Celebrate May Day

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary and Parliamentary Candidate for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a tea party at Malacca DAP Branch, 103 Jalan Ujong Pasir, on 1st May, at 5.30p.m. to celebrate 1969 MAY DAY:

The DAP is a democratic socialist party, which seeks to end the exploitation of man by man and class by class. From the very first day of our formation, the DAP had fought for a better deal for workers.

In fact, one of the objects of the DAP, as spelt out in the DAP Constitution, states: “to abolish the injust inequalities of wealth and opportunities in the present system; to establish an economic order which will give all citizens the right to work and full economic returns for their labour and skill; to ensure decent living, and social security to all those who through sickness, infirmity or old age can no longer work.”

This was why the DAP Labour Bureau was formed to make a positive contribution towards the solution of labour problems in Malaysia.

The refusal of the alliance government to recognize MAY DAY as a national public holiday is proof of the anti-labour character of the Alliance. In progressive and enlightened countries, workers take a day off to rejoice at the dignity of labour, and to rededicate themselves to the noble task of labour and national construction. But in Malaysia, workers are not treated as equals. They are treated as slaves of Alliance feudal-compradore system.

The ruling party boasts that there is freedom in Malaysia. But their leaders never explain the nature of freedom they talk about.

There is the freedom for the rich to grow richer and the poor to get poorer. There is the freedom for the employer to victimise workers and crush inions and the freedom for workers to be victimized and unions to be crushed. There is the freedom for absentee feudal landlords to exploit peasants and for peasants to be exploited. There is freedom for the children of the wealthy to get education and the freedom of the poor to be uneducated.

Unless there is equality, freedom means the unbridled license for the strong to bully the weak and the rich to suppress the poor.

For us the in the DAP and all who are democratic socialists, freedom means equality as well. We mean the freedom of the poor to stop being poor, the freedom of workers from vitimisation, and the freedom of unions from being crushed by employers, the freedom of peasants from being crushed by employers, the freedom of the children of have-nots to get all educational opportunities within his capacity.

In other words, we want to eng the vicious system of the exploitation of man by man.

The DAP calls on the government to recognize May Day as a national declared public holiday, to recognize the indispensable role Labour play in the prosperity and economic well-being of Malaysia. We also call for a complete re-legislation of labour laws to weed out anti-labour acts and to substitute them with pro-labour provisions. We also call for the appointment of a Labour Minister who never side with employers against workers, as is invariably the case with Mr. Manickavasagam and his Parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Lee San Choon. In fact, Mr. Manickavasagam has been called the ‘Minister for Employers.’