Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Chairman of DAP Malacca State, Sdr. Lim Kit Siang, at the meeting of the Malacca State DAP Elections Sub-Committee on Tuesday, 12th March 1974 at 8 p.m.
1. DAP to fight and expose National Front parties at next elections
At the Gerakan delegates’ conference in Penang during last weekend, Dr. Lim Chong Eu repeated his charge that those who are opposed to the National Front are anti-national elements.
One of these days, Dr. Lim would be accusing Tun Tan Siew Sin, and the whole MCA gang, like Lee San Choon, Lee Siok Yew, Wong Seng Chow, as anti-national.
Dr. Lim Chong Eu is adopting these bully tactics to try to frighten the people into not opposing him and the National Front. Dr. Lim Chong Eu will find that the people do not agree with his definitions as to “anti-national” elements.
The next general elections, which will not be far away, will show to Dr. Lim Chong Eu as to who and whose policies are rejected and repudiated by the people and masses. Dr. Lim Chong Eu himself may not get re-elected in his Tanjong seat, and may have to run to a safe seat – a seat made safe not by Gerakan votes, but y UMNO votes.
The National Front is just an expended Alliance, and its policies are no different from those of the Alliance, which large sections of the people rejected in the 1969 general elections.
The DAP will fight and expose the National Front parties and policies at the coming general elections.
2. New Parliamentary and State Assembly seats
The government, in anticipation of coming general elections, has started to mess about with the Parliamentary and State Assembly constituency boundaries to give greater electoral advantages to Alliance candidates.
Datuk Tan Cheng Swee’s seat is a good case in point. Datuk Tan Cheng Swee, who scraped into the State Assembly by a razor-edged 346 votes, stand to be defeated this time if he re-contest the Kota Utara seat.
However, under the new delineations of constituencies, Kota Utara, which has changed in name to Pringgit, is to rope in large chunks of rural areas outside the Municipality of Malacca, so that the Malacca MCA State Chairman, when he stands in that constituency, can depend on the UMNO to bring in the rural votes.
Whether the UMNO can bring in the Malay rural votes for Datuk Tan Cheng Swee is a matter which ony time can tell. But this illustrates the messing about with the constituencies so that the MCA leaders can get a better chance of re-election or victory because of UMNO and not the MCA.
Despite these gerrymandering with constituency boundaries, the DAP in Malacca will not be deterred from discharging our duty and task to the people of Malacca to put up a slate of candidates worthy to be their elected representatives in the Malacca State Assembly and Parliament.
3. The Government’s Anti-hoarding campaign
In the anti-boarding campaign, the enforcement officers must not adopt the attitude of regarding all retailers are enemies or crooks. Enforcement officers, when they go to shops to check on stocks, should conduct themselves with courtesy and politeness, and not push their weight around. Otherwise, new and graver problems will be created.
To minimise uncertainty and confusion, the government should not delay anymore and come out with clear-cut definitions as to the amount of stock each retailer can keep for each controlled item.
While the anti-hoarding campaign is progressing, the fact that prices of all essential goods have not come down shows that hoarding is not the sole or even main cause of inflation.
Price fixing and manipulation by producers, manufactures and importers are more important causes of inflation, and in this direction, the government has failed to take the necessary steps to curb monopoly price fixing and stock manipulation.
The government should wield its powers against the producers, manufacturers and importers to get them to bring down the prices of all essential commodities. The government should also make its contribution in this effort by subsiding basic essentials, as rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil and milk.