Press statement by DAP Organsing Secretary, Lim Kit Siang, on 25 March 1969:
The denial by the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Sheikh Abu Bakar, that the police had not imposed any restriction on the number of speakers who could address a rally is a good case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing in the police department.
We could furnish Sheik Ahmad seven police permits for DAP rallies which restricted to approve more than five speakers and one announcer for one rally.
The police authorities concerned with the granting of public rally permits refused to approve more than five speakers and one announcer for one rally.
In fact, on 17th March, at a DAP public rally at Suleiman Court, off Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur, the DAP had only three speakers and one announcer, although the rally went on for three and half hours from 7.30p.m. to 11p.m. this was because two speakers approved for the rally, namely Goh Hock Guan, Party Secretary- General, and myself, could not make it for the rally as we went up to Ipoh for Mr. D. R. Seenivasagam’s funeral. Other DAP leaders present at the rally were not allowed to address the rally.
Sheik Abdullah has only to check up with the K.L. police to confirm this.
If public rallies are restricted to only five speakers and one announcer, we would like to know whether the so-called giant rally of the Alliance in K.L. on Saturday will comply with similar regulations.
We are happy that Sheik Abdullah has now announced that there is no such police restriction on the number of public speakers at rallies. I ask him to look personally into the matter of our public rally tomorrow at Ulu Klang new village in Ampang, where our permit again restricted us to five speakers and one announcer. I trust he can expeditiously rescind the K.L. Police’s restriction on DAP rallies.
In this connection, I wish to add that the police should not take it upon itself to approve or disapprove speakers for political rallies. All that political parties should be required to do is to inform the police of the possible speakers for the night. Even if political parties want to submit names of 70 possible speakers for one rally, what is wrong with it?
If 70 is too many, what is the ceiling? Twenty? Thirty?
We hope the police will prove to be impartial in the conduct of its duties in the coming elections. And the first thing it must do is to rescind its restriction on the number of speakers for DAP public rallies.