Public Rallies, DAP-MCA secret talks & Parliament

Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Public Rally at Bandar Hilir Padang, Malacca, on Sunday, 1st August 1971 at 8pm

Public Rallies

This is not the first DAP public rally in Malacca after the 1969 General Elections, but the second one.

The people of Malacca will remember that two days after polling day, on May 12, 1969, the DAP held a victory rally at this very padang after a victory and thank-the-voters procession round the town the same afternoon.

Malacca was the only constituency n West Malaysia which had a victory public rally after the general elections before all political activities were suspended following the proclamation of Emergency after the May 13 incidents in Kuala Lumpur.

During the DAP victory rally in Malacca on May 12, 1969, everything was peaceful and orderly, and there was no untoward incident. This is conclusive proof of the peaceful and law aiding proceedings of the DAP, and a rebuttal to accusations that the DAP was deliberating fomenting trouble.

Following the DAP victory in Bandar Melaka, I had then decided to hold periodical public rallies once every few months to report to the voters f Bandar Melaka the latest political developments in the country.

However, I have not been able to carry out this plan of mine until today. For after May 12, 1969, I went to Sabah the next morning to help in the election campaigns of Sabah Independent candidates. While I was in Sabah, the May 13 incidents took place in Kuala Lumpur, I was ordered out of Sabah by the state’s Chief Minister, Tun Mustapha after I had criticized him, and on my return to Subang Airport in Kuala Lumpur, I was detained under the Internal Security Act.

When I was released in October last year, the country was only beginning to resume political activities under drastic restrictions.

Starting off with today’s public rally in Malacca, I shall hold periodical rallies once in several months to report to the people of Malacca the latest political developments.

The so-called DAP-MCA secret talks

Early this month, there were considerable newspaper publicity over the so-called DAP-MCA secret talks.

There is no doubt that the following facts had been established:

1. The meetings were initiated by the MCA Presidents, Tun Tan Siew Sin, on the ground of exchanging views on national problems.

2. At the meeting between Goh Hock Guan and Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun Tan proposed that the DAP withdraw from the Bekok by-election to let MCA win after Tun Ismail’s ‘MCA neither dead nor alive’ warning; that DAP dissolve and join the MCA and in return for which DAP leaders will be given Ministerships. These offers were summarily rejected.

3. Following the failure of these MCA offers, attempts have been made to discredit the honesty and integrity of DAP leaders by picturing them as men who were prepared o sell out the DAP and its principles for self-gain. The objective of this campaign is to undermine party unity of the DAP and to destroy the DAP as the most dangerous opposition to the ruling party by fomenting suspicion and distrust between the Chinese and non-Chinese members and leaders in the Party.

I have said before that I have no gone to jail for 17 months to come out and join the MCA. My colleagues in the party leadership have also not sacrificed so much for the last five years just to betray the sacred principles of the DAP.

There has been considerable speculation about the identity of the “Mr. X” who arranged the meeting between Tun Tan and myself. As I have said, a week before Parliament was reconvened in mid-February Tun Tan saw his “Mr. X” and asked him to arrange a meeting between him (Tun Tan) and myself. “Mr. X” saw me, and subsequently a meeting was arranged. No other person was involved in the arrangement of this meeting.

There has been speculation that this “Mr. X” is a leading Chinese educationist in Malacca; a practicing doctor in Kuala Lumpur involved with Chinese educational bodies; a top DAP leader, either an MP or a Central Executive Councilor; and even that he is a top official of the Singapore High Commission in Malaysia.

I want to put a stop to all this speculation. Let me state that “Mr. X” is none of them. He is a Malaysia citizen, and a reporter with ne of the Chinese newspapers in Kuala Lumpur.


(i) Second Malaysia Plan

The Dewan Ra’ayat has just completed its four-week meeting. A main business was the debate on the Second Five-Year Malaysia Plan.

During the voting on the Second Five-Year Malaysian Plan, the DAP Members of Parliament abstained. While we in he DAP wan poverty abolished in the country, we are not convinced that the Second Malaysia Plan can materially improve the lot of the rural poor, who are predominantly Malays. Furthermore, we are not satisfied that the Second Malaysia Plan has paid adequate attention to the problem of solving the poverty of the urban poor, who are predominantly non-Malay.

On the contrary, it is a Plan to have at least 300,000 unemployed in five years’ time.

(ii) Abolition of elected local councils

It was also in this Parliament that the government intended to kill grassroots democracy by abolishing elected local councils.

The people of Malacca can bear testimony to the fact that elected Municipal Councilors are more responsive to the needs and problems of the rate-payers. Appointed or nominated Municipal Councilors invariably behave as if rate-payers, who have problem, like hawkers, tenants, etc, are pests and social nuisance.

I call on the Alliance government to seriously reconsider before proceeding with its plan to abolish elected local councils.

The government argument that as there are elected State Governments, it is not necessary to have another tier of representative government is not valid. By this same logic, then it can be equally argued that as there is a Federal government and Parliament, it is not necessary to have elected State governments.

(iii) Corruption

When I called in Parliament for ruthless government action against corruption in high government and political places, the Attorney General, Tan Sri Kadir, and the Assistant Minister for Home Affairs asked for names.

I challenge the Attorney General and the Minister of Home Affairs to investigate into the case of the big Malacca fish which the Anti-Corruption Agency said had netted, but which was later to escape from the net.

Let the Attorney General and the Minister of Home Affairs give a satisfactory account of why the big Malacca fish was allowed to escape.

We also asked for a law to compel MPs or State Assemblymen who defected to another party to resign and cause a by-election. It is not surprising that the government opposes it. What is noteworthy is that there are Members of Parliament in the Opposition who are also oppose to it.

A new breed of politicians is developing in Malaysia. They are the perennial defectors.