Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Sungei Chua, Kajang, on Monday, 8th July 1974 at 7.30 p.m.
1. Government should explain why it failed to take international oil companies to court for breaking anti-hoarding laws
The Minister of Information and Special Functions, Tunku Ahmad Rithaudeen, told 200 participants at a civics course organised by his Ministry at the Petaling Jaya community hall yesterday that the government did not act against supply-manipulating oil companies because the government wanted to protect the economy.
Tunku Ahmad Rithaudeen said the government did not take over the distribution of oil, or nationalise oil companies to prevent artificial shortage of diesel and kerosene, despite the fact that diesel supply only returned to normal after the price had been increased by eight cents.
He said that to nationalise oil companies at this stage would bring more harm than good, as Malaysia did not have the proper infrastructure.
The Minister’s reply is most unsatisfactory. The government has failed to explain to the people why it had not take n the international oil companies to court for breaking the country’s anti-hoarding laws for it is clear that the international oil companies had hoarded large quantities of diesel until its price had gone up.
The government had taken small Malaysian businessman to court and deized their goods for hoarding a bag of rice or a bag of flour. Is the anti-hoarding laws only for small Malaysian businessmen, and not applicable to big international foreign companies?
2. Kerosene shortage – international oil companies manipulating supplies again
After the diesel crisis, we now face the kerosene crisis. The root cause is again the international oil companies’ greed for maximum profits. Retailers are given kerosene at a price higher than the government controlled price at the retail end. This is clearly ridiculous. What is even more ridiculous is the paralysis of the Ministry of Primary Industries to take firm action to force the international oil companies to act as responsible corporate citizens, and stop manipulating supplies shortage and price hike-ups.
3. DAP wants to have a Public Commission on Oil Pricing policies by oil companies to determine the extent Malaysians are exploited by the international oil companies
The Malaysian public have been victimized and exploited by the international oil companies for so many times in the past few months, that there is a national urgency to establish a Public Commission on Oil Pricing Policies to determine to what extent Malaysians have been exploited by the international oil companies.
The government claims that it does not have the infrastructure to take over oil distribution or nationalise the oil companies. What obstacles are three for it to appoint a Public Commission on Oil Pricing compelling international oil companies to produce for public examination all their price, profit and supply records for all oil products?
The National Front Government must prove that it can protect the Malaysian public’s interest against the monopolistic and price-fixing practice of the foreign companies.