Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the inaugural meeting of the DAP National New Villages Sub-Committee held in Seremban on Sunday, 26th Sept. 1971 at 2 p.m.
DAP sends Memorandum to Tun Razak to set up special government department or agency to promote economic growth and development of new villages
I have sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak, proposing the establishment of special government department or agency to promote the economic growth and development of new villages in Malaysia.
My memorandum, which I sent to the Prime Minister a few days ago, was as follows:
“Yang Amat Berhormat Tun Haji Abdul Razak bin Dato Hussein, 21.9.1971
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Proposal for a special government department or agency to promote economic growth and development of new villages in Malaysia
For the last 20 years, the 750,000 new villagers in Malaysia have been excluded from the mainstream of economic and social development, and have seen economic progress passed them by.
The First Five-Year Malaysia Plan did not benefit the new villagers although $9,000 million was spent in public and private economic development, and 500,000 acres of new land developed.
The new villages continued their economic decay, with high rate of unemployment, low productivity and incomes, very backward social amenities as many of them do not even have piped water and electricity.
The 750,000 new villagers have a right to expect that under the Second Five Year Malaysia Plan, they will get a legitimate share of the government development funds, to check their economic drift, decay and death.
I propose the government draw up a blueprint to revive the economy of the new villages, and develop them into flourishing new growth centres by modernizing their economy, the raising of their productivity and incomes, the generation of new employment opportunities through dispersal of industries to new villages, allocation of land for the landless, and the provision of modern social services as public housing, electricity, water, medical services, improved educational opportunities and recreational and community services.
I also propose that the government set up a special government department or agency specially charged with the task of formulating and implementing policies and programmes which will transform the new villages into a genuine dynamic force for agricultural and economic development.
It is only by giving the 750,000 new villagers a socially just and economically equitable deal that they can fully participate in the national aspirations of the country.