Polling day for Segamat Utara Parliamentary by-election

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the final DAP Segamat Utara Parliamentary by-election rally at Gemas Bahru on Friday, October 18, 1968 at 8 p.m.

Tomorrow is polling day for Segamat Utara Parliamentary by-election. We urge the voters of Segamat Utara to come out and vote for the Rocket and the DAP Candidate, Lee Ah Meng, and reject the Alliance, both for the Alliance record in Segamat and the nation.

The late Alliance Member of Parliament for Segamat Utara never said a single word in Parliament in the last ten years, either to voice the hardships and problems of the people, like the development tax and the 10-cents telephone levy, nor did he take part in any of the parliamentary debates about the future of the country.

He completely ignored the interest of his constituents, never visited his constituency, and even shooed away people who went to him with problems.

After ten years of Alliance representation, Segamat still does not have a specialist surgeon or physician, and emergency cases have to be sent to Muar or Malacca for treatment. This is a great risk to human life and causes suffering. No one knows how many lives were lost because of this. There is also no serviceable ambulance, as the present one is fit to be condemned for the junkheap.

There are no sixth form classes, and many Segamat students have to go outstation, like Batu Pahat, Muar, Johore Bahru, and even as faraway places as Penang and Kota Bahru, to further their studies. Those whose parents could not afford to send their children outstation have to miss further education opportunity.

When thousands of estate workers in Batu Anam and other areas in Segamat were retrenched, the Member of Parliament was not bothered. Nor was the Labour Minister, Mr. V. Manickavasagam, or his Parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Lee San Choon, who is Member of Parliament for Segamat Selatan, concerned about the problem. Thousands of workers were allowed to be thrown out of jobs without relief, either in the form of land for cultivation, or alternate employment.

For the last ten years, the Alliance has betrayed the people of Segamat.

This is why in this by-election, the Alliance is spending a fortune to try to ensure that they win this seat, which was the UMNO stronghold.

Alliance leaders have said that they will have over 2,000 workers and over 200 cars for polling day tomorrow. At the rate of $10 per worker, this will work to $20,000. Considering the cars, the transport, and the Alliance election campaign period, it will be conservative to put the Alliance expenditure for this by-election at $100,000.

But the Alliance does not have problem with finance, for all those, who in the last ten years had benefited from Alliance rule, made fortunes and become tycoons and millionaires, are now expected to make their contributions to the Alliance.

The DAP do not propose to match the Alliance in financial resources. All that we will spend in this by-election is $4,000 or $5,000.

But what we have, and which the Alliance does not have, is the passionate concern for the welfare of the people and the future of Malaysia, that we want a clean, honest and incorruptible government, a nation where racialism, discrimination, inequality, injustice, are abolished.

Those people of Segamat Utara who support our cause, we urge them to come out tomorrow to vote solidly for the Rocket, for Mr. Lee Ah Meng, who had already spent his last ten years in the service of his fellow workers as a trade unionist.

Audited on 2021-03-05