Operation Registration

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, to the Jelupang DAP Branch on Sunday, August 18, 1968 at 8 p.m.

The Democratic Action Party will launch a nation-wide campaign from September 1 to October 10 to get citizens who have not registered as voters to register themselves.

This will be the last chance to register before the next general elections. It is the basic duty of a citizen in a democratic country to exercise his vote in elections, to take part in the democratic process of deciding how this country is to be governed.

All over the country, there is widespread discontent and frustration against the Alliance’s catalogue of failures and follies. But it is not enough to complain. Even more important is to couple complaint with the determination to do their part to wipe out all the injustices, follies and misdeeds of the government – by voting in elections.

If the people will not vote, then they are also guilty of having contributed to the present sad state of affairs in our country’s economic, political, social, educational and cultural fields.

The government recently announced its intention to close four independent secondary schools in Perak and Johore on the ground of communist infiltration.

Every thinking Malaysian knows that security and education are two separate problems which should not be mixed up. The government spends millions of dollars of taxpayers’, money to employ a huge intelligence and police network. If they find that some students are involved in communist-inspired activities, it is their duty to take the necessary actions.

But to close down a school because there are a few students who are trying to further communist objectives is utterly indefensible and unjustifiable.

If this logic is accepted, then when the former Education Minister, Inche Abdul Rahman Talib was found in court to be corrupted, then the whole Cabinet should have resigned. Why didn’t they do so?

The attempt to close independent secondary schools have deeper motives. It is to defeat the establishment of the Merdeka University, which has as one of its objectives the opening of educational outlets for students from independent secondary schools.

When these independent secondary schools are closed, then the Merdeka University must collapse, because it will have no students to sustain itself.

All Malaysians must oppose this move. When the Assistant Minister of Education, Mr. Lee Siok Yew, was asked in Kuala Lumpur a week ago at the forum on the future of Chinese education organised by the Chinese educational authorities, Me. Lee declared that those who didn’t like the government’s education policy can vote against the Alliance in the next elections.

This is a challenge which the people of Malaysia must accept.

The first thing they must do, however, is to make sure they are registered voters. Then, at the next elections, vote as one against the Alliance’s racialist and feudalist policies.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress has recently awakened to the inseparable relationship between the trade unions and politics.

This is a welcome development. What the MTUC should do as the first step, and what all trade unions should also do, is to launch similar Operation Registration among their members.

Until now, the MTUC and the labour movement have not even tried to help non-registered workers to register as voters.

I suggest that this is an urgent matter which the MTUC leadership should immediately meet and concern itself.

During the nation-wide DAP Operation Registration, all DAP Branches will organise house-to-house visits to register voters.

However, in view of the short period of registration, it will not be possible to reach every non-registered Malaysian eligible to register.

Those who realise the importance of register should go on their own to any district office, or any DAP Branch, to get themselves registered. They should also persuade their friends and relatives to do likewise.

Audited on 2021-04-08