Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, to party members and supporters at Tenang DAP Branch, Johore, on Thursday, 30th Sept. 1971 at 7.30 p.m.
Call to all eligible voters to register on electoral roll
Malaysians of all races who are 21 years or above, and who have not enrolled as voters, should register on the electoral register during the 42-day registration period from October 1 to November 11.
In previous elections, any Malaysians wanted to vote, nut were unable to do so because they had not registered on the electoral register.
The right to vote is a very precious and fundamental political right, and should be cherished by all Malaysians, and exercised responsibly.
Democracy, a system where the people enjoy full political rights, equal economic opportunities and cultural freedoms, is not a gift from heaven, but like all other worthwhile things in life, a right to be fought for and won.
It is true that in recent times, democratic politics in Malaysia have become more circumscribed and truncated with the passage of a series of undemocratic laws and measures. It is the task of all freedom-loving and democracy-conscious Malaysians to unite to check and reverse the anti-democratic trend in the country, and enlarge the people’s political, economic and cultural rights and freedoms.
The majority of the people are discontented and frustrated by the various political, economic and cultural aspects of Malaysia society. But it is not enough just to sit and grumble, and exchange complaints. The people must be prepared to stand up and do their bit to bring about changes and improvements in the nation’s political, economic and cultural scheme of things.
The least every Malaysian can do is to exercise his political right to cast his vote in each elections to help determine the direction of our nation’s destiny. But to do this, every citizen must be registered on the electoral roll first.
Many people do not realize the all-pervasive influence of politics in human and daily life. The price of essential commodities like rice, sugar, salt and cooking oil shooting up, fattening the rich and squeezing the poor; our children going to school to join the army of unemployed, without prospect of earning of living although they get lucky to get jobs, are sometimes paid as low as $1.20 a day, particularly in pioneer industries run by MCA leaders; ratepayers finding that their land assessment have shot up to sometimes 1,000 per cent, although the state government and local council servants continue to be inefficient, rude and unconcerned about the suffering and difficulties of the poor, the rudeness and discourtesy of government departments, the corruption of the Government which oppresses the poor and lowly; a whole lot of social, economic and political woes of the people are the result of failure of political leadership by the Alliance government. To change these unsatisfactory conditions must depend on the people’s use of their voters.