Speech DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Kluang DAP Branch anniversary dinner held at Kluang, DAP Branch premises on Sunday, 23rd June, 1974 at 3p.m.
1. More indications of August general elections: Dates of Parliament meeting changed twice to await Elections Commission’s Report on new Parliamentary and State constituencies
More and more indications point to an August general elections. For instance, the dates of Parliament meeting have been changed twice to await the report of the Elections Commission on the new Parliamentary and State Assembly constituencies.
The Elections Commission is now at last leg of the formalities it must observe as required by the Constitution before finalising its report. The Elections Commission has now put up for public inspection revisions to the proposed Parliamentary and State constituencies for a month from June 14 – July 14. After July 14, the Elections Commission would submit its report to the Prime Minister, would in turn lay the report to the Dewan Rakyat for adoption.
After the two changes of dates, the Dewan Rakyat would now meet for eight days from July 17 to July 26, and the Dewan Negara for four days from 25th July to 30th July, enabling Parliament to take up the business of adopting the Elections Commission Report on the new parliamentary and state constituencies.
The stage is then set for the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of general elections in the second part of August, with polling day probably on August 17 to 24.
2. Why the DAP is opposed to the National Front
The coming general elections will be a very crucial one in the history of Malaysia, for it would provide probably the last opportunity to the people to make clear their demand for a halt to the present political, economic, educational, social and cultural policies of the government.
The DAP is opposed to the National Front government for the simple reason that the National Front policies are no different from the Alliance policies, which were repudiated by the majority of the electorate in the 1969 general elections. This is because the total of Alliance candidates in 1969 only secured 45% of the votes cast.
Instead of making a re-appraisal of the whole gamut of the government policies, as is the wish of the people as expressed in the 1969 general elections, the UMNO thought that by buying over opposition Members of Parliament, State Assemblymen, and over entire opposition parties like the PPP, the Gerakan, the SUPP and Parti Islam, they can turn the minority support they have got into majority support, without any change of policies.
The voters of Malaysia must, in the coming general elections, demonstrate in no uncertain votes that what the people want is a change of government policies in the political, economic, cultural, social and educational field, and that by buying over opposition MPs, SAs, or even entire opposition parties while leaving their old policies unchanged is not acceptable to the people at large.
If the people can unite and demonstrate their rejection of the concept of National Front, as it is no more than the enlargement of the Alliance and continuation of Alliance policies of the past, then Tun Razak will be compelled to re-think his policies seriously in order to win back the support of the sasses.
Politically, the DAP wants a genuine free and democratic nation, where the present restrictions and oppressive laws ablating freedom of speech, press, assembly and political activity are removed, and where every Malaysian is entitled to liberty of the person and not subject to arbitrary arrest without trial.
The Malaysian Constitution proclaims that every Malaysian is entitled to fundamental rights, like freedom of speech and expression, freedom of assembly, liberty of person and freedom from arbitrary arrest, but these fundamental rights are subject to so many restrictions that it makes these fundamental rights meaningless. The DAP want the fundamental liberties in the Malaysian constitution to be truly fundamental and the restrictions removed.
Economically, the DAP wants a complete change of the present economic policy of the government, to achieve the dual objectives of one, to liberate the Malaysian economy from the shackles of foreign domination and control; and secondly, to conduct an all-out war against poverty, unemployment and backwardness. The Second Malaysia Plan and the New Economic Policy of the government on the contrary, seeks to perpetuate and even strengthen foreign domination an control of the Malaysian economy, while it is more interested in creating a few more millionaires from the ranks of the ruling party than in abolishing poverty which cuts across all racial groups.
Educationally, we want every Malaysian could to have the opportunity to develop his potential to the fullest, where up to secondary or university level, and not denied higher education opportunities although they have the academic qualifications and the ability. We also want Malaysians to have the right to send their children to schools and even universities in the media of instruction of their mother tongue if this is their choice, in accordance with the spirit of Clause 152 of the Malaysian Constitution.
Culturally, we want all cultures, customs and ways of life to be allowed to exist, grow and develop in all levels of life in Malaysia, for Malaysia is a coming together of all racial groups in this country, and their cultural life must be a coming together of all ways of life, without any attempt on the part of anyone to impose the eliminate or suppress any cultural pattern.