By Lim Kit Siang

I will not be able to attend the Johore DAP State Convention in Batu Pahat on Sunday, May 2, 2021 as I am in Covid-19 quarantine for 10 days from April 30 to May 9.

I would therefore be unable to cast my vote at the Johore DAP State Elections.

I have no Covid-19, but I was in contact with someone  tested positive for Covid-19.

The Johore State Convention is an important milestone in the DAP’s struggle to forge an united world-class great Malaysian nation since 1966.

For more than six decades, Johore was the fort of the Alliance and its component parties – UMNO, MCA and MIC.

Johore had 1.8 million registered voters but it got the most number of parliamentary seats, more than  Selangor which had 2.4 million registered votes but allocated 22 parliamentary seats as compared to 26 parliamentary seats for Johore.

Why? Because Johore was regarded as invincible strongholds of UMNO, MCA  and MIC and that even if UMNO, MCA or MIC candidates fell in other states in general elections,  UMNO, MCA and MIC candidates will stand tall,  strong and win  in Johore.

That was until the 13th General Election in 2013 and 14th General Election in 2018.

Before the 13th General Election, all the DAP could win was one parliamentary seat – Kluang in 1978 General Election (Lee Kaw) and Bakri in the 2008 General Election (Er Teck Hwa).

In the 13th General Election, DAP won four parliamentary seats – Bakri (Er Teck Hwa), Kluang (Liew Chin Tong), Kulai (Teo Nie Ching) and Gelang Patah (Lim Kit Siang). In the 14th General Election, we won five parliamentary seats – Bakri (Yeo Bee Yin), Kluang (Wong Shu Qi), Labis (Pang Hok Liong), Kulai (Teo Nie Ching) and Iskandar Puteri (Lim Kit Siang).

The sea-change for DAP in Johore was due to the vision and courage of Liew Chin Tong, who worked tirelessly from 2012 to transform Johore from the invincible fort of Alliance into the frontline for DAP in the quest for the Malaysian Dream for Malaysia to be an united world-class nation.

This transformation can be seen from the results of the three last general elections for the Johore  state assembly.  Before 2013, the most number of State Assembly seats won by the DAP were four seats – Bentayan (Quee Tong Hiang), Mengkibol (Ng Lam Hua), Skudai (Boo Cheng Hau) and Senai (Ong Kow Meng).

In the 13th General Election, DAP won 13 State Assembly seats which increased to 14 seats in the 14th General Election.

Teo Nie Ching  is one of among over 20 Malaysians who became Member of Parliament or State Assembly person before they were thirty years old – a mark that the DAP will  always represent  the youths of Malaysia, without forgetting the interests of all age groups. Nie Ching went on to become Deputy Education Minister in the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government to scale new heights.

Chin Tong and Nie Ching have issued a joint  declaration expressing their confidence that after braving the political ups and downs for over  50 years, Johore DAP  will flourish under a strong leadership.

They pledged their commitment to unleash the potential of DAP Johore  to spearhead a national movement to make the nation better and stronger, with two objectives,viz:  

𝟭. 𝗪𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗼𝗿 to 𝗲𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝘃𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆; and

𝟮. 𝗝𝗼𝗵𝗼𝗿 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗗𝗔𝗣

They set out  five goals:

1.  𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗚𝗘𝟭𝟱;

2. 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗻;

3. make  𝗗𝗔𝗣  𝗮 𝗺𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗶𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘆;

4. 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘆 𝗯𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 – 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝘆𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗸𝗲𝘁; and

5.Be 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵s 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻

Chin Tong and Nie Ching are right. As they said:

“Malaysia is in an unprecedented triple crisis of politics, economy and health.

“The old political order has collapsed, including UMNO’s model of one-party dominance. In 2018, we successfully created a miracle and defeated the old political order.

“2021 is not the time to be cynical nor pessimistic, it is now time for us to come together and create a new order that allows for all Johoreans and Malaysians to enjoy a stable and prosperous nation in the next decade.

“This is the DAP’s duty to the nation and its people.

“.DAP’s journey is never smooth sailing but we always march on fearlessly in the face of adversity and achieve the impossible.

“We humbly call upon all Johor DAP members to unite and join us in leading the party and our coalition partners in this journey towards winning GE15 and governing again, and to transform DAP from a grocery shop to a hypermarket – starting from Johor.”

I endorse the declaration by Chin Tong and Nie Ching. This is the substance of the Malaysian Dream.

Chin Tong is not perfect. He has his faults – just as we must all be humble to recognise our weaknesses.

We have made our criticisms and given our views on how the DAP in Johore can scale new heights.

I therefore call  on all MPs, State Assembly members and contending candidates to close ranks and rally behind the leadership of Liew Chin Tong and Teo Nie Ching to take Johore DAP to new  heights – which is to be the front-line state for DAP and Pakatan Harapan to win the 15th General Election to begin to fulfil the Malaysian Dream.