Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a tea party at Puchong 14.m.s on Sunday, 5th January 1969 at 6p.m. to thank Serdang by-election workers and supporters of DAP
The granting of land to the landless, regardless of race, was the first of the DAP’s Serdang Twenty Points, which constituted the DAP’s by-election pledge. Throughout the by-election campaign, the DAP campaigned for a speedy, liberal and humans solution to the grave landless and squatter problem in Selangor and Malaysia.
In Kuala Lumpur alone, there are about 200,000 squatters. People become squatters not because they are born squatters, just as people become thieves, burglars and robbers, not because they are born thieves, burglars and robbers.
They are all victims of social forces beyond their individual control. They become squatters because they could not afford renting a house or buying a piece of land, as they are unemployed or underemployed.
The grave squatter problem in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor is a reflection of the grave failure of the social and economic policy of the Alliance government to provide a decent life for every Malaysian.
Instead of treating this as a social and human problem, deserving a human and social solution, the Alliance has evaded its responsibility by maintaining that it is a legal problem.
When squatters are evicted from private land without compensation, the Alliance government disclaims responsibility on the ground that it is not a government matter. When squatters are evicted from State land, the Alliance government also disclaims responsibility on the ground that it is not legally required to care for the welfare of the evicted squatters.
Is this the attitude and action of a responsible government, a government which does not care for the suffering, misery and hardships of the ordinary people, the poor, the weak, the exploited and the down-trodden?
We urge the Alliance government to start caring for the squatters, and to devise a solution to their insecurity, hardship and livelihood.
The DAP suggests the legalisation of existing squatter areas, as it will go a long way to solve the squatter problem. After all, all citizens, regardless of race, who have no land are entitled to be given land to lead a decent life.
During the Serdang by-election, I had raised the matter of the 20-odd Chinese and Indian families in Puchong 13.m.s. who face eviction from their T.O.L and squatter areas, by the State Government.
The M.P. for the area, Mr Michael Chen, had publicly stated in the press that he would secure a reasonable settlement and solution for the families concerned, by helping them to get alternative land sites and compensation. I hope, and I am sure the people of Serdang share my hope, that Mr. Michael Chen will keep his word.
I want, personally, and on behalf of the Part Central Executive committee, to thank all Serdang by-election workers who have sacrificed time, energy and even livelihood, for the cause of the DAP.
Our by-election workers made all these sacrifices, not because there were money, titles, positions, contracts, etc. to be had, as is the case with Alliance by-election workers, but because they had ideals and a social conscience. Our by-election workers volunteered for the campaign because they want to stop the racial discrimination, social and economic injustice, cultural and language intolerance, which the Alliance has brought to this country.
After the by-election, more like –minded, idealistic and courageous Malaysians all over the Serdang constituency, including Puchong, have come forward and rallied behind the Malaysian Malaysia banner.
From the warm response, encouragement and support which the people of Serdang have given to the Malaysian Malaysia cause during and after the by-election, I feel confident that in the for the coming general elections, the DAP will win, not only in the State Constituency of Serdang, but also in the Parliamentary Constituency of Damansara.
We are now in the process of opening up more branches in the Serdang and Damansara constituencies to prepare for the general elections.