Proposal for a Council of Joint Action of Federations of Chinese Clans and Associations to realise their resolutions

Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the Chap Goh Mei party organised by the Seremban DAP Branch at its premises on Tuesday, February 29, 1972 at 7 p.m.

Proposal for a Council of Joint Action of Federations of Chinese Clans and Associations to realise their resolutions

Yesterday, in the local press, we read of reports of the 21st Delegates’ Meeting of the Federation of Kah Ying Association and the speeches and resolutions adopted at the meeting.

The meeting passed some resolutions which are the burning issues of the people today. These include:

(1) Call in government to suspend implementation of the 5% Sales Tax to lessen the burdens of the people;

(2) Call for fair and equal distribution of land to all Malaysians;

(3) Call on the Central Government to get the State Government to reduce quit rent;

(4) Call on government to take firm action to prevent rise in prices and scarcity of essential goods like sugar;

(5) Call on government to simplify citizenship procedures;

(6) Call for restoration of Senior Middle Three examination;

(7) Call for the restoration of original powers of control and hire of the Boards of Governors of Chinese school;

(8) Call for government assurance that the character of Chinese primary schools will remain unchanged.

These resolutions will be forwarded to the relevant Ministry concerned, and no doubt, the relevant Minister or his subordinate will give a polite reply of refusal or evasion, and there the matter ends – until the net Delegates’ Conference, when the same exercise will be repeated.

Meanwhile, other Federations of Clans and Associations will also go through the same motions of passing resolutions, getting ignored and no further.

For all practical purpose, adoption of these resolutions by the various Federations of Chinese Clans and Associations do not have any great influence on the political decision-making by the government.

If the various Federations of Associations and Clans feel strongly and deeply about these issues highlighted in their resolutions which concern not only ourselves but our children and our children’s children, and I believe they do feel strongly and deeply, then they should do more than just merely pass resolutions.

They should form themselves into more effective pressure groups to work for the realisation of their hopes and aspirations. I am not suggesting that the Federations of Clans and Associations should turn themselves into political parties, but they can become pressure groups which are common and legitimate forces in any democratic country – and work for their limited aims and objectives which concern their members so dearly,

It would be a good idea therefore if therefore if the Federations of Clans and Associations should get together to form a Council of Joint Action to discuss ways and means whereby they can take concerted action to get their resolutions receive the serious attention of the government. This is a legitimate, legal and democratic way to get one’s views across to the people, public, political parties and the government.

I commend this idea for the serious consideration of all the Federations of Clans and Associations.