Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the inaugural meeting of the protem committee of the Bukit Rambai DAP Branch, Malacca, on Wednesday, August 8, 1968 at 8 p.m.
The formation of the protem committee of the Bukit Rambai DAP Branch marks yet another milestone in the steady expansion of the democratic socialist movement in Malaysia.
In the short period of slightly over two years since the formation of the Democratic Action Party, we have given new hope to thinking Malaysians that a new political force has emerged on the Malaysian scene, which has the brain power, organisation, stamina and youth to defeat the forces of reaction, inequality, injustice and racialism which has dominated this country since independence.
The people was looking forward to a revolution of rising expectations on the eve of Merdeka on August 31, 1957. Today, eleven years after, this has turned into a revolution of rising frustrations.
Since 1957, the national debt has spiralled by over seven times. In 1957, it stood at $500 million. By the end of 1967, it had risen to $3,514 million. In other words, before independence, every Malaysian averages a debt of $50, but by 1967, this has increased to $351. There is no indication that the Alliance is capable of reducing this debt but only piling it up.
The growth in the national economy has also slowed down. In 1965, gross national product increased by 9.7%. In 1966, the increase was 5.9%. In 1967, the increase must be even smaller.
Unemployment and underemployment has never been so serious as it is today. Tens of thousands of school-leavers enter the labour market every year to join the long queue of the unemployed, while in the rubber, mining and commercial sector, retrenchments are throwing even more number of people out of jobs.
The Labour Ministry’s Employment Exchange could place jobs for about 12,000 a year. But in the rubber estate industry alone, 23,000 were thrown out of jobs last year. In the first seven months of this year, another 50,000 must have been thrown onto the unemployment heap.
Recently, Tun Tan Siew Sin said that we have to run very fast in order to stand still. We are, in fact, in a much worse position. Because however fast we ran, we could not stand still and retain our economic status quo, and kept slipping backwards.
The people have become disillusioned with the Alliance, which is incapable of breaking away from its communal and feudal policies – the cause of the Malaysian national decline.
In the next elections, the majority of voters will vote against the Alliance.
In 1959, the Alliance secured 51.8% of the total votes. In 1964, riding high on the wave of Malaysian solidarity in the face of Indonesian aggression, it managed to secure only 58.5% of the total vote. In the next general elections, the Alliance must count itself lucky if it gets more than 40% of the total vote.
However, because of the undemocratic electoral divisions, where one rural voter exercises the same power as six urban voters in electing a Member of Parliament, the Alliance will be able to form a government with minority votes.
The Alliance can lose all the seats where the MCA and MIC are standing without or affecting its chances of forming a government.
Although the UMNO can survive without MCA support, this is not the case with the MCA. Without UMNO help, the MCA is sunk.
Hence the recent attempts by the MCA to repair its political fortunes by unscrupulous methods:
The latest example is the so-called MCA College: MCA Youth leaders have confessed that the proposed MCA College is no more than a mini-version of the Merdeka University project.
Yet the MCA opposed the Merdeka University project. It is as clear as day that the whole MCA approach towards education was politically-motivated, and that they proposed the MCA College to win votes in the next elections.
They used the MCA’s position as a partner in the ruling party to get government pledges of support for the project.
Those who donate to the MCA College project will in fact be donating to the MCA election campaign fund, because the MCA will use this project as a vote-catcher.
The MCA officials have still to explain why they oppose the Merdeka University project, and yet propose a mini-Merdeka University project in the form of MCA College instead.
The MCA should stop playing politics with the education of the next generation of Malaysian. Education must be treated solely as an education issue.
We regret that the Alliance leaders have failed to make this distinction between politics and education. Similarly, because of the inability of the Minister of Education to make a distinction between security and education problems, he has come out with the short-sighted and ill-advised decision to close down four or five independent secondary schools.
In Kluang yesterday, the UMNO Executive Secretary, Inche Musa bin Hitam, accused the DAP with being a communal party and being anti-Malay.
We have many a time invited Alliance leaders to substantiate their charges. They have never been able to do so. They thought that because they controlled the mass media of communications, so long as they say a lie often enough, people will believe it.
Inche Musa Hitam is an intelligent man. But he must be remembered as the person who came out with the novel idea that to achieve a multi-racial society, communal and racial policies must be pursued; that those who follow and practice multi-racial policies are in fact trying to achieve a racial society.
What a pity to see the death of a mind. We understand why Inche Musa had to resort to such illogicalities to defend the racialist policies of the Alliance. But he is asking too much to expect the people to swallow his fantasy.
Audited on 2021-04-05