A rasional public
- at "The Great Malaysian
Debate - ISA - YES or NO"
by Loke Siew Fook
(Kuala Lumpur, Monday):
The moderator of "The Great Malaysian Debate - ISA - Yes or No" Tunku Abdul
Aziz, the 2 speakers of the night, Minister in the Prime Minister's
Department YB Dato Mohd Nazri, DAP National Chairman and Parliamentary
Opposition Leader YB Sdr Lim Kit Siang, DAP Life Adviser Sdr. Dr Chen Man
Hin, YB YB Deputy Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries, YB YB Members of
Parliament and State Assemblymen, Dato' Dato' and Datin' Datin',
representatives from the various Embassies and High Commissions,
representatives from NGOs, our DAP veteran leaders whom many of them were
former ISA detainees, representatives from the media, ladies and gentlemen,
saudara saudari, a very warm welcome to all of you and Salam Sejahtera!
First of all, I wish to record our sincerest appreciation to Tunku Abdul
Aziz for agreeing to take his precious time off to moderate this very
important debate tonight. We also like to thank both Dato' Nazri and Sdr Lim
Kit Siang whom without both of them, tonight's debate will not take place at
It is indeed a great honour for the DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) to have the
opportunity to organize this event as the subject matter is always a
controversial subject whenever it was raised both in and outside the
Parliament. And it is definitely an issue close to the hearts of many
Malaysians - the relevance of the Internal Security Act in Malaysia.
Tonight's debate can be considered the second most important public
debate in the history of the DAP after a lapse of 36 years. If some of you
can still remember, in 1968 (I was not born yet) the DAP was engaged in the
big "Malaysian Cultural Debate" with Parti Gerakan which lasted in a
marathon of 6 hours! Of course, in the middle, in
1987 the then DAPSY Chief Sdr Lim Guan Eng held a public debate with the MCA
Youth leader Datuk Ong Tee Keat at this same venue.
Public debate is not a norm in our society. But it should not be so. We
should be prepared to engage in controversial issues and debate it in a
rational and mature manner. Let's show to the world tonight that we
Malaysians can be agree to disagree. We hope that tonight's event will be a
catalyst for more public debates to be held in Malaysia in particular
between the ruling parties and the opposition and bring our democratic
culture to a higher level.
I appeal to the supporters of both sides who are here tonight not to shout
and yell to each other during the whole event. We are civilized and matured
people. It is more than enough to show our support with just a clap. Let's
ensure this event will be most peaceful and incident-free.
Last but not least, I wish to thank the police in particular the IGP
Tan Sri Bakri Omar for granting us the permit to hold this event although
after much hassle. Anyway, we are thankful that finally green light was
With these few words, I thank all of you for showing your keen interest in
this debate and I wish all of you a fruitful and enjoyable night. Thank you.
* Loke Siew Fook, DAPSY National Secretary, NS
State Assemblyman for Lobak and "The Great Malaysian Debate - ISA - YES or
NO" Organizing Committee Chairman