The 1999 Suqiu was an extension of the 1985 Joint Declaration of the Chinese Guilds and Associations. Actually, Suqiu covers not only Chinese issues but also issues of different races in Malaysia. Thus, it can called an appeal by all people rather than just the Chinese.
At that time, Deputy Prime Minister Anwar was sacked by the Mahathir regime which triggered a series of domino effects and Malay voters were divided. The Chinese guilds and associations then in Aug 16, 1999 came out with the memorandum of appeals covering political, economic, cultural and education issues and calling on the government to respect democratic and human rights, restore judiciary independence, press freedom, rout out corruption and attend to the marginalized groups. The memorandum was signed by 2,098 Chinese guilds and associations all over the country.
Mahathir pretended to support the appeal and won the general election with the support of Chinese guilds and associations. But he made a denial after the election and lambasted the Chinese campaign, comparing the promoters with the Communists and Al-Ma’unah Islamic extremists.
This triggered a backlash from the Chinese community. The dictatorial and bullying Mahathir immediate assigned radical elements threatening to burn down the Selangor-Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall. The Chinese community who have experienced the May 13 incident and Operasi Lalang became fearful.
The 14th general election will be held in 2018 and the Chinese population has shrunk to 22.7%. As Chinese birth rate is shrinking, it is projected that by the 15th election, the Chinese population will go down to a mere 19%.
Is the 1985 Joint Declaration of the Chinese guilds and associations and the 1999 Suqiu still relevant for this age and time? This writer would not dare to speculate. But they can certainly be used as a reference to draft the 2018 Suqiu. The Malay votes are divided among UMNO, Pribumi Bersatu and PAS. It is absolutely a good opportunity for the Chinese guilds and associations to submit its Suqiu again.
I suggest striking a deal in black and white with legal obligations with whichever party that offers the best and fulfill at least half of the appeals before the election.
What are you waiting for if you don’t do it now? Wait until our population has shrunk to 19% or even less than 10%?
Original Source: 还等什么？大诉求