Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, when officiating at the formation of the Perak DAP State New Villages Sub-Committee at the Perak DAP premises in Ipoh on Sunday, 16th June 1974 at 3 p.m.
DAP calls on the Perak coalition government to launch a crash programme to give titles to all new villagers in Perak
Although two Ministers have been appointed to look after the new villages in Malaysia, and although the pp has joined the Alliance to form the Perak Coalition Government, the lot and plight of the new villagers in Perak, in keeping with the lot of the 900,000 new villagers in Malaysia, remain unchanged.
In Perak, large numbers of the new villagers are still without their titles to the land they had stayed for over a generation.
If the Perak Coalition Government, or the Minister of New Villages, Dato Lee San Choon, are genuinely concerned about the problems of the poor and the lower economic groups, there is no reason for such foot-dragging to confer titles to the new villagers, especially when they do not hesitate in alienating thousands or even tens of thousands of acres of land to their own political supports, or to foreign capitalists.
The new villagers in Perak and in other states of West Malaysia are or interested any more in speeches by the Perak State Government or empty assurances and promises by Lee San Choon. What they want is titles, and they want it now, at very cheap premiums, and payable by installments.
The DAP calls on the Perak Coalition Government to launch a crash programme to give titles to all new villagers in Perak, within the next two months.
Land titles is only one of the many problems confronting the new villagers. With the expansion of the new village population, there is an army of landless new villagers, who need land, but who have been unable to get sympathy or help from either the Perak Coalition State Government or Datok Lee San Choon.
Tun Razak has visited the People’s Republic of China for six days, and seen, among other things, the Red Star Commune near Peking.
But although Malaysia’s foreign relations has been changed by six days’ of Tun Razak’s visit, the 24 years’ of neglect and indifference of new village situation has not been changed a bit although for the last three years there had been a special Ministry in charge of new villages.
The backwardness of the new villages is known to the government leaders. This is why when foreign dignitaries, like prime ministers or heads of states, make state visits to Malaysia, they are never taken to new villages, for they do not want the foreign dignitaries to see the poverty and social * represented by the new villages.
All this must be changed, and it is the task of the Perak DAP State New Villages Sub-Committee to highlight the injustices which the new villages of Perak have suffered for 24 years, and to tear away the indifference of the government to bring about a radical change in new village life.