Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Pusing, on Saturday, 16th February, 1974 at 8.00 p.m.
1. Call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into extent of foreign domination of Malaysian economy and their influence on political and economic policy-making in the country
Last Sunday, the Perak State DAP Convention in Ipoh adopted a Declaration expressing concern and opposition to the domination of the Malaysian economy by foreigners, whose ownership and control of the key sectors of Malaysian economy show that Malaysian wealth and income benefit foreigners more than they do Malaysians.
One of the greatest myths of the Second Malaysia Plan is that Chinese and Indians are rich while the Malays are poor. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the Chinese, Malays and Indians are poor for the real wealth of the country is not in the hands of the Chinese, Indians or Malays but in foreign hands.
The clear dominance by foreign interest in the ownership and control of the Malaysian economy is seen by the fact that foreigners accounted for about 61% of the total share capital of all limited companies, with the Chinese having 22%, Malays 2% and Indians 1%. Foreign participation is especially dominant in modern agriculture and mining. In rubber foreigners dominated to the extent of 75.3% and in mining it is as high as 72.4%. In manufacturing, commerce banking and finance, foreign domination amounts to about 50% to 60%.
It is against the interest of the people of Malaysia that such predominant proportions of the Malaysian economy should be owned and controlled by foreigners. This also gives the foreigners great influence on decision-making by the government whether in the political or economic sphere.
It is obvious that if foreigners are allowed checked ownership and control of the key sectors of Malaysian economy, Malaysian will cease to be the masters of their own destiny, but puppets and pawns of foreign interests and multi-national corporations, like for instance, the international oil companies which are trying even now to exploit Malaysian consumers by making another increase in the price of petrol, diesel and fuel oil.
As Malaysian nationalists, not only in the political sense only, but also in the economic sense, Malaysians cannot allow such unbridled foreign domination of Malaysia economy to go on, Last year, some $600 million were repatriated abroad by foreign companies as profits. This is a drain on the national wealth and resources of Malaysia, which we should put a halt to, if we are not to sell, pawn or mortgage away our national patrimony.
The DAP calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the extent of foreign domination of Malaysian economy and their influence on the political and economic decision-making by the government, and to arouse public and national consciousness about the dangers of foreign interference and dictation of Malaysian political and economic policies through the economic power they possess and wield in Malaysia.
2. The government should launch a austerity drive to cut down wasteful government expenditures to help fight inflation
The government should launch a austerity drive at Federal and State government levels to cut down all wasteful and non-essential expenditures to reduce government spending to put the brake on inflation in the country.
There must be a national savings campaign, not only on the part of individuals, but also on the part of the government at Federal and State level.
Up to now, both the Federal and State government have not set an example to the people that there must be greater need to exercise austerity. I commend this proposal to the Prime Minister.