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At The Memorial Held by DAP For The Late Sdr V.David
by Lim Guan Eng
(Wisma Tun Sambanthan, Sunday): Our late Sdr V. David is widely acknowledged to be a fighter for workers’ rights and his contribution is best evidenced by his performance as a parliamentarian. I had seen V. David in action when he was elected between 1986-1995 and his knowledge and concern for workers’ rights and improving their welfare permeated his parliamentary speeches.
However I think his most important contribution was not just improving workers’ welfare per se was not to seek nor fear conflict. He realized that conflict between management and workers were necessary if the workers were to be respected as human beings with dignity. But he understood the need to avoid destructive conflict between labour and management which not only results in the participants losing but also the country losing.
Every time we enter a hospital, our health depends on the effective co-operation between nurses and doctors. When their conflicts turn destructive, both loses but most of all patient care suffers and people die. Similarly if the conflict between labour and management turns destructive, then not only would both sides lose but the third side namely the country would be the greatest loser.
There were a lot of workers’ strike action and demonstrations during his younger days but not in the latter period of his career. He gave forth heat and light but probably more heat in his younger days. In the latter part of his career, I would like to think he gave forth more light than heat. The extent of his contribution is for the historians to decide.
What we know is that V. David had that quality prevalent and evident amongst DAP leaders, that is his willingness to act and commit himself passionately for a cause. V David rejected fatalism because fatalism paralyses our will to act. Let us thereby remember V. David by rejecting fatalism which leads to paralysis of the will to act against injustice, inequality, oppression, falsehoods and mental slavery.
The best tribute we can give V. David to continue is work and cause for a Malaysian Malaysia where every citizen regardless of race enjoys freedom from injustice and oppression as well as given equal opportunity to develop his/ her human potential fully to the maximum.
Sdr V. David was a man who cared not only about his family but others. His family is inconsolable over their loss and rightly so as he agonized over them when he was detained under the ISA in Operation Lallang in 1987. We can only console his family’s loss with the memory of his notable service to our country and workers both here and abroad.