Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr.Lim Kit Siang, at the National Day and anniversary reception of Muar DAP Branch in Muar on Sunday, 2nd September 1973 at 2p.m
DAP calls on Tun Razak to act bravely and decisively by forthwith establishing full diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China
Although in the last two years, there has been some increase in limited contacts between Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China in the fields of trade and sports, Malaysia is still a long way off from the full normalization of relations between Kuala Lumpur and Peking.
In his Hari Kebangsaan message, the Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak said Malaysia was waiting for the right time for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This was the Alliance government’s position in the previous years as well. It is highly regrettable that there has not been distinct progress make in this direction.
During the nineteen fifties and sixties, Malaysia looked at foreign affairs through American spectacles, and she was even persuaded to regard herself as one of the American led crusaders against the Communists Chinese government.
Although the Alliance Government has now moved away from her previous hardline position of regarding People’s Republic of China as an unmitigated evil, it has still to break away from all her past foreign policy prejudices.
This probably explains the long delay in the consummation of full diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China, which will be beneficial for both countries, especially for Malaysia.
I therefore call on the Prime Minister, Tun Razak, to bravely and decisively establish forthwith full diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China and remove all the man-made barriers which had stood between our two countries.
Second Rice Crisis in Malaysia?
There is anxiety in the market about high prices for rice and scarcity. It is indeed ridiculous that Malaysia, which produces 90% of her rice requirements, should have a perennial rice problem in our hands.
It is significant that the first rice crisis in the Malaysian history after we achieved nationhood in 1957 blew up early this year, soon after the establishment of the Lembaga Padi dan Beras Negara, which has the responsibility of ensuring sufficient rice supplies at cheap rates.
Indications now point to another rice crisis in Malaysia unless the authorities concerned can take effective and firm measures.
If rice prices are permitted to climb up again, the poor and the low-income and fixed income wage-earners will be squeezed even harder. Rice forms the staple diet of all Malaysians, and the government must see to it that its price is not allowed to climb any further. To assure public anxiety, and as an effective counter to the building up of another rice crisis, the authorities concerned should come out with categorical and unqualified assurances that rice price levels would be held down, and that they would be no scarcity or repetition of the rice crisis early this year.
The LPN should operate purely as a non-profit working agency, and should have as its sole objective to ensuring of cheap foodstuffs for Malaysians. To help the poor, the government must act firmly against any further inflation of essential foodstuffs and commodities.
Masyarakat Berkebudayaan Malaysia
The theme for the 1973 National Day is Masyarakat Berkebudayaan Malaysia. There must be greater public participation in the evolution of a Malaysian culture, which is not aimed at the suppression of any one of the existing cultures in Malaysia, but their full integration.
Malaysia is a multi-cultural country, and this uniqueness must be preserved and sustained if Malaysia is to succeed in her religious and multi-cultural society.
Cultural growth and development cannot be imposed from the top, in utter disregard of the wishes and aspirations of large sections of the population.
I therefore call on the Malaysian Government to initiate a full public debate in the television, radio and press, in all languages, on what elements from the diverse cultural heritages of Malaysians should be integrated into the Masyarakat Berkebudayaan Malaysia – so that this cultural evolution is a spontaneous natural growth and not a product of coercion and object of resistance.