After 5 decades in politics, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has seen and heard it all — from being accused of being a communist to being pinned with the blame for the race riots of May 13, 1969, he has been the target of attack numerous times. Yet his political struggle has always been an open book. In a heartfelt and revealing article he penned recently, he takes on the accusations levelled against him in his stride, confronting them head-on.
“I have been in politics for 51 years.
I have never operated underground. The country’s Special Branch, which is one of the best of its kind in the world, having been trained by the British and which had the unique distinction of being the only intelligence apparatus in the world to have beaten the communists in a war for the “hearts and minds” of the people, knows that my political struggle is an open book as I had never engaged in any below-ground subterranean activities.
I have written and spoken almost daily in the past 51 years of my political struggle for an united, democratic and most just Malaysia, and every word is on public record.
Assuming an average of some 600 words a day – and it is not unusual for my speeches in Parliament in my first three decades in Parliament from the seventies to the nineties to range from 8,000 to 10,000 words in major debates, whether budget, the royal address or important bills – I would have spoken or written some 10 million words in my political life for the past 51 years.”
The inability of UMNO leaders, propagandists and cyber troopers to find any proof from the more than 10 million words I had written or spoken in the past 51 years of my political struggle to substantiate their allegation that I am anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Rulers is the most powerful proof of their politics of hate, falsehood and fake news.”
My challenge to UMNO leaders, propagandists and cyber troopers to produce evidence from the more than 10 million words I had spoken or written in the past 51 years to prove that I am anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Rulers still stands – and they are welcome to comb through what I had said or written in the past 51 years, including the rooms of records of my statements, books, tapes and videos in the Special Branch, to produce proof that I am anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Rulers.”
The allegations that I was the cause of the May 13 riots in 1969 or a “communist” were never made before the political tsunami of 2008. “Discerning Malaysians will realize that these new allegations against me were concocted after the “political tsunami” of the 2008 General Elections, when UMNO leaders, propagandists and cyber troopers suddenly realized that DAP was a political force to be reckoned with.
If I had been the cause of the May 13 riots of 1969 in Kuala Lumpur or a communist, the Special Branch would have been utterly incompetent instead of being one of the best in the world, to allow me to operate for half a century when the detention-without-trial Internal Security Act (ISA) would be easy weapon to be used against me until the ISA abolition in 2012.
“I had been detained twice under the Internal Security Act, the first time after the May elections in 1969 and the second time during Operation Lalang in October 1987, but I had never been detained because of the May 13 riots or because I was a communist.”
In fact, I was not even in Kuala Lumpur during the racial riot in May 13, 1969.
I was contesting in the Bandar Melaka parliamentary seat in 1969, and the last days of the 1969 general elections campaign were really hectic ones, which included waiting for the results of the May 10, 1969 general election, as the counting of votes were not completed and the results announced until the early hours of Sunday, May 11, 1969.
I returned to my Petaling Jaya house on Sunday evening and simply collapsed from the accumulated tiredness of the campaign.
Early on Monday, May 12, 1969, I returned from Petaling Jaya to the Bandar Melaka constituency to thank the voters and I had a thank-voters public rally on Monday night – probably the only elected MP in the 1969 general elections to have a thank-voters public rally before the clampdown on political activities as a result of the May 13, 1969 riots and declaration of emergency.
The first time I heard that trouble had broken out in Kuala Lumpur – what became known as the May 13, 1969 riots – was when I was speaking at a public rally in Kota Kinabalu that evening.
The UMNO leadership of the first four Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussin and Tun Mahathir, never made these two allegations against me for the Special Branch of the period would know whether I had been the cause of the May 13 riots in 1969 or whether I was a communist.
“I am also accused of being a communist – an accusation that was never levelled before the “political tsunami” of 2008, for the simple reason that the first four UMNO Prime Minister knew from Special Branch briefings that this was impossible.
In fact, in the 1969 general election, apart from having to contest against the Alliance, DAP had to contest against an invisible foe – the Labour Party and the Malayan Communist Party which were advocating boycott of the 1969 general election on the ground that elections in Malaysia was a fraudulent process, advocating instead “street protests”.
It is true that the Alliance suffered some setbacks when MCA candidates were routed in the 1969 general elections, losing out to the Opposition, but Labour Party and the Malayan Communist Party suffered even greater setbacks because the voters rejected their call to boycott the general elections and came out solidly to cast their votes.
I have always believed that a person who is anti-Malay and anti-Islam cannot be a true Malaysian, just as a person who is anti-Chinese or anti-Indian, anti- Buddhism, anti-Christianity, anti-Hindusim, anti-Sikkhism could not be a genuine Malaysian for he or she will be denying the multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural diversity and heritage in Malaysia which is the country’s great strength to be a world-class nation.
I would urge UMNO leaders, propagandists and cyber troopers to stop their gutter-politics of lies, falsehood, fake news and hatred if they really love Malaysia, for the degeneration of Malaysian politics to the gutter level is to take Malaysian nation-building to the cleaners as well”
We can differ, however strongly or vociferously, about what is best for Malaysia but let us not take leave of decency, truth, honesty and honour, or we risk condemning Malaysia to the fate of a failed and rogue state.”