Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, when officiating at the opening ceremony of the Teluk Anson DAP Branch on Sunday, 7th May 1972 at 10 a.m.
A mental revolution among politicians in Malaysia needed
The Finance Minister and MCA President, Tun Tan Siew Sin, said in Malacca yesterday that the Chinese in Malaysia need a mental revolution, and that the Chinese should end their political apathy and end their fence-sitting.
I agree with him, but there is a crying need for a mental revolution, not only among the people, but also among the political leaders in the country.
There must be a mental revolution in all political parties and political leaders that politics is the most honourable calling to serve the people and country, and not a stepping-stone to one’s personal wealth, power and influence.
There is at present considerable conflict and squabble between the so-called new blood and old guard in the MCA.
This division of the MCA into the so-called old-guard and new-blood is not a new thing. It happens every five years after each general elections, when the new group of MCA members who has just join aspire to positions of influence for themselves, and not so much because they care for the future of the people in this country.
Over the past years, the economic, political, educational and cultural policies of the Alliance Government has brought more and more suffering, hardship, discrimination, injustice not only to the people, but for the new generation of Malaysians.
Has either the MCA ‘old-guard’ or ‘new blood’ raised these basic issues of the educational future of our children, the employment opportunities and chances of our youths, and discussed them in great depth and seriousness?
We know that the MCA leaders, both of the old-guard and new-blood variety, are in politics to serve their own personal ends. That is why, even Tun Tan had recently in Penang had to admit that there are people who join the MCA and became leaders who are corrupt. Tun Tan promised to get rid of the corrupt MCA leaders.
Can Tun Tan tell the people how many corrupt MCA leaders he has got rid off in his 13 years as MCA President. In fact, under his Presidency, these self-seeking MCA leaders had never had a better time.
I call therefore for a mental revolution in the minds of the political leaders in the country, always to put national interest about personal interest.
Thus Tun Tan said in Malacca yesterday that the government could not abolish the 5% Sales Tax which he is the inventor, because the government is in deficit by $1,000,000,000.
Yet while the government and Tun Tan continues to increase taxes on the poor, he and his colleagues in the Alliance continue to make use of the hard-earned money of the poor for their own personal ends. A good sample is the use by Alliance States Assemblymen in Perak, Selangor, Johore and other States for free overseas trips, to countries to Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.
If there is a mental revolution among Malaysian political leaders that there first duty is to service to nation and people, then no Alliance leader will not make use of public funds for free trips abroad.
There is no justification for the imposition of the 5% Sales Tax. The DAP will continue to oppose this Sales Tax, and call on the people to continue to criticize, oppose and condemn the 5% Sales Tax.
If the people are united in their opposition to the tax measures of Tun Tan, like the 5% Sales Tax and the five cents increase in the price of sugar, then even Tun Tan will have to bow down to the wishes of the people, or be thrown out of office in the next general elections.
Let Tun Tan set the first example of having a mental revolution, and begin to conscientiously serve the interest of the poor, and not merely of the rich, capitalist and landed interest.