Lim Kit Siang submits 77 questions for Parliament

Lim Kit Siang submits 77 questions for Parliament

DAP member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, has submitted 77 questions to be answered in Parliament during the meeting beginning on August 8, 1972. There are 42 oral questions and 35 questions for written reply.

Mr. Lim has submitted a wide-ranging number of questions covering most aspects of government policy and national affairs.

He has submitted many questions concerning, rural poverty and backwardness. These include:

1. To ask the Minister for National and Rural Development

(i) Whether he is aware that large numbers of Felda settlers do not get a net income $100 a month, and in many cases, very much less, because of the high rate of debt repayment and interests imposed on the settlers by the Felda;

(ii) Whether his Ministry would drastically revise the repayment rates and schedule of Felda settlers to ensure that every Felda settler would have a net income of $300 a month, after payment of all Felda debts, as was promised by the Government in their propaganda campaign through radio, television and press.

2. To ask Minister of Education (i) to give the total number of undergraduates, and their respective percentages, in the (a) Faculty of Islamic Studies; (b) Science Faculty; (c) Arts Faculty of the University Kebangsaan;

(ii) whether he would agree that there is an overabundance of students in the arts and Islamic Studies faculties, when the emphasis should be on the expansion of the intake of students into the Science Faculty, if the Malays are to make a breakthrough into the age of science and technology; and

(iii) Whether he would communicate with the University Kebangsaan to freeze the expansion of the Arts and Islamic Studies Faculties and concentrate on the expansion of the Science Faculty to keep with the needs of modern Malaysia.

3. To ask the Minister of Agriculture whether the government would abolish landlordism and rentals in padi farming so that padi farmers in Malaysia can own the land they till, so that their standard of living can be uplifted.

4. To ask the Minister of Education whether the Government would be taking part in the text-book publishing industry with the objective of providing free textbooks to all poor pupils, particularly those from the rural areas, to assist them to continue with their education and enable them to increase their productivity and incomes in adult life

5. To ask the Minister of Trade and Industry whether his Ministry would direct the reduction in the retail price of sugar in view of the hardships the recent increase of five cents a katil in sugar has caused to the farmers, fishermen, workers and the poor.

6. To ask the Minister of Finance whether the Government would abolish the 5% Sales Tax in view of the hardship it has caused the poor in the kampongs, new villages, estates and urban slums.

7. To ask the Minister of National and Rural Development whether his Ministry could

(i) give the total number of tenant-farmers who have their tenancy terminated by their landlords for each year for the last 10 years;

(ii) Whether he is aware that the problem of tenant-farmers losing their tenancy, and therefore land to till and a means of livelihood is an increasingly serious problem in the rural areas;

(iii) To state what steps his Ministry is taking to tackle this problem; and

(iv) What action his Ministry has taken to find land or alternative employment for the padi tenant-farmers whose tenancy had been terminated in the Parit agricultural region in Sobering Perak as reported in the Utusan Melayu on July 8, 1972.

8. To ask the Minister of Primary Industries whether the government would consider raising the rubber replanting grant to smallholders from $750 to $1,050 per acre, in view of the higher cost of materials and labour nowadays.

9. To ask the Minister of Trade and Industry the reason for the closure of over 20 batik factories in Kelantan and Trengganu recently, stating how many people have been thrown out of jobs, and what remedial action has been taken to protect the batik industry.

10. To ask the Minister of Works and Power whether he is aware that the people of Kampong Tempoyang in Kuala Lipis in Pahang have not been supplied with electricity, and whether there are any plans to give them electricity under the Second Malaysia Plan.