Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a Rembau-Tampin Parliamentary by-election public rally at Pedas on 29th June 1972 at 9 p.m.
DAP calls for the abolition of the 5% Sales Tax
Year by year, the Finance Minister, Tun Tan Siew Sin, introduces taxes which make the poor groan with hardship, suffering and misery, while the rich relaxes in their wealth and luxury.
This year, Tun Tan introduced the 5% Sales Tax which has added considerably to the hardships of the workers, estate labourers, farmers and the low-income people. The 5% Sales Tax has worked to reduce the incomes and standards of living of the poor Malays in the kampongs, the poor workers, hawkers, estate labourers, etc.
In the past year, the lot of the poor kampong Malays had been a very hard and bitter one. Large number of kampong Malays in many parts of the country have been reduced to such straits that they have only one meal a day, and that on ubi kayu. Even the Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Ismail, has admitted this in Parliament.
Instead of helping the poor kampong Malays to lead a better life, Tun Tan has only worsened their lot, by imposing the 5% Sales Tax, Already, with the fall in the price in rubber, the continuous increase in the price of essential goods as salt, sugar, cooking oil, soap, milk, milk-powder, clothing, and then the 5%Sales Tax, the poor kampong farmers are getting the worse treatment than ever before.
The poor in the new villagers, estate, towns are also badly hit by the 5% Sales Tax.
While the Government on the one hand imposes greater burden on the people, on the other hand, it is extravagantly wasting these public funds. Thus, the Alliance State Governments merrily send teams of State Assemblymen overseas on pleasure trips at public expense.
It is difficult to get the poor to make sacrifices, when the Government leaders themselves are not only making sacrifices, but enjoying life from the poor’s sacrifices.
This is immoral, wrong and improper. I therefore call on the Government to stop wasting public funds on pleasure trips overseas for State Assemblymen and government Ministers, cut out all wasteful expenditure. The government should always take into consideration the people’s welfare and interest as the first guide of every government action.
In the interest of public, of the poor in the kampongs, the estates, new villages and towns, I call on the Government to immediately abolish the 5% Sales Tax.