Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, ata DAP Public Rally at Jatong New Village, Sungei Siput, on Saturday, 20th July 1974 at 7 p.m.
1. The abolition of the Internal Security Act and the release of all political detainees will be one of the key DAP issues in the coming general elections
In the coming general elections, one of the major policy issues which the party will campaign on will be the abolition of the Internal Security Act and the release of all political detainees.
The Internal Security Act and the arrest and the arrest without trial for an indefinite period at the pleasure of the power that be is a violation of one of the fundamental liberties written into the Malaysian Constitution – namely, the liberty of the person from arbitrary arrest.
The DAP wants the fundamental guarantees in the Malaysian constitution to be fully respected, and all Malaysians, regardless or race or class, should be able to unite on this human right question to make Malaysia a more democratic society.
2. DAP calls on the Minister of Home Affairs to allow an independent panel of private medical practitioners to visit the political detainees to determine their state of health
I am very concerned about the state of health of many of the political detainees in the Batu Gajah detention camp, especially after the 47-day hunger strike from December last year to February this year. I raised this matter in Parliament last April, and I learn that many of the detainees are now feeling the full after-effects of damages to various sensitive organs in their body.
The parents of these detainees are all very worried and have repeatedly appealed to the Minister of Home Affairs for humanitarian consideration and to release these detainees so that they can get proper medical treatment.
To allay the anxieties of the parents and the public at large, I urge the Minister of Home Affairs, Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie, to permit an independent panel of private medical practitioners to visit all the detainees in the Batu Gajah and Taiping detention centres, to determine their sate of health and recommendations of individual medical treatment and attention. I hope that this suggestion of mine can get the humanitarian consideration.
3. DAP calls on the Government to stop permitting price increases of controlled items without public hearings for the companies to justify such increases
A few days ago, the government approved the price of cement ex factory to go up from $3.70 a bag to $5.00 a bag, although this is a controlled item. This cement price increase will kick up other price increases, worsening the inflationary situation in the country and will make homes even more inaccessible to the poor and the low-income groups.
Last month, the government allowed the price of diesel to go up by eight cents a gallon, although Malaysia produces more oil than we can consume. The DAP calls on the government to stop allowing price increase for controlled items, unless public hearings are held and the factories and industries concerned can prove to public satisfaction that such price increases are unavoidable.
With the increase in the building costs arising from the increase in the price of cement, the government should launch nation-wide public low-cost housing projects to help house the poor, or they will become poorer and live in worse conditions.