Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Teluk Anson on Sunday, 16th June 1974 at 9 p.m.
1. DAP calls on the government to provide free secondary and university education to all students whose parents earn less than $500 a month
Education, whether the primary, secondary, or university education, should be made freely accessible to the people who can benefit from Poverty should not be a barrier or obstacle to a student continuing or doing well in his secondary or university studies, as it is very much so today.
The DAP calls on the government to provide free secondary and university education to all students whose parents earn less than $500 a month, so that the children of the poor would be denied the full development of his or her potential because of economic reasons.
2. Malaysia should expand university places to give places to students with the necessary qualifications
In Malaysia today, more and more students with the requisite academic qualifications are denied places in universities and Malaysia’s institutions of higher learning.
This is unfair and unjust, and the government should allocate more funds to expand university places, and establish more universities, so that all Malaysians students with the ability and the academic qualifications to pursue university courses would not be denied the opportunity to do so.
In this connection, the government should accept full responsibility to find university outlets for graduates from the Independent Chinese Secondary Schools, for these students are Malaysians, and it is the duty of the government to look after all Malaysians.
The government should come into some arrangement with the People’s Republic of China, now that Malaysia and China have established diplomatic relations, to allow Malaysian students, especially those from the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools, to do university courses in the universities in the People’s Republic of China.
On his return from his China trip, Tun Razak said there are many areas where Malaysian can learn from China’s experience. The sending of Malaysian students to Chinese universities will be one excellent way for Malaysians to learn from the experience of the PRC, whether in agriculture, medicine, or industry.
3. Call on the government to increase the interest rate of EPF to benefit workers
The government should stop delaying any further, and should immediately increase the interest rate of EPF with retrospective effect to January this year, so that the workers will not lose from the fall in the purchasing power of the Malaysian dollar.
It is the government’s duty to ensure that the workers’ savings in the EPF are not eaten away by inflation, and that the workers would not get 50% of the worth of their total EPF entitlements at the end of their working life. There must be a built-in system whereby the workers’ contributions would not depreciate because of the galloping inflation, so that the workers can get the whole worth of their saving at the end of their retirement.