaders talking about making Johore into an “zero-opposition” state.

In the event, Johore achieved the greatest political breakthrough for Pakatan Rakyat in the 13GE, increasing from one parliamentary to five parliamentary seats (500% increase) and six State Assembly seats to 18 State Assembly seats (300% increase). In popular votes, Pakatan Rakyat achieved the biggest increase of 10.3% from 34.7% in the 12GE in 2008 to 45% in the 13GE – transforming Johore from a BN “fixed deposit” state into a PR “front-line” state.

NEGERI

PR%2013

PR%2008

PR Change (+/-)

PERLIS

44.3%

39.9%

4.4%

KEDAH

48.5%

53.2%

-4.7%

KELANTAN

53.7%

55.0%

-1.3%

TERENGGANU

48.5%

44.7%

3.7%

PULAU PINANG

67.8%

63.0%

4.8%

PERAK

54.7%

53.3%

1.4%

PAHANG

44.4%

40.5%

3.8%

SELANGOR

59.4%

55.4%

4.0%

W.P. KL & PUTRAJAYA

63.9%

61.6%

2.4%

NEGERI SEMBILAN

47.3%

45.1%

2.2%

MELAKA

46.2%

42.6%

3.6%

JOHOR

45.0%

34.7%

10.3%

SABAH

35.9%

32.5%

3.4%

SARAWAK

37.3%

28.3%

8.9%

TOTAL MSIA

50.9%

47.6%

3.2%

The table above shows that apart from Johore, which registered a 10.3% increase of voter support for PR, Sarawak is the second state with the largest increase of voter support of 8.9% for Pakatan Rakyat in the 13GE as compared to 12GE.The five states where Pakatan Rakyat retained majority popular voter support in the 13GE are Penang (67.8%), Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (63.9%), Selangor (59.4%), Perak (54.7%) and Kelantan (53.7%).

Just as 13GE ended Johore as BN “fixed deposit” state and transformed it into a “front-line” state, PR must end Sabah and Sarawak as “fixed deposit” states to reach Putrajaya in 14GE.

Battle for Putrajaya starts NOW

I have said that based on present redelineation, the Battle for Putrajaya in the 14GE will depend on the outcome in  80 marginal seats – 51 presently held by  Barisan Nasional and 29 from Pakatan Rakyat.

Taking more than 55 per cent vote secured in the 13GE as a “safe” seat, BN has 82 safe seats while Pakatan Rakyat has 60 safe seats.

In the 13GE, Pakatan Rakyat won the popular vote but robbed of Putrajaya as Barisan Nasional is the federal government with  the majority of seats – 89 for Pakatan Rakyat as against BN’s 133 seats.

If Pakatan Rakyat had won another 23 seats in the 13GE, PR would have the simple majority of 112 out of 222 seats.

In the 14GE, apart from retaining all our 89 parliamentary seats, Pakatan Rakyat should not just aim at winning 23 of the 51 BN marginal seats, but should aim to double this target to win over 46 out of the 51 BN marginal seats so that the Pakatan Rakyat can win a total of 135 out of 222 parliamentary seats with a parliamentary majority of 48 – with the seats evenly distributed among the three Pakatan Rakyat parties, i.e. PKR, PAS and DAP each having 45 parliamentary seats.

At present, DAP has 38, PKR 30 and PAS 21 MPs. This means DAP has to  win another seven parliamentary seats, PKR another 15 and PAS another 24.

I call on all DAP veterans and supporters to help, NOW and not until the 14GE whether in 2016, 2017 or 2018, Pakatan Rakyat to achieve the goal of winning not only majority popular vote but majority parliamentary seats in the next general elections, with the target of 45-45-45 seats each for DAP, PKR and PAS as everyone’s individual patriotic mission.

* This is the text of a speech by DAP Parliamentary Leader and MP for Gelang Patah Lim Kit Siang at the DAP Veterans Club Fourth Congress in Butterworth on Sunday, 17th November 2013

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