Speech by 
DAPSY Acting National Secretary and DAP NS Assistant Organizing Secretary, Loke Siew Fook 
at the dinner organized by Rantau Timur branch in Rantau, Negeri Sembilan 
on Saturday, September 14, 2002

Call on the voters of Rantau to solidly support the DAP to ensure the success of DAP in the Rasah Parliamentary constituency in the next general election

Rantau is a state constituency within the Rasah Parliamentary seat in the last general election and in the latest delineation exercise, there are not many changes to Rantau constituency and it’s still within the Rasah Parliament. Rasah Parliament is the most winnable parliamentary seat for the opposition in Negeri Sembilan as shown in the results of the last general election. 

In the 1999 general election, the then DAP National Chairman, Sdr. Dr. Chen Man Hin who contested Rasah Parliamentary seat lost by only a small margin of 1,288 votes to the BN candidate. The margin is the smallest majority among the entire 7 Parliamentary constituencies in Negeri Sembilan. 

In the coming general election, the voters of Negeri Sembilan particularly the people of Rantau must be aware of the importance of the votes in their hands. The votes they cast are not only choosing a candidate to represent them in the Parliament but to decide the destiny of the nation and to return a healthy democracy in Negeri Sembilan. 

There are many important issues at stake. The unilateral declaration by the Prime Minister on September 29, 2001 that Malaysia is an Islamic State and the increasingly uncompromising Islamisation policies of the PAS-led state governments in Kelantan and Terengganu has set the agenda of the country towards an Islamic State. 

DAP’s stand is very clear. We are not against Islam but we believe in a plural society like Malaysia, an Islamic State is untenable and unsuitable. The spirit of the 1957 Constitution, the Social Contract when we achieved our Independence on 31st August 1957 and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement that Malaysia is a multi racial, multi religious, democratic and secular country with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic State must be uphold and preserved. 

Our arguments are legal and valid as demonstrated by the various documents highlighted by DAP National Chairman, Lim Kit Siang in the last few months whether the report of the Reid Commission, the report of the Cobbold Commission or the few newspapers reports of reassurances by Bapa Kemerdekaan, Tunku Abdul Rahman and the third Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, that Malaysia is not Islamic State. 

This is why that although there were 5 unlawful arrests in the last 3 months including one in Port Dickson in connection with the DAP’s “No to 929” People Awareness Campaign, none of the 32 arrested has been charged under the Sedition Act, the grounds used by the police to arrest the DAP leaders and activist till today. 

The voters of Negeri Sembilan must send out a loud and clear message that they do not support an Islamic State either ala-UMNO or ala-PAS in the coming general election by supporting a strong political middle force and the most reliable choice for the people is the DAP judging from our past 36 years of political track records.

The DAP was born in Negeri Sembilan in 1966 and the first state seat won by a DAP candidate was in Negeri Sembilan in the Rahang by-election in 1965 contested by Dr. Chen Man Hin although at that time, Dr. Chen contested as an Independent candidate before the party was officially registered. 

The biggest contribution of the DAP to the nation building in the last 36 years was that the DAP has successfully prevented the assimilation policy of “One Language, One Culture” propagated by some ultra-nationalist elements in the Barisan Nasional. DAP leaders like Dr. Chen Man Hin, Sdr. Lim Kit Siang, Sdr. Karpal Singh, Sdr Liew Ah Kim who present tonight and many others who has paid a very high price to fought in the very forefront to preserve the multi cultural, multi religious and multi lingual character of Malaysia whether in the issues of education, mother tongue language, cultural and religious freedom, equality, corruption and other injustices. 

The ability of the DAP to fight in the very forefront of Malaysian politics in the last 36 years was in no small ways attributed to the strong support given by the people of Negeri Sembilan. Although the DAP did not win a single seat in Negeri Sembilan in the last general election, I still believe that the DAP still commands strong supports and respects by the people of Negeri Sembilan. 

DAP Negeri Sembilan will definitely fight back in the coming general election. I call upon the people of Negeri Sembilan particularly the Rantau voters to vote for a strong DAP in Negeri Sembilan to return a healthy democracy and provide check and balance to the Barisan Nasional state government in the coming general election and to return our national agenda to the issues of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance. Our national focuses should be how to build up a world class education system producing world class workforce to compete with the rest of the world, how to enhance the quality of life of the people in the entire country not just only in the urban areas and democratization at all levels of governments to develop a knowledgeable and vibrant society in Malaysia.