The DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, today issued the following statement (28.3.1969):
The DAP welcomes police assurance that there will be no restriction on the number of speakers at election rallies.
But the Federal Police statement today (Malay Mail, 28.3) cannot go unchallenged.
The statement said DAP allegations that the police had placed restriction on the number of speakers for DAP rallies was ‘unfounded’ and suggested that it was the DAP which misunderstood the police requirements.
The statement added that although the permit had space for only five names, political parties could list the extra names on a separate or continuation shoot as an annex to the permit.
But this was what the DAP had been doing all along, right from 1966, through the Serdang by-election campaign, until March 14- when we were told that we could only have five speakers for every rally.
On March 14, I received a telephone call from one ASP Ang, who was in charge of the issue of rally permits in the Kuala Lumpur police district. ASP Ang suggest that I should meet him and the OCPD for KL, Inche Abu Bakar. I met them at 4p.m. the same day, where I was told that the police would issue permits for only five speakers for every rally.
I am sure if the author of the Federal police statement today care to check with Inche Abu Bakar and ASP Ang, they would confirm my statement.
At 5.30p.m. The same day, the DAP secretary-General, Mr. Goh Hock Guan, called a news conference to protest against this new ruling – which was reported in the press the next day.
It may well be that the restriction of DAP rallies to five speakers for every rally, which affected eight of our rallies, was the result of some mistake.
But for the Federal police statement today to deny that the police was responsible for the restriction, and that it was the DAP which was at fault, is despicable and dishonest.
One expects Alliance politicians and leaders to resort to misrepresentation and distortions when they are in the wrong, and unable to defend themselves. But one does not expect such dishonesty from government department and civil servants.
The DAP calls for an inquiry as to who issued the Federal Police statement today, and calls for an apology from the police for imputing that the DAP had been dishonest in bringing up ‘unfounded’ allegations about police restrictions on rallies.
The police claims that it will be impartial and fair in their conduct in the coming general elections. But who will believe their claim when it is capable of blatant misrepresentation and distortion of facts as in this case of rally speakers. We want the Assistant Minister of Home Affairs, Inche Abdul Hamzah, to personally look and investigate into this matter, if the public and political parties are to regain confidence in the impartiality and independence of the police in the discharge of their duties in the elections next month.