The restriction on liquor advertisements at all food outlets is unreasonable and should be revoked

2003 New Year Message
Kerk Kim Hock

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The past year has again seen Malaysians being able to celebrate their respective festivals in peace, harmony, and joy while the world is facing increasing uncertainty with the threats of international terrorism looming.

Unfortunately, Malaysia has been incorrectly reported and unfairly perceived as a center of terrorists and such negative reports and perception will certainly harm our nation's economy. As such, Malaysians should begin the New Year by declaring their total support towards a united, national effort to deal with the threat of terrorism as well the negative media report and inaccurate perception.

It is therefore imperative that the Malaysian government must heed the DAP's call and initiate a national effort involving all political parties and NGOs to combat against such threats, reports and perception. As a start, a government initiated national conference on terrorism to seek and build greater Malaysian unity and consensus on such issues should be held.

After fixing his date of retirement, it is evident that the Prime Minister Dato Seri Mahathir Mohamad has been most anxious to implement new policies or set the foundations of new policies. It appears that he is trying very hard to do or correct, in one year, what he has either failed, has not done or has not done enough for the last twenty-one years.

Hence, the " twilight policies" of the Prime Minister which will have wide implications on the nation and the people and which include the decision to teach Mathematics and Science subjects in the primary schools in English and the review exercise of the National Education System, are introduced without the fullest and democratic consultation of the people.

Recently, there is strong speculation that the coming general election will be held about two to three months before or after the Prime Minister retires as the longest serving Prime Minister of Malaysia. Nothing can be more important than to ensure that in the coming general election, Malaysians can and will send a clear message to the government that this multi racial, multi cultural and multi religious nation must continue to be a secular and democratic nation.

With the beginning of a new year, Malaysians should also reaffirm their commitment towards the cause of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance. Let us all stride towards a just, fair and tolerant Malaysia that is free from the threats of terrorism, extremism or communalism.

DAP, despite having suffered two consecutive electoral debacles in the 1995 and 1999 general elections, has soldiered on to continue our fight for a just, fair, united, progressive Malaysia.

I thank all who have continued to support the DAP and assure them that their support will never be taken for granted.

I have said it before and I will repeat it here-----DAP in the new millennium has to and will prove that it is a Party that is prepared to admit it has limitations but also has a strong enough desire to change to meet the expectations and demands of the people.

In carrying out the necessary changes to modernize the Party, we will continue to uphold our democratic socialist ideal as well as the Malaysian Malaysia concept.

Finally, I take this opportunity to thank members of the public, party leaders and members, friends and foes on both sides of the political fence, my family members; for their encouragement and support to me during the period when I had to undergo surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment for my rectum cancer which was diagnosed in April this year.

My family and I extend our best wishes of a Happy New Year to all Malaysians.


* Kerk Kim Hock