DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, today issued the following statement (27.9.1973):
DAP wants the LPN to give a solemn promise that all the 20000 rice dealers will have their licence renewed and not a single person will suffer cancellation of licence
On Monday, I warned the large numbers of 20000 rice licences which expire in a few days, on 30th September, have not been renewed, and that this could disrupt the rice trade and create an even worse rice crisis in the country.
We read in the press today that an unnamed Selangor MCA spokesman proudly claimed that as a result of the energetic representation of the Selangor MCA, the LPN has agreed to an extension of the dateline for the renewal of rice licences. The rice dealers in the country were told to be calm and not to be worried.
The DAP would like to know why the Selangor MCA is helping the LPN to cover-up its incompetence and inefficiency in performing a simple routine job of renewing the rice licences, especially as these applications were sent in three or four months back.
The DAP deplores the LPN failure to renew the rice licences in time by 30th September. It is even now at this late hour, possible to take swift administrative action to have all the licences renewed by 30th September.
The LPN owes to the rice dealers and the country an explanation why it would not renew the rice licences in time. What is holding up the LPN approval of such routine application for renewal, and the application for new licences.
There can only be one of two reasons: Firstly, that the LPN is just too inefficient to do its work; or secondly, the delay is caused by LPN attempt to workout a new basis for granting of rice licences involving cancellation and withdrawal of existing rice licences.
The DAP wants a categorical undertaking by the LPN that all the 20000 rice licences would be renewed or that not a single person would have his rice licence withdrawn or cancelled by the LPN or any other Government department.
Furthermore, the LPN must issue clear regulations to the police, army, LPN officials or other Government departments concerned that holders of expired rice licences are to be deemed to be lawful rice dealers. For otherwise, they can only be confusion, anxiety, fear among rice dealers especially after the recent court sentence of $10000 fine and three months jail of each of the five persons convicted for dealing with rice without licences although they have applied for one quite sometime back.