Speech by DAP Organising Secretary and Parliamentary Candidate for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the 6th DAP Public Rally at Bachang Chew Loy, Malacca, on Tuesday, 22nd April 1969:
As a result of a decade of Alliance neglect and lack of foresight, Malacca is fast becoming a Dead City.
Unemployment in Malacca has worsened, with thousands of Malacca youths roaming the streets with Senior Cambridge and Senior Middle Three certificates, or even with Nanyang and Formosan University degrees and qualifications – without jobs.
Stevedores at quayside are lying idle without work. Businessman and shops in the town centre report less and less business.
And now, with the Terendak Camp to be closed down by the beginning of next year, Malacca will enter a serious economic crisis which she is entirely unprepared to meet and resolve by a decade of Alliance incompetence, negligence and failures.
Ten years ago, far-sighted people were talking of the need to have a port in Malacca, an industrial estate and to develop the tourist potential of the oldest Sultanate in Malaysia, to rejuvenate Malacca economy and life.
But in the last ten years, the Alliance preferred to do nothing. It is only now, with the present general elections, that Alliance Ministers are coming down to Malacca making election promises about developing a port for Malacca.
Firstly, why wasn’t such a port for Malacca developed during the last 13 years of Alliance rule? If a Malacca port had been developed and is working now, Malacca would not be in the economic doldrums she is in now. The Alliance politicians must answer for the present economic decline and crisis of Malacca.
Secondly, what guarantee is there that after the general elections on May 10, the election promise to develop a port for Malacca will be fulfilled? Or will it be like the Alliance promises for Penang in the past?
In previous elections, Alliance Minister will promised that the Alliance would build a Causeway for Penang, but up to today, there is still no Penang Causeway. In fact, Penang, which is facing a somewhat similar fate as Malacca, appears destined to be the brothel of the East and an old man’s isle, with the entire economy coming to a standstill.
If the Alliance captures full control of the Parliamentary and State seats in Malacca, then it will have even less incentive to want to fulfill its election promise. But if there are opposition members in Parliament and the State Assemblies to remind the alliance of its election promise to Malacca, the Alliance will have to fulfill its election pledges – or face the possibility of being thrown out of power in the State of Malacca by the DAP in 1974.
The DAP calls for a dynamic master plan to save the economy of Malacca from deteriorating. They are (1) Develop the Port of Malacca (2) Establish an Industrial Estate (3) Develop the rich tourist potential of Malacca, with all its historic sites and memories.