Opening Speech By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng During The 2013 Penang State Ordinary Convention In George Town Hotel On 1.12.2013.
Keeping The Malaysian Dream Alive By Making Penang No.1 In Malaysia.
I wish to congratulate all Penang DAP leaders and members under the leadership of Sdr Chow Kon Yeow for your hard work and unity in helping PR achieve a great victory in the 2013 general elections with an additional state seat by winning 30 out of 40 state seats and an increased popular vote of 68%, the highest in the country. DAP obtained increased support from all Penangites, including Malays. Despite BN’s politics of racial and religious hatred, PAS leader Dr Zulkifli Ahmad cited Penang as one of the two states that PR won an increased Malay support(2%), the other being Terengganu(4%).
On behalf of PR and DAP, we humbly thank Penang voters for their confidence by helping us to retain power in Penang. With power comes responsibility.
Sdr Lim Kit Siang has called on our supporters to keep faith in our great Malaysian dream in the next general elections. By being a partner in power with PR in Penang, DAP Penang leaders and members have a heavier responsibility to keep this Malaysian dream alive by making Penang No.1 in Malaysia.
A Malaysian dream of a Malaysia for all Malaysians regardless of race, religion, class or region where democracy, good governance, clean leadership, economic prosperity and socio-economic justice could flourish to allow every Malaysian to live with dignity and an equal opportunity to achieve his or her fullest potential, in an environment that is clean, green, safe and healthy.
PR have shown in our 5 years in Penang, that even though without any experience, we can govern better than BN with 50 years of experience. We have shown that a clean government can perform better than a corrupt government. We have shown that a PR government can inspire confidence from investors and the business community with the highest investments in Penang history.
We have shown that we can wipe out poverty in 5 years that BN can not do in 50 years. We have shown we can spend more than RM100 million yearly on welfare assistance without going bankrupt. We have shown that we can make Penang cleaner in a state that BN condemned as the dirtiest in the country. We have shown that we can make Penang safer. We have shown we can make Penang come alive as the cultural and heritage capital of Malaysia.
Most importantly we have shown that we can help and be fair to everyone Malays, Chinese, Indians that it is not who you but what you are that is important.
These successes were achieved on the basis of party unity, bonded together by principles of truth, justice and integrity of our leaders and members as well as trusting in the wisdom of Penangites to find solutions to our problems. We still have much to do in terms of building affordable housing, resolving traffic congestion and making Penang the safest state in the country. Our greatest challenge is still building sufficient human talent to oil our future economic growth. If we want to win the future we have to invest in the future of education.
PR offers a future of hope because that future belongs to the people. BN’s future is only for their cronies as shown by these examples:-
• Talking about 1Malaysia and yet preaching racial and religious hatred by selecting Perkasa leaders as BN candidates.
• Talking about having confidence in our civil service, yet employing outside consultants with higher pay than our Prime Minister,
• Talking about employing good lecturers to lift the quality of university education in Malaysia which has gone from bad to worse yet still appoint Professors who commit plagiarism,
• Talking about fighting corruption but no one is punished for the RM52 billion bumi shares scandal nor the RM13 billion Port Klang Free Trade Zone scandal
• Talking about listening to the people and yet whitewashing mural paintings in Johor stating the fact that crime is a serious problem
• Praising Malaysians actors of the Chinese film who won the golden horse awards in Taiwan but at the same time ban the other Chinese film ‘new village’ in Malaysia,
• Spending billions of ringgit of rakyat’s funds to build our own national car only to find it being sold at a lower price overseas
• Spending billions of ringgit to sustain MAS only to find MAS practically bankrupt and selling air fares higher than a profitable self-financed Air Asia.
• Spending hundreds of millions of ringgit in public funds to rear cows that went to buying condominiums.
How can BN succeed despite such scandalous and shameful behaviour? The secret of BN’s success is that they manage to appear confident despite being corrupt and incompetent. In politics perception is everything. As long as BN can project that confidence that they can manage the country better than PR, even though BN’s record is making Malaysia as the world champion of corruption, they will still retain a significant level of support from Malaysian voters.
Another important factor that kept BN in power is the cheating and manipulation by the Election Commission. Despite winning 51% of the popular vote nationally at the last general elections, PR only won 40% of the parliamentary seats. The shocking admission by former Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid that he deliberately manipulated the redelineation of parliamentary constituencies during the last 3 exercises against non-Malays is unconstitutional. Clearly the present constituencies are both flawed and defective because it is not conducted and carried out in the interests of democracy of “one-person, one-vote, one-value”, justice and fairplay.
DAP condemns Tan Sri Abdul Rashid for failing to carry out his duties impartially and constitutionally and instead illegally conducted ethnic disenfranchisement or disempowerment that effectively reinforced BN’s policies of dividing Malaysians to first-class and second class Malaysians. DAP members must unite to fight for clean, free and fair elections if we are to win power and help make Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as our Prime Minister.
Before I end, let me share the views of one middle-class Malay lady, who is deeply concerned about the corruption, deteriorating standards in our education system, English and lack of equal opportunities for Malaysians without political connections for her children. She asks us not to forget the middle-class – too rich to be helped but too poor to survive and prosper in this unequal and corrupt society.
Let me assure her that when PR wins power in Putrajaya, we will not forget the middle-class like her but create equal opportunities for her children to succeed and prosper.
Lim Guan Eng
—–Mandarin Version —