Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang,
when speaking at the DAP Public Rally at Kulai, Johors to commemorate the National New Village week
Oct. 24 – Nov. 1. The Kulai public rally was held at Kulai town on Friday, 29th Sept. 1972 from 7 – 11 p.m.
DAP call on the Cabinet and all State Government to accept the following two principles for the solution
of the acute and long-standing land problem of 900,000 new villagers in Malaysia
For 20 years, the 900,000 now villagers in Malaysia have been neglected and denied government funds for their social and economic development.
The biggest problems facing the 900,000 new villagers are land, jobs and homes.
There are 30 million areas of virgin land which are suitable for agriculture, but for 20 years, the new villages unemployed and landless are not given any land.
The time has come for the Malaysian Government and the State Government to give serious attention to the grave problem of landless among the new villagers, and not continue to ignore and neglect them.
I wish to propose two principles which if adopted by the Malaysian government and the State Government, will solve the serious problem of landlessness or insecurity of title of the 900,000 new villagers in the country.
In its solution of the problem of land for new villagers, the Central Government and the State Government should declare that it would be bound by the following two principles:
1. All present title-holders or occupants of lots in new villagers will be given title for 99 years, at easy-to-pay terms with cheap premium.
2. All the landless new villagers will be given land, either at Felda schemes or other government Land schemes, unless they can get other jobs or means of livelihood.
It is regrettable that the Prime Minister has appointed a Minister of Special Functions in charge of new village without any funds, powers or responsibilities. It shows the Alliance Government’s insincerity in wanting to solve the problem of poverty in 420 new villagers in country.
Dr. Lim Keng Yaik does not have a single cent in his last ten months’ of appointment for a single new village or a single new villager. He has money only to pay himself $4,000 a month and 11 other employees. In other words, Dr. Lim’s appointment as Minister has benefited only himself and 11 other persons, and not a single one of the 900,000 new villagers in the country.
Dr. Lim not only has no funds, he has no powers or responsibilities apart from making publicity. In fact, Dr. Lim can’t even answer some simple questions which I had asked him in Parliament about the position of land in Malaysia’s new villages.
For instance, at the last meeting of Parliament, I asked for Dr. Lim Keng Yaik to give details for each new village in the country, as to whether the new villagers have been given title, if so, for how many years, whether it is for 21, 33, 66 or 99 years.
It is about two months since I last sent in my question, but up to today, I have not received any reply from Dr. Lim Keng Yaik.
We are now told that Dr. Lim Keng Yaik has now a new responsibility, namely to mastermind the ‘mental revolution’ of the over 4 million Chinese in Malaysia.
This is indeed ridiculous, when Dr. Lim can’t even solve the problem of 900,000 new villagers.
The DAP calls in the Alliance Government to stop playing the fool with the fate and future of 900,000 new villagers who deserve their rightful share of governmental funds and attention. The DAP calls on the government to immediately transform the 420 new villages in the country into thriving economic centres, and not as present, decaying villages.