The Alliance claims that it practices democracy. But is this claim borne out by practice?

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Segamat Utara Parliamentary by-election, at Buloh Kasap, Segamat, on October 15, 1968 at 8 p.m.

In the Segamat Utara Parliamentary by-election, the Alliance can have three rallies in one night. But when the DAP applies for having two rallies in one night, this is refused on the ground that the police does not have enough tape-recorders.

For 18th October, 1968, the eve of Polling Day, the DAP first applied for a rally to be held at Segamat Town Padang. This was refused. Then we applied for a rally to be held at Kampong Abdullah. This was also refused. Our application to have a rally at Batu Anam was also turned down.

What democracy is this?

Another instance of undemocratic trend in Malaysia is the suspension of local council elections.

When the government suspended local council elections in March 1965, in the midst of Indonesian Confrontation, the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, gave a categorical assurance to the Parliament and the nation that once peace conditions have been restored, local council elections would be held.

The Tunku and the Alliance have broken their word to the nation. The Indonesian Confrontation has ended for about three years, but local council elections are still suspended.

To justify the continued suspension of local council elections, the government said it was waiting for the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the workings of local councils, headed by Dato Athi Nahappan, MIC Vice President.

When this Commission was announced, everyone suspected that it was meant to delay the return of local councils to the democratic control of the ratepayers. The government has succeeded in doing this for about three years, and no one knows for how long more.

The public was promised, variously through the Tunku, Mr. Khaw Khai Boh and even Dato Athi Nahappan himself, that the Report would be out, at first, in December 1966, then early 1967, then mid- 1967, then end of 1967, then early 1968, and so on.

But to date, the Report is still a mystery.

The Alliance government should seriously consider setting up a commission of inquiry to inquire what happened to the Athi Nahappan Report.

There is no doubt that the delay is motivated purely by political considerations. The Alliance is afraid of having local council elections, because they know that in towns, like Segamat, the Alliance will suffer a terrible defeat in Opposition hands.

Hence, their undemocratic method of suspending local council elections and freezing and killing grassroots democracy.

The voters of Segamat Utara must teach the Alliance a lesson on poling day on October 19, that the people will not take the arrogance and nonsense of the Alliance lying down, that it is the people who are the masters of the Alliance, and not the servants.

Audited on 2021-05-03.