Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Kuala Kangsar on Friday, 28th June 1974 at 9 p.m.
1. DAP to raise in Parliament the shooting of two tappers by security forces in Kuala Kangsar
I have given notice to Parliament that I will raise the matter of the shooting of two innocent women tappers, Lee Lai Mai, 26, and Wong Yue Kew, at Kampong Ribai, Kuala Kangsar, by security forces on 27.5.1974 at about 4 a.m. while they were cycling to their morning tapping.
I will raise this matter when Parliament meets on July 17, and I shall press for a fully inquiry into the shooting which has rendered seven children motherless, fair and full compensation, and government action to restore the people’s confidence in the security forces and the government.
2. DAP wants a Ministry of Consumer Affairs to protect the consumers from the greed and exploitation of foreign and local capitalists
Although Ministers and government leaders give verbal support and encouragement to consumer movements and even give a little government grant, the National Front Government has actually very low priority for the interests of the consumers, the housewives and the ordinary Malaysian.
Thus, when diesel price was recently jacked up by eight cents, no single consumer association was consulted. Even the FOMCA, or the Federation of Malaysian Consumers’ Association, which is sponsored by the government, has nothing to say in the diesel increase, whether before or after the event.
This shows the contempt that the National Front government has for consumer or consumer associations, for on all the three occasions in the last seven months when oil prices rose from one height to another, the government never bothered to consult the consumers.
The 8-cents price increase for diesel this week is the latest example of a government which is only interested in the profit margins of foreign companies and syndicates, although such a price increase has further slashed the purchasing power of the low-income groups, and will trigger off a new chain of price leaps, whether in transport costs, bus or taxi fares, price of goods, foodstuffs, etc.
It is indeed ridiculous that the price of diesel in Malaysia should be the same as in our neighbouring country, Singapore, at $1 a gallon, when Malaysia produces more oil than we can consumer while Singapore does not produce a single drop of oil.
The consumers’ interest have been completely ignored in the increase of the price of diesel. The consumers’ associations, trade unions, political parties and all public organisations must unite on the consumer front to roll back the prices, if the consumers in Malaysia are not to be captive victims to e squeezed dry by the foreign and local capitalists.
On 17th February 1974, at the Selangor DAP State Convention in Kuala Lumpur, I called on political parties, consumer movements, trade unions and public organisations to form a united front to campaign against further increases in oil products. Unfortunately, there was no response, or we would not have experienced two rounds of oil price increases since then.
The increase in the price of oil has not ended, for the oil companies, having succeeded in raising the price of oil products three times in seven months, are now embarking on a new campaign to raise the price of oil products again, especially premium and ordinary petrol.
Unless the citizens and consumers can unite more effectively, there will be a whole host of price jumps after the general elections in a few months’ time, not only for oil productions, but for food, clothing, and consumer items.
The country needs a Ministry of Consumer Affairs specifically to protect the people’s interest against the encroachments of monied interests. We cannot allow the free play of market forces where industries and companies, whether foreign or local, conceive their only function to be the maximisation of profits regardless of the social suffering it creates.
3. DAP calls for a national oil policy to benefit the Malaysian masses and not to enrich foreign oil companies and a few Malaysians who sit on the Board of Directors of these companies.
The diesel price increase has highlighted the lack of a national oil policy in Malaysia to benefit the Malaysian masses aimed at providing cheap fuel and energy to reduce the high cost of living in the country.
Although Malaysia produces more oil than we can consume, (we produce more than 100,000 barrels of oil a day while we only consume 85,000 barrels), Malaysian oil goes to fatten the profits of international oil companies.
The DAP want a complete change of the oil policies of the government. The DAP wants a national oil policy which will make use of our own oil to provide cheap fuel and energy for Malaysians, reduce the cost of living especially for the poor in the towns and rural areas. The people cannot accept the present oil policy of the National Front, which only permit the foreign oil companies to benefits from Malaysia’s oil resources, and a few Malaysians who sit on the Board of Directors of these international oil companies to become millionaires.
The oil industry in Malaysia must be nationalised, so that Malaysians can consumer Malaysian oil at cheap rates.