Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Yap Tau Sar, Kluang on Sunday, 28th July 1074 at 9 p.m.
1. Parliament to dissolve in the next few days
I expect Parliament to dissolve in the next few days, after the Monday and Tuesday meetings of Dewan Negara, followed by nomination within two weeks and polling within four weeks.
There is now a tussle in the National Front parties, like the MCA in Johore, for seats and candidatures. However, these struggles for parliamentary and State Assembly seats on the MCA ticket is not because of the need to highlight and articulate the miseries, sufferings and problems of the poor and the low-income groups in the Parliament and the State Assemblies, but because to those in the MCA, a Parliamentary or State Assembly seat is a ticket or passport to name, fame and even more important, riches.
In the last 20 years of Malaysian electoral history, MPs and State Assemblymen of the ruling party have invariably struck rich, and risen above their class, while the poor and downtrodden remain poor and neglected.
That the MCA is a party of the rich for the rich has been admitted by no other than the Prime Minister, Tun Razak, when he addressed the recent MCA Seminar of General Elections in Kuala Lumpur, where he asked the MCA to be less identified with the rich and the moneyed interests.
However, MCA will remain the same, a party controlled by the towkays for the interest of the towkays and those in the upper strata of society.
In fact, a MCA candidate for the coming general elections in Johore is going round asking for support from the people in the basis that he is going to be appointed Minister of Health.
This shows clearly the spirit and attitude of MCA parliamentary and State Assembly candidates – to serve oneself, and not to serve the suffering public.
This is why in the last 20 years, the rich have grown richer and the poor become poorer. This is why there are such obscene display of wealth and power, as the following instance reported in the Far Eastern Economic Review, which is available in any Malaysian book-shop:
“The Chief Minister of Sabah, Tun Datu Mustapha bin Dato Harun, recent unpublicized marriage to an Australian shop girl, 21-year old Helen Moore of Queensland, provided more excuses for generous spurges. The Tun has built her an A$1 million “modern palace” – an ll-bedroom, air-conditioned house with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a sauna bath – and a chandelier in each room. The house is protected by an electrified fence costing $85,000, with electronic ‘eyes’ at all strategic points.
“But that is not all. The Tun has bought up the venetian blind factory where his father-in-law worked, and made him a director. And for another A$80,000, he bought up a law-mover business where his brother-in-law was a workers and made him its managers.”
This report appeared in the July 22, 1974 issue of Far Eastern Economic Review, and shaves the big gap between the rich and the poor.
What the people in the coming general election should do is to demonstrate in no uncertain terms opposition to the economic policies of the government which has aggravated class inequality in the country, and their demand for a genuinely equitable economic policy which reduce the green disparity in the distribution of income between the haves and the have-nots.
2. DAP calls on the people of Johore to support DAP candidates to ensure that their voice are carried into Parliament and the Johore State Assembly.
In the 1969 general elections, the Alliance was all the 16 parliamentary seats in Johore, and lost only one State Assembly seat- to Sdr. Lee Kaw in the Gunong Lambak state seat.
In the last five years, it is clear that in Parliament the people of Johore did not have representative who could express and articulate their hopes and aspirations, fears and worries. Similarly, in the Johore State
Assembly, the poor could not be effectively represented as we had only one DAP State Assemblyman.
The people of Johore next month, during the general elections, should vote DAP Parliamentary and state assembly candidates to ensure that in the next five years, the people’s voice are heard in the parliamentary and the Johore Sate Assembly in a powerful fashion, so that they cannot be ignored by the government .
We are realistic enough that we cannot capture the Johore State government this coming round, but a strong and effective opposition in the Johore State Assembly would not only put the Johore Government on its toes by being more responsive to the needs and hopes of the people, but even more important , check abuses of power and corruption in our country.
The DAP’s aim in Johore in the coming elections is to have a band of Assemblyman elected into the Johore State Assembly, to open up the Assemblyman and state government proceedings to the public, so that the people can really participate in the decision-makings of the Johore Government.