The Chairman of the Batu Pahat DAP Branch, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, today (17.11.1968) asked the Malayan Chinese Association to make clear its stand on the proposed FAMA Fish Marketing Board Scheme.
Mr. Lim who is also Organising Secretary of the Party, told reporters that since that the scheme was announced at the end of last month, all organisations concerned had opposed the scheme – whether wholesalers, retailers or the fishermen themselves.
The DAP had also from the start criticised the scheme as likely to cause hardship and unemployment to tens of thousands of fish-mongers, raise the price of fish for the consumers, without bringing any appreciable benefit to the fishermen.
Mr. Lim went on: “There has not been a word of support for the scheme. But conspicuously silent on this matter is the MCA.
“The public, I am sure, would want to know where the MCA stands on this matter.
“The FAMA Fish Marketing Board scheme is a scheme to threaten the livelihood of the people.
“We know that at the second Bumiputra economic congress held in Kuala Lumpur in September, one of the resolutions called for the control of the fish trade.
“As a result of united opposition to the fish marketing board scheme, the government may announce that it will not be implemented for some time.
“It is clear that the scheme will not be implemented before the general elections next year.
“It is equally clear that after the general elections, the scheme will be implemented – regardless of the opposition of the people.
“This is a good example to the people that they must take an interest in politics, because politics affect every aspect of our life.
“The only way to ensure that the government heed the wishes of the people, is for the people to show that they are united politically.
“The MCA has, over the past 13 years, showed that it is incapable of serving the people’s interest.
“If the people continue to be indifferent to public affairs, and indifferent to politics, one day they will wake up to find that they have surrendered their rights, to a small group of power-seekers and money-grabbers in the MCA and the Alliance.”
Mr. Lim said what the fishermen needed most is help in the form of credit and cold storage facilities. If the government really has the interest of the fishermen at heart, this is where they should begin.
Mr. Lim also pointed out that the FAMA Fish Marketing Board scheme give a lot of room for red tape and bureaucratism, and therefore for corruption.
Audited on 2021-03-11