How to be a good DAP Member of Parliament or State Assemblyman

Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr Lim Kit Siang, when closing the two-day DAP National Policy Seminar held in Seremban on Sunday, 26th Sept, 1971 at 6pm

How to be a good DAP Member of Parliament or State Assemblyman

Every DAP Member of Parliament and State Assemblyman must strive to be a good Member of Parliament and State Assemblyman. This is because the MPs and SAs are the public standard bearers of the Party, and their performance is a reflection of the performance of the Party.

Every DAP Member of Parliament and State Assemblyman has three duties:

1. Constituency service: To help the people in his constituency who need assistance in their dealings with the government departments, as application for citizenship, change of identity cards, travelling documents, complaints against government departments or particular government official, etc. Every MP and State Assemblyman must have a constituency office where constituents can go for advice and help. Each MP and State Assemblyman must be available at fixed dates to handle the problem of his constituents personally. In other words, a regular ‘meet-the-people’ session in his constituency office.

2. To articulate the hopes, fears, hardships and aspirations of his constituents and the people: An MP or State Assemblyman has been elected to voice the hopes and fears of the people, and he must do this competently. There must be continuous return to the people on the ground through visit-the-consitituency programmes to meet, discuss and find out the people’s aspirations and needs.

3. Provide leadership for greater party growth and advance: A MP or State Assemblyman, having become the public standard bearer of the Party, has a greater duty to advance the cause of the Party in various Party responsibilities at district, state and national levels. No MP or State Assemblyman can or should ever put forth the argument that he could not carry out greater party responsibilities because of constituency duties.

I have received complaints that some DAP MPs or SAs have not live up to these expectations of the people and Party. O call on all DAP Members of Parliament And State Assemblyman to redouble their efforts to fulfill the three tasks.

Let all DAP MPs and State Assemblyman show to the people that they belong to a new breed of politicians, people who are sincere and dedicated in their desire to advance the welfare of the people.

I welcome members of the public who have complaints against DAP MPs or State Assemblyman to write to me or the National Chairman, Dr. Chan Man Hin, and we shall personally look into the matter. Complainants can write to me, address: DAP Headquarters, 77 Road 20/9, Paramount Garden, Petaling Jaya or to my Malacca office at 33A Jalan Munshi Abdullah, Malacca. Dr. Chen’s address is No. 2 Jalan lemon, Seremban,

Beginning mid-October, I shall begin a series of visits to all DAP Parliamentary and State Assembly constituencies to see for myself the standard of constituency service of every DAP Member of Parliament of State Assemblyman, I welcome members of the public who have complaints to raise them with me personally. The programme of my visit to each DAP constituency will be publicised beforehand.

All DAP MPs and SAs, to carry out their heavy duty to the people, must develop the quality of humility and the spirit of preparedness to learn from others.

Once and MP or SA becomes proud, thinks overhigh of himself, and become aloof, then he ceases to be an effective and useful representative of the people.

The Central Executive Committee of the DAP takes a serious view of the constituency and party performance of the DAP MPs and State Assemblymen. We believe that with renewed dedication, we can improve on our performance, and turn the DAP into an even more effective and positive instrument to advance our cause for a more just and equal Malaysia.