Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Parliamentary Candidate for Kota Melaka at a DAP General Elections Public Rally at Batu Pahat on Wednesday, 14th August 1974 at 7 p.m.
1. DAP calls on the Malaysian voters to vote the Rocket candidates to show their opposition to the taxation policies of the National Front which hit the poor harder than the rich and demonstrate their demand for the abolition of the Sales Tax.
In the last 17 years, the Alliance and now the National Front have implemented financial and taxation policies which hit the poor harder than the rich.
Thus, the government placed greater reliance on indirect taxation, which is regressive in that the poor have to shoulder the same burden as the rich, when the poor are less financially able to do so.
A progressive country will make greater reliance on direct taxation, which at present only constitutes only 31% of the total tax revenue, so that the guiding taxation policy should be on the basis of ability to pay. There should be less borrowings by the government to make Malaysia a debtor country.
I also call on the Malaysian voters to solidly vote for the DAP to demonstrate their opposition to the taxation policies of the Government, and in particular, the Sales Tax, which had played a big role in sparking inflation in the country.
It is difficult to understand why the government has refused to make changes on income tax relief for individuals, as the rate of $2,000 a year and $1,000 for wife and the rates for children were fixed 30 years ago. Now, with the inflation hitting over 20% annual increase, the government should double the income tax relief for individuals from $2,000 a year to $4,000 a year and other exemption entitlements for wives and dependents.
The time has also come for separate income tax assessment for working wives, and income tax exemptions for supporting aged parents in accordance with Asian way of life.
Those who are rich should be required to pay higher income tax rates to meet the financial needs of the country.
2. Lim Kit Siang calls for the establishment of institutions like the Bank Bumiputra, MARA, PERNAS and others to help the non-Malay poor to stand on their own feet in commerce and industry
The Second Malaysia Plan and the New Economic Policy talks about eliminating poverty regardless of race. It is a painful truth however truth however that in the last five years, the have-nots and the poor have been sorely neglected. Although the GNP of Malaysia and national per capita income increases, there has no been any steady reduction of inequality and the elimination of poverty.
In fact, in a situation of increasing GNP, the poor have become poorer because the benefits of the economic growth and development have been reaped by the top 10 per cent rich in the country.
I want to expose the myth that the economic imbalance in Malaysia is between the Malays and non Malays. The real economic imbalance is between the Malaysians and foreigners, dominate and control 70% of our national economy.
The government should establish bodies like the Bank Bumiputra, MARA, PERNAS and others to help the non-Malay poor to stand up on their own feet in commerce and industry, to give meaning to the Second Malaysia Plan objective of eliminating poverty regardless of race.
The DAP has fielded six Parliamentary Candidates for Johore for this general elections, namely Lee Kaw for Kluang, Lee Ah Mong for Segamat, Liew Fatt Yuen for Rengam and Quek Kow Hia for Johore Bahru.
I call on the people of Johore to back all our Parliamentary candidates so that they will have Members of Parliament who dare to stand up and speak up for their nights and interests, and unlike the Johore Members of Parliament for the last 15 years, who know only how to put up their hands during a vote and say ‘yes’.