Tun Tan Siew Sin’s ‘bogus’ budget

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, art a DAP Public Rally at Jalan Brunei, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, February 12, 1969 at 8p.m.

As a result of Tun Tan Siew Sin’s budget last month, the apples and oranges for this Chinese New Year are costing more than previous years.

But this is the last Chinese New Year where only the prices of oranges and apples go up. From the next Chinese New Year onwards, the prices of all goods will shoot up, causing a very much higher cost of living than today.

This is because Tun Tan Siew Sin’s next budget is going to be a very painful one for the people of Malaysia, as it will be a budget of multiple taxes.

Tun Tan Siew Sin and his Treasury boys must have already worked out a host of new and regressive taxes to introduce after the next general elections.

This was what happened after the 1964 general elections. Before and during the 1964 general elections, the Alliance government claimed that the Malaysian economy and finances were never so good exactly what Tun Tan Siew Sin is claiming now, on the eve of another general elections.

After the 1964 general elections, Tun Tan Siew Sin slapped on the people a whole series of taxes, as turnover tax, payroll tax, crown-cork tax, telephone tax, development tax, increase in business registration fees, etc.

Tun Tan Siew Sin will repeat himself after the 1969 general elections, but this time, his taxes will be more vicious and more painful than all his previous ones, because the Malaysian economy and finances is in an even worse shape than five years ago.

In his budget speech in last month, Tun Tan Siew Sin painted a rosy picture of the prosperity and wealth of Malaysia, when unemployment had reached alarming proportions, probably exceeding 400,000, while the country is in debt by over $4,000 million, which means that every Malaysian man, woman, boy and girl and child is in debt by $400 per person!

It is plain to all clear-minded Malaysians that Tun Tan Siew Sin’s budget is a humbug, bogus budget to deceive the people into supporting the Alliance in the next elections.

Tun Tan Siew Sin even went to the extent of juggling with the government’s expenditure figures for 1969. For 1969, the government’s estimated expenditure is less than that of 1968. Is this possible?

In 1962, the government’s annual expenditure was $1,000 million increase in expenditure by $140 million.

But for 1969, the expenditure will be less than the 1968 government expenditure by $7 million!
It is clearly impossible that the Alliance will be able to spend less in 1969 than it did in 1968, when its habits of waste and extravagance have become so deeply-ingrained.

This was confirmed two weeks after Tun Tan Siew Sin presented his budget. In his budget, Tun Tan Siew Sin said that the government would hold down defence expenditure. But two weeks after this promise, Tunku Abdul Rahman was in Paris and London shopping for jet-fighters, which will cost Malaysia $60 to $100 million, which will have to come from the pockets of the taxpayers.

The government‘s estimate of expenditure for 1969 is a gross-underestimate, motivatedly purely by political and electioneering considerations. I will be surprised if, judging by past years’ supplementary bills the total government expenditure for 1969 does not exceed $2,000 million.

The ordinary people of Malaysia, the workers, the hawkers, the petty businessmen, the labourers, are all heading for a shock when Tun Tan Siew Sin presents his next budget, because no one, apart from the rich, the privileged and the capitalists, will be spared from increased taxes and heavier financial burden

The people must not be misled by Tun Tan Siew Sin’s ‘painless’ budget last month, and the DAP will continue to expose the humbug and trickery of Tun Tan Siew Sin’s 1969 General Elections Budget.

While in Europe shopping for jet-fighters. Tunku Abdul Rahman was also shopping for an executive jet, costing $30 million for his personal use.

We will like to know whether such an executive jet is really necessary for Tunku Abdul Rahman, and whether the Cabinet has approved its purchase.

There can be no justification for the expenditure of $30million for such a jet, because firstly, Malaysia is a small country with few airports, and secondly, there are RMAF planes for use in cases of emergency.

The intention of the government to buy a prestigious executive jet for Tunku Abdul Rahman is clear indication that the Alliance does not know the meaning of ‘austerity’ and ‘frugality’.

This is the reason why Malaysia is getting deeper and deeper into debt and why the Malaysian citizens are weighed down with taxes.