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DAP 40, Malaysian First


Media Statement
by Lim Guan Eng

(Seputeh, Monday): As we celebrate our party’s 40th anniversary on 18th March 2006, we should reflect back on the struggles of the party over the last 40 years. DAP’s historical record of political struggle, hardship and achievements is undoubted in forging a national Malaysian identity regardless of race and religion as well as in opposing all forms of injustices, corruption, discrimination and abuses of human rights.

DAP intends to produce such a sterling record of service to the nation as the voice of freedom and conscience in Malaysia. For many Malaysians and even foreigners we represent the last and final hope to justice. The huge public outcry over the nude woman forced to do ear squats is a classic example of what DAP can do to make a positive difference in the life of Malaysians. Even in the most desperate of situations, as long as there is DAP, there is hope.

This is the distinctive pattern of successes achieved under the DAP in the past 40 years. We need now to look over our vision and mission over the next 40 years. To do that we not only need to review our past struggles and achievements but also our party’s objectives as stated in our party constitution to make it relevant to current times. We also need to chart our vision and push forward a new mission statement.

All this will be discussed during our political retreat of the party’s top leadership on 6-8 January 2006. Amongst the many speakers from various field invited into this closed-door session will be former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Malaysian First

The DAP Central Executive Committee has adopted “Malaysian First” as our slogan for our 40th Anniversary celebrations to signify the dual purpose of highlighting the need for national unity based on a Malaysian community (Malaysian Malaysia) regardless of race or religion as well as the need to be global champions in academic excellence, economic competitiveness and technological merit.

The best embodiment of the Malaysian First spirit as a global champion is world woman squash champion Nicol Davids and Malaysian companies such as Selangor Pewter. Malaysians must take pride in achievements of substance that can improve our economic well-being and standard of living, not on inconsequential trifles such as the longest flagpole or largest ketupat.

The party needs to review our political objectives, which have not been reviewed for the last 40 years, is not just an attempt to make us relevant to contemporary issues and the new generation of Malaysians. The party must undertake an image repositioning to remove public perception of being an ethnic party of non-Malays to move towards our actual Malaysian Malaysia. In other words we must make a determined and sustained effort not to be seen as a Chinese or Indian party but also one that is concerned with Malay issues.

Such aspirations are easier said than done but we must first have such common aspirations first before efforts to implement them have a chance for success. Political necessity dictates that our political future in the year 2020 depends on acceptance by Malays. Unless we take the first preliminary steps during the 40th anniversary of our party’s birth we may not be able to celebrate our next 40th anniversary.

In other words the next year will be a busy one for the party both short-term, medium-term and long-term. For the short-term, we have to focus on economic issues that really matters to the people. The party must try to distinguish itself economic issues based not just on wealth distribution but also wealth creation, not only on achieving socio-economic justice but also creating equal opportunity.

In the medium term, we have to set our new mission and vision that identifies the party with our values and principles as well as chart the direction of the party. The long-term is    most painful steps to convince Malaysians, especially Malays, that we are a party of Malays Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans and Orang Asli. Failure to do so may leave us with no future by 2020.

Malaysians stand united in achieving Vision 2020 of making Malaysia a developed country. Let us all ensure that DAP is still around then to make sure we achieve it and that every Malaysian is given his due portion.

Aspirations without accomplishment and economic prosperity without accountability would not endure.


* Lim Guan Eng,  DAP Secretary General

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