Below is a translation of a reader’s letter to the Tamil Malar Press as published on the 3rd of April, 1972.
Congratulations to Lim Kit Siang
The step taken by the Democratic Action Party to form a committee to look into the problems affecting the estate workers and the Committee’s decision to submit a Memorandum to Tun Razak is laudable. In view of this, we the estate workers should come forward and give whatever help we can to the Committee.
The observation made by Lim Kit Siang that for many years, the estate workers have been faced with massive retrenchment, fragmentation of estates, loss of job during old age which has resulted in them losing their homes as well as their security is very true.
Truth cannot be hidden by using “nice sounding” cliques. Realising the importance of this, the people’s daily, the Tamil Malar published a statement made by Lim Kit Siang on the 25th March, 1972 (Pg4).
The Tamil Malar has given publicity irrespective of race, community or party and we the Tamils cannot forget this attempt to disseminate the truth.
We hope that the DAP will fight for the rights of the estate workers particularly for those who are affected by retrenchment. We hope that the pronouncements made by Lim Kit Siang would be matched by performance.
Irrespective of party or community afflictions, every estate workers should extend our co-operation to this committee. We should appreciate whatever help from any quarter to solve our problems.
Speeches made by leaders and opportunists to the effect that they would sacrifice their lives for the cause of the Indians in general and the estate workers in particular have been proved to be false.
The estate workers are not foolish enough to be misled by these soothing words. In order to achieve their petty, selfish political ambitions, they are trying to make use of us (estate workers) for their political ends and we are not that stupid enough to co-operate with them.
We are prepared to accept the truth as well as deeds from any quarter. I would like to urge each and every estate worker to co-operate fully and extend their support towards the Committee’s objectives.
However, we are not denying the fact that there are other organizations who are working towards this end but sad to say, their words are not matched by their deeds.
In estates, there are thousands of unemployed youths. Even though they are educated, they are in the dark as to how to improve themselves.
The living conditions of many an estate worker has not changed since the colonial days.
Under the leadership of Tun Razak, the Second Malaysia Plan is being gradually implemented but there are still dark-skinned estate managers and sex-crazed mandores (overseers) who behave like their European predecessors. Inspite of their hard toil and sweat, the blood of the workers is still being further drained away by the present management. We hope that the DAP will find a solution to this.