Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Perak DAP State Solidarity Dinner held at St. John’s Ambulance Hall on Sunday, 21st April 1974 at 8 p.m.
1. How many of the findings, decisions and resolutions of the MCA National Chinese Economic Congress held early this year have been adopted and implemented by the government?
Today, the Perak MCA is holding a Perak State Chinese Economic Congress. Early this year, a national Chinese economic seminar was held in Kuala Lumpur by the MCA.
The people have a right to know how many of the decisions, resolutions and findings of the national Chinese economic seminar held in Kuala Lumpur early this year have been adopted and implemented by the Government, or whether the Government has completely ignored the seminar and other such-like congresses, like one on cultural congress held also recently.
When the UMNO organised Bumiputra Economic Congresses and passed a long list of resolutions, the Government set up a special high-level committee to implement the resolutions, decisions and findings of such Bumiputra economic congresses.
If the MCA is an equal partner in the Alliance and National Front, why should MCA economic congresses be treated with such contempt by the Government?
With the resignation of Tun Tan Siew Sin as MCA President and Finance Minister, the influence of the MCA in the MCA in the Federal Cabinet is even weaker.
When the MCA cannot get its resolutions taken seriously by the Cabinet when its president is the Finance Minister, it will be completely ignored now that its new leader is the most junior Minister in the Cabinet. Thus, when Tun Tan was MCA president, he sat in the first Ministerial row in Parliament House. But now, with Lee San Choon as MCA President, the MCA leader sits in the last Ministerial row in Parliament House, reflecting the very low status of MCA in the Alliance and National Front Government, after the departure of Tun Tan Siew Sin.
2. The troubles of Penang MCA is the results of weakening national MCA leadership
We read in today’s press that the Penang MCA State Chairman, Sam Ah Chow and State Secretary, Dr. Ling Liong Sik, have resigned., following the announcement a few days ago by the Central Executive Committee of the MCA giving full support to the National Front.
A few weeks ago, the Penang MCA adopted a declaration opposing the National Front concept. There is no doubt that the Penang State MCA did this with the tacit approval and enragement of Lee San Choon, then acting as MCA President with Tun Tan Siew Sin away in England on medical treatment.
The objective is to strengthen the bargaining power of the MCA in the National Front negotiations in the allocation of seats.
Lee San Choon wanted at that time to appear as a champion of the MCA elements who are opposed to a compromise with the Gerakan, because he knew that when things came to a crisis point, there is Tun Tan Siew Sin to shoulder the responsibility and blame for compromising with the Gerakan.
With Tun Tan’s resignation as MCA President, however, and his becoming the new MCA leader, Lee San Choon’s only political objective is to please the UMNO leaders so that he can be given a Ministerial promotion from his present lowly and inconsequential one of looking after new villages.
Thus, while a few weeks back, he encouraged Penang MCA and even Perak MCA and few other MCA branches in other States to come out openly criticizing the National Front concept because of Gerakan’s participation, Lee San Choon has now to take a 360 degrees turn as the new MCA leader to silence all MCA questioning of the National Front concept. Now, all that he want is to impress the UMNO leaders that MCA, under his new leadership will act cause trouble to the UMNO.
There is no doubt that Sam Ah Chow and Dr. Ling Liong Sik’s resignation are not made by themselves personally, but at the request of Lee San Choon as that he can enhance his own standing in the eyes of the UMNO leaders.
Although Sam Ah Chow and Ling Liong Sik supports the MCA CEC decisions to enclose the National Front concept, Lee San Choon needs their heads to convince UMNO that the last few weeks of MCA opposition to the coalition foot idea in a closed chapter. Actually, if any head should roll, it should be Lee San Choon’s as he had engineered the whole affairs.
The MCA, under Lee San Choon, Lee Siok Yew, Wong Seng Chow, Michael Chen, is a very much weaker MCA in the National Front and Alliance Government when compared to the time when Tun Tan Siew Sin was president.
When MCA under Tun Tan could do so little, the people can expect less from MCA under Lee San Choon, Lee Siok Yew, Wong Seng Chow and Michael Chen.
3. The next general elections: Will Tun Razak give a categorical statement that it would not be hold before October 1974 ?
Tun Razak, speaking at the Temerloh public rally last night, denied that general elections would not be held by October this year. He said that no decisions has as yet been taken as to the date of the general elections.
This does not mean however that general elections would not be held in the next few weeks and the Agong formally advised to dissolve Parliament for general elections to be hold during the period July- October 1974.
Thus, it is significant that while Tun Razak said that no decisions has yet been taken to about holding elections before October, he did not make a categorical statement asserting that general elections would definitely not be held before October, or within this year. In fact, in a separate speech, we note that Dato Harun bin Idris, the UMNO Youth Leader, has confirmed that elections would take place this year.
I believe that although technically, Tun Razak has not yet taken a decision to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament, there is no doubt that the Alliance have made advanced preparations for general elections to be held shortly.
The series of weekly National Front Rallies, beginning with Temerloh yesterday, to be followed by one in Alor Setar on May 3 and another in Kuantan on May 9. Are preparations leading up to early general elections.
The DAP, especially in Perak, have gone into top gear for the coming general elections. We are very encouraged by the snowballing response from the masses.
Three weeks ago, we had a very successful public rally in Ipoh Municipal Padang where over 10,000 people came to listen to our political reports. Last week, in Bentong, some 5,000 people crowded Bentong Padang to give us their support at our public rally there last week. Yesterday, at a public rally in Kampong Koh, Sitiawan, the public Rally was a further resounding success.
We are confident that with re- doubled effort and further sacrifice on the part of our workers, the DAP will be able to effectively represent the people in Parliament and the State Assemblies in the next elections. The next general elections will also see the disappearance of many political parties and political personalities. One of the parties which will disappear will be the PPP. In fact, I understand that the PPP, in anticipation of their disastrous showing in the coming elections, are already trying to dissolve themselves and join up with the Gerakan.