A question for Mr. Michael Chen

Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Kalumpang, Ulu Selangor, on Monday, 15th May 1972

A question for Mr. Michael Chen

The people of Ulu Selangor are being told that the MCA candidate for Ulu Selangor, Mr. Michael Chen, is a person who really cares for the suffering and hardships of the people, particularly the poor.

From 1964 to 1969, Mr. Michael Chen was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for National and Rural Development, Tun Abdul Razak.

I would like to ask Mr. Michael Chen what he did for the 900,000 new villagers, who were starved of government development funds for 20 years, during his five-year period of Parliamentary Secretary to Tun Razak.

Did he tell Tun Razak, who controls the purse-strings for the development funds, about the plight, the suffering, the neglect of the 900,000 new villagers? Did he ask Tun Razak to release funds for the upliftment of the 500-odd new villagers, to give the 900,000 new villagers land for cultivation, jobs to make a living, decent roads and social amenities? Did he press for a blue-print, a master plan, to convert the backward new villages into throbbing, thriving economic centres?

For five years that Mr. Michael Chen was Parliamentary Secretary to Tun Razak, the lot of the new villagers were neglected. It was only after the DAP championed the cause of the 900,000 new villagers, inside Parliament and State Assemblies, and at public rallies, that the Alliance and the Government awoken up to the problem of the new villages. It was then that Mr. Michael Chen, as Alliance Executive Secretary, ordered the preparation of a master plan for new villages, and the government appointed a Minister of Special Function in charge of new villages.

Unfortunately, despite Dr. Lim Keng Yaik’s appointment, and all his promises about new village development, the Alliance Government has not shown any will or sincerity in wanting to improve the lot of the 900,000 new villages. Dr. Lim Keng Yaik is just a Minister of Promises, a highly-paid postman who will channel the grievances of the people to the proper authorities, without the power or the money to solve new village problems.

This, however, is a subject which I will reserve for a later speech.

I would like Mr. Michael Chen to tell the people of Ulu Selangor and the country what he did, in his five years as Parliamentary Secretary to Tun Razak from 1964-1969, to highlight the problems and sufferings of the 900,000 new villagers and to solve their problems.

If as Parliamentary Secretary to Tun Razak, Mr. Michael Chen could not help the 900,000 new villagers, the poor, it is clear that he will not be able to be of any help to the poor even if he is elected to Ulu Selangor.