Tun Razak’s speech at the Gerakan Delegates’ Conference

Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, to a meeting of the DAP Federal Territory Committee at Jalan Pekeliling, Kuala Lumpur, on Monday, 11th March 1974 at 8 p.m.

Tun Razak’s speech at the Gerakan Delegates’ Conference

In his opening speech at the Gerakan Delegates’ Conference in Penang during the weekend, the Prime Minister, Tun Razak, said that UMNO realized that Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi religion country and that there would be “peace and harmony forever” if all political parties shared this philosophy.

Tun Razak added that the UMNO always respond to changes and UMNO leaders are flexible, pragmatic and never dogmatic.

If UMNO is really pragmatic, then the UMNO should rise up to the challenges of the times and convert itself into a multi-racial movement, whose policies can be put forward directly to all Malaysians, regardless of race, to seek their support and endorsement.

The UMNO cannot do this, for as Tun Razak said at the Gerakan Delegates’ Conference, the UMNO is depending on the MCA, Gerakan, the MIC and the PPP to get non-Malay support for the National Front.

If the UMNO stands firmly for a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious society, then UMNO should be able to make direct appeals to Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese or Indians, without going through proxies and intermediaries like the Gerakan, the MCA, the MIC or the PPP.

Tun Razak said that UMNO and PAS could unite the Malays. Thus he said:” Datuk Asri and I can vouch for the Malays. It is up to parties such as the Gerakan and MCA to gain the support of the non-Malays.”

The result over the weekend of the Pasir Puteh Tengah State by-election in Kelantan does not bear out Tun Razak’s claim that the UMNO and PAS could unite the Malays.

Although the UMNO candidate with PAS full campaign support, won the by-election with a majority of 1,671 votes, it would be interesting to analyse the results.

Thus, the UMNO candidate, Raja Mahmood bin Raja Mamat, secures 4,477 votes, while the independent candidate Encik MusaSalleh received 2,806 votes, and the PSRM candidate, Encik Yaacob Abdul Rahman, 865 votes.

The total anti UMNO-PAS votes amounted to 3,671 votes out of a total of 8,148 votes cast, or a sizable proportion of 45%.

In the 1969 General Elections, the UMNO candidate secured 4,272 votes, the PAS-candidate 4,257 votes and an independent candidate 88 votes. In other words UMNO and PAS jointly secured 8,529 votes.

A comparison between the 1969 and 1974 election results would show that the electoral support for the UMNO-PAS tie-up have fallen from 8,529 votes in 1969 to a mere 4,477 votes – a drastic reduction by 4,052 votes.

These figures convincingly prove that the UMNO and PAS cannot guarantee 100% Malay support for the National Front government, just as it is impossible for the MCA, Gerakan, PPP, MIC to secure non-Malay support for the National Front government. In fact, the Pasir Puteh Tengah by-election shows that the UMNO and PAS could only get 55% support from the Malays for the National Front concept.

If we take into consideration the 40% of the voters who did not come out and vote, it will be safe to conclude that over 50% of the Malays do not support the UMNO-PAS concept of coalition government.

I call on Tun Razak and UMNO to be truly pragmatic, and completely review its economic, educational,, political and cultural policies, in the light of the fact and reality of Malaysia being a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious country, so that all Malaysians, regardless of race or class, can give support to the government’s nation building policies.

The UMNO must change its policies to really benefit the poor Malays and non-Malays, and to give every Malaysian full identification with the national progress.

2. Problems of the Federal Territory

With the establishment of Kuala Lumpur as Federal Territory without consultation with the wishes of the people of Kuala Lumpur, it is important that the Federal Territory Authority should respect the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kuala Lumpur in every sphere of administration.

Kuala Lumpur teems with a multitude of problems, such as housing, transportation, hawkers, squatters, high cost of living, and decent city life, whether economic, social or cultural.

The Federal Territory Committee of the DAP should make an in-depth study into each of these problems to ensure that the people in Kuala Lumpur can lead a more significant, fulfilling, and worthwhile life, where their human personality are allowed the freest development and growth, a

The people of Kuala Lumpur must also be vigilant and alert against any encroachments and injustices in the administration of Federal Territory.

I have been reliably given to understand that the City Hall of Federal Territory is seriously considering increasing assessment rates. This has been recently confirmed in an interview given by the Datuk Bandar Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Yaakob Latiff, with the government publication, Dewan Masyarakat, where he said:

“Penghasilan Sewan Bandaraya kebanyakannya dari cukai pintu. Dan kalau kita mahukan Kuala Lumpur maju terpaksalah kata naikkan cukai pintu ini selain daripada peruntukkan yang diberi oleh Kerajaan Pusat untuk tujuan pembangunan.”

The DAP strongly opposed to any proposed increase of assessment rates in Kuala Lumpur. Firstly, this goes against the fundamental principle in a democratic society that there can only be taxation if there is representation.

Secondly, before the Kuala Lumpur Bandaraya increases assessment rates and the taxation burdens of the people of Kuala Lumpur, the people of Kuala Lumpur must have a full say with regard to the use and expenditures of the people’s money, whether they are being channeled into proper directions to the benefit of the people of Kuala Lumpur.

One reason why the DAP opposed the removal of an elected City Council and the Federal Territory establishment is our fear and concern that one immediate result is the increase in assessment rates within one year of its establishment, on February 1.

The Federal Government should increase its financial allocations to meet any increased expenditures for the Federal Territory, and should not force the people of Kuala Lumpur to shoulder more tax burdens.