Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the inaugural meeting of the Second DAP National New Village Sub-Committee in Petaling Jaya on 3rd June 1974
DAP calls on Tun Razak to direct New Village Minister, Lee San Choon, to draw up and implement a master plan for the upliftment and modernisation of the 450 new villages in Malaysia
When Tun Razak and the Malaysian delegation to China visited the Red Star Commune in Peking on May 30, the Malaysian Prime Minister, and the delegation, were impressed by the life and condition of the 80,000 people who live in the commune.
I dare say that if Premier Chou En Lai or any leader from the People’s Republic of China should visit Malaysia and tour any one if the 450 new villages in the country, he would be shocked by the squalor, backwardness and poor quality of life of Malaysian new villagers.
For 24 years, the 900,000 new villagers in Malaysia have been neglected and denied ample government funds for development and modernisation.
The DAP formed the National New Village Committee to spearhead a national campaign to uplift the lot of the new villagers, to ensure that the 900,000 new villagers get land for the landless, homes for the homeless and jobs for the jobless.
Through our efforts in Parliament, the State Assemblies and outside, we forced the government to appoint a special Minister to be in charge of the life of the 900,000 new villages.
But it is now over three years since the creation of this post of New Village Minister, and the life and village conditions of many the 450 new villages remain as backward as when they were first created 24 years ago.
There has been considerable publicity about the six day visit of Tun Razak to China. What the 900,000 new villagers are directly concerned is what action the government would take to make up for the 24 years of government neglect and indifference.
In fact, the Minister of New Villages, Lee San Choon, is indifferent to the problems of the new villages. This can be seen from the fact that since his appointment as Minister of New Villages, he has hardly visited a score of new villages out of the 450 throughout the country.
The DAP calls on Tun Razak to put into practice the objectives of the Second Malaysia Plan, namely to eliminate poverty by raising the incomes lefels of the poor regardless of race, and to direct the Minister of New Villages, Lee San Choo, to draw up and implement a master plan for the upliftment and modernisation of the standard of living of the 900,000 new villages in Malaysia.
The task of the Second DAP National New Village Sub-Committee, under the leadership of Sdr. Liew Ah Kim, State Assembly for Bukit Nanas, Negri Sembilan, is to act as a tribune and watchdog of the 900,000 new villagers to see it that the government allocate sufficient funds and pay attention to the miseries and poverty of the Malaysian new villagers.