Ops Lalang was carried out on 27 Oct 1987 and Lim Kit Siang, the then DAP sec-gen, was one of those detained in the ISA swoop.
A day earlier (Oct 26), Opposition Leader Kit Siang delivered a speech in Parliament titled ‘DAP proposes a one-year moratorium for all political parties where no racial, language, cultural or religious issues will be created or raised for every Malaysian to concentrate on the national priority of achieving economic recovery and growth’.
Four days (Oct 23) before his arrest, Kit Siang made a speech titled ‘DAP Central Executive Committee calls for formation of National Consultative Council to prevent another May 13 riots from taking place’ (pdf here).
He blamed the Umno Youth Rally on 17 Oct 1987 and the Umno meeting at the PWTC the following day (Oct 18) for their “unrestrained politicking of race”.
Kit Siang stressed that all Malaysians, and in particular all political leaders, must learn the lesson of drawing back from the abyss of a racial conflict. He further added:
“It is very disturbing that despite calls by the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, for the cancellation of rallies, demonstrations and public meetings which might be interpreted as being racial in character […] such rallies, demonstrations and irresponsible statement continue unabated.”
“For instance, a 20,000-people rally and demonstration was yesterday organised by Umno Perlis in Kangar where the Mentri Besar of Perlis made fierce, highly provocative and irresponsible statement.
“Umno has also decided to proceed with its mammoth rally of Nov 1, despite calls that Umno should set the example to heed the IGP’s appeal for cancellation of rallies and demonstration.
“Although Umno Secretary-General, Sanusi Junid, said that Nov 1 Umno rally is not a demonstration but a celebration in memory of the birth of Umno, it is very clear from Sanusi Junid’s speech at the meeting of Umno Divisional leaders at Putra World Trade Centre on Sunday that Nov 1 was meant to be show of strength and force, “kerana kita mahu menunjukkan pada semua pihak bahawa orang-orang Melayu adalah sentiasa bersatu dan sanggup menghadapi apa jua risiko demi mempertahankan maruah bangsa dan agama serta kedaulatan Diraja.”
“It would appear that Nov 1 Umno rally would be the third rally held by Umno or Umno Youth in two weeks where Chinese Malaysian journalists would have to be told by organisers and police to leave the venue as their personal safety or security could not be guaranteed. This will make the Nov 1 Umno Rally more than fit the Inspector-General Police’s description of rallies which ‘might be interpreted as being racial in character’.”
Kit Siang and the DAP CEC blamed Umno politicians leading the rallies for the “escalation of racial tensions and the worsening of racial relations”.
The DAP supremo’s speech on Oct 19 – a week before his Ops Lalang ISA arrest – was titled ‘Malaysia is teetering on the edge of a racial volcano and all political leaders must stop incitement of racial hatred and illwill to prevent an explosion which must occur if the present trend is not stopped’ (pdf here).
Let’s recap Kit Siang’s accusations against Umno in bullet points:
- Umno was holding rallies and demonstrations which were racial in nature
- Umno Perlis’s 20,000-strong rally was accompanied by “fierce, highly provocative and irresponsible statement(s)”
- Umno’s mammoth rally planned for 1 Nov 1987 – which ultimately did not take place since Ops Lalang was carried out preemptively on Oct 27 – was “meant to be [a] show of strength and force” and should not be allowed
Back in 1987, the mass of Chinese opposition supporters were not inclined to take to the streets. It was the Umno Malays who turned up at public rallies.
Back in 1987, Kit Siang objected to what Umno had been doing.
Well, aren’t the Pakatan supporters doing the same thing today?
When the shoe is on the other foot, see for yourself how DAP behaves.
After all, DAP has itself today become the government (at state level). We’ve seen its track record on the freedom of speech and how many newspapers and TV stations the Guan Eng administration has banned from its official functions.
The latest casualty, yet another media Antarapos was banned from covering the DAP national congress in Penang a couple of weeks ago.
It was recently reported that Himpunan Hijau, the anti-Lynas group, had announced it wanted to bring down the regime.
I guessed as much that Himpunan Hijau had a political flavour when the green shirts converged in the KL Chinatown after completing their Long March from Kuantan. However there were deceitful Chinese bloggers who insistently declared that the green wave which washed over the capital city was purely an environmental protest.
And if you dared say Himpunan Hijau had DAP links, the in-denial Chinese blogger would label you a racist who is bent on scaremongering May 13.
The guy in the foreground (photo below) somehow doesn’t conjure a mental picture of a tree hugger.
If you were someone in the government security services, what would you make of tomorrow’s ‘Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat’?
Kebangkitan can be translated as ‘uprising’ or rebellion, insurrection.
So these Pakatan yellow and green shirts will be taking to the streets to promote, err what, again?