Speech by DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, at a Pre-General Elections Rally at Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, on Friday, 2nd August 1974 at 9 p.m.
1. DAP calls on the government to rescind its decision to treble the deposit money for Parliamentary and State candidates
The government has announced the trebling of deposits for Parliamentary candidates from $500 to $1,500 and for State Assembly candidates from $250 to $750.
The raising of the deposits has made politics in Malaysia even more of a rich man’s game, with the result that the voice of the poor will have less chance to be heard in Parliament and the State Assemblies.
The DAP calls on the government to rescind its new decision to treble deposit money so that the general elections is a contest of ideas and political ideology, and not a contest of money, and to ensure that politics does not become a new monopoly of the wealthy and rich.
2. National Front’s sole aim in the coming general elections is to try to destroy the DAP
In the coming general elections, the National Front is only worried about the DAP, which has proved itself. In the last five years, inside Parliament and the State Assemblies, as the only Opposition party in the country which is prepared to oppose the National Front not only on minor and trivial matters, but even more important, on basic and fundamental issues as well.
The DAP’s opposition to the Constitution Amendment in 1971 which limited further the fundamental right of Malaysians to freedom of speech is a good instance. Even the Pekemas MPs, like Dr. Tan Chee Khoon, Mr. Yeoh Teck Chye, V. Veerappen and V. David, who campaigned in the 969 general elections on the platform of denying the alliance the two-thirds majority to prevent them from tampering with the Constitution, all supported this drastic tampering with Constitution.
The National Front will use all sorts of tactics to challenge the DAP. One of the favourite tricks of the ruling parties is to sooner’ approved opposition parties or even independents’ to split opposition votes.
In other words, it will sponsor false opposition parties which will try to confuse the people and disunite them.
In this connection, it is noteworthy that the founder-leader of Pekemas, K.George, when he resigned as Executive Secretary of Pekemas last month, said as one of his reasons, the following:
“The formation of the Opposition Front failed because there was no honesty purpose in some of our leaders. When the Working Committee considered and accepted the membership of Dr. Soorian and Samuel Raj, the committee was not informed of the suggestion made by the DAP and Pekemas that they should refrain from accepting expelled member from either party.”
“The other reason for the failure of the Opposition Front is more serious. While negotiations were going on with other opposition parties during the Budget Session, some of our leaders were also talking with the Alliance leaders with the object of joining the National Front, which we have repeatedly rejected and condemned as a farce.”
No Pekemas leader has commented on this serious allegation by one of their own leaders, although K. George made this allegation to Pekemas Secretary-General in his resignation letter on 16th June 1974.
We leave it to the people to decide what role the Pekemas leaders are playing in the coming general elections.
3. DAP calls on Tun Razak to pay 13th month salary to all government employees to help them fight inflation
The government has been dragging its feet in revising the salaries of the government servants to enable them to fight inflation and restore their living standards which have been reduced because of uncontrolled price increases.
The DAP calls on the Prime Minister, Tun Razak, not to delay any longer and to pay all government employees a 13th month salary free from income tax to enable them to support themselves and families in conditions prevailing before the inflation.
4. DAP to fight for minimum wage legislation in the coming general elections
The DAP will make the introduction of statutory minimum wages for workers as one of our main general elections call.
The workers in Malaysia have been too long exploited as cheap labour for the excessive profit-making by foreign and local capitalist who lack a social conscience.
The DAP will be fielding several trade unionists who will fight vigorously for the workers’ rights in Parliament and the State Assemblies. In the last five ears, there was an Opposition Member of Parliament who occupied the number one trade union post in the country, but in Parliament, he has hardly anything to say about the problems and sufferings of the workers, let alone the other ills in the country.
In fact, he seemed to be in great rapport with the government benches and the Labour Minister.
What workers in Malaysia need are Member of Parliament who can make the voice of labour heard in Parliament and the State Assemblies, so that they lot can be improved and their place in society given their rightful recognition. We in the DAP will continue, as in the last five years, to champion the cause of the workers.