Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang on 1st November 1971
DAP calls on Tun Razak to issue a directive to all State Government to cancel all pleasure trips abroad for State Assemblymen
When the Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak, spoke to heads of Ministries and government departments at a briefing at the National Operations Room in Kuala Lumpur two days ago, he told them to ‘cut down their trips abroad and concentrate on work at home.’ He said too many senior government officials were making frequent trips abroad.
We in the DAP hope that the Prime Minister will implement his instructions. The most guilty people, however, are the Ministers, Assistant Ministers and the other top government leaders who seem to take every conceivable opportunity to go overseas at public expense to enjoy themselves.
In fact, this has become so common that every Alliance M.P., State Assemblymen or leader expects as of a right overseas pleasure trips at public expense.
This is why we find State Governments sending their State Assemblymen on so-called fact-finding visits to foreign countries, which are in fact pleasure trips at public expense.
In fact, I understand that one State hopes to send every one of its State Assemblymen on three overseas trip during the five-year term.
This is abuse of public funds, and should be stopped immediately.
The people in the urban slums, the new villages and kampongs are suffering and facing great hardships. In the new villages, which have been neglected by the Federal and State governments for 20 years, roads are in a very bad condition, and are not repaired because the State government claims it has no money. Some new villages do not even have basic amenities like piped water.
Yet the Governments have the money o send State Assemblymen on trip after trip abroad to give the State Assemblymen a pleasurable time.
The DAP condemns such gross abuse and waste of public funds. This is why the Central Executive Committee has instructed all DAP State Assemblymen to boycott and reject offers to go on free overseas pleasure trips at public expense.
Our State Assemblymen in Johore and Perak have been offered such free overseas pleasure trips, and they have rejected these offers. I understand the Selangor State Government will also be sending Selangor State Assemblymen on overseas pleasure trips.
I call on the Prime Minister, Tun Razak, to immediately issue a directive to all State Governments to cancel all such pleasure trips abroad for State Assemblymen, and set an example for economy and thrift. The money thus saved can be used for scholarships for the poor and needy children, or be used to develop the 400 odd new villagers in Malaysia, where 750,000 people have been allowed to lead a life of poverty, deprivation and hardships without any government care, concern or help.