Lim Kit Siang calls on the people to be tough with election canvassers and speakers

Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Parliamentary Candidate for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in a DAP General Elections Public Rally speech in Klang on Saturday, 17th August 1974 at 7.30 p.m.

1. Lim Kit Siang calls on the people to be tough with election canvassers and speakers who try to frighten the people with predictions of another May 13

The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Encik Haniff Omar, said in Ipoh yesterday that the agents of the Malayan Communist Party are going round trying to frighten the people with predictions of another May 13 to try to disrupt the general elections.

There is no doubt than in many states, canvassers of National Front candidates have gone around trying to vote for the National Front and openly or subtly forecasting another May 13 if National Front candidates do not win.

It is clear from the statement of the Acting Inspector-General of police that these are anti-national elements who are trying to cause trouble. I call on the police to take stern action against these canvassers who come from National Front candidates to prevent them carrying out their dastardly acts.

I also call on the voters to get broomsticks ready in their houses, and if any canvasser come to their house and suggest that there would be another May 13 if their National Front candidates do not win, to knock these canvassers over the head and hand them over to the police, as our country cannot permit such irresponsible anti-national elements to disrupt our society.

I also call on the Police to take action against all the National Front speakers who suggest about trouble in the country if their candidates do not win. They are no different from the previous category of people. We are keeping a record of all these speeches, and we went the Police to take act on against them, no matter whether they are ordinary candidates or are Ministers. Every National Front speaker who makes any suggestion of May 13, whether he is a Minister, should be arrested.

These tactics to frighten the people and about predictions of another possible May 13 are highly irresponsible and unfounded, especially as the National Front is assured of forming the next Government in Malaysia with Tun Razak continuing as Prime Minister. Even in Selangor , UMNO is assured to continuing, this has been made fairly certain following the most undemocratic measure of abolishing the nine Selangor State Assembly seats from Kuala Lumpur by making it the Federal Territory.

I call on all political parties, especially the National Front, to stop its campaign of fear and intimidation, and to let the people of Malaysia a full, free opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote on August 24.

2. Call on the Elections Commission to allow every Malaysian who is a citizen to cast his vote in the August 24 general elections in the Parliamentary and State constituency where he is legally resident

The high rate of the cancellation of the rights of Malaysians to vote this time is indeed scandalous. I have just met a family in Damansara who had not moved house for the last ten years, who had voted in the 1969 general elections, but who have found that the whole family of seven voters have been removed from the electoral register.

What is the cause of this mass disenfranchisement of the right of Malaysian citizen to vote? Surely, the full meaning of being a Malaysia citizen is lost if he is robbed of his right to vote to help decide the destiny of this country.

The revision of the electoral register is the most scandalous and undemocratic in the history of Malaysia elections. Throughout the country, at least 30% of the urban citizens who are eligible to vote are not on the electoral book – either they have not registered, or they have be de-registered. In numerous cases, you find the husband and wife who had voted in 1969 and had not moved house, either the husband removed from the book with the wife still entitled to vote, or the wife removed from the electoral register with the husband having lost the right to vote. What explanation can the Elections Commission and the National Front give for such frequent inconsistencies and illogicalities, expect that there had been underhand tactics in the drawing up of electoral registers?

The National Front knows that on average, out of any 10 urban voters at random, eight or nine are Rocket votes while one or two are National Front voters. So if they cancel at random the urban votes, out of ten they may lose one or two , but the DAP out lose eight or nine votes.

The voters’ registration system in Malaysia is the most undemocratic in the whole ???, and it must be totally scraped and overhauled if there is to be a meaningful democratic process.

I call on the National Front Government and the Elections Commission to allow every Malaysian who is a citizen to-cast his vote on the August 24 general elections in the Parliamentary and State constituency where he is legally resident as shown on his identity card.

I challenge all the National Front candidates to declare whether they support this proposal of mine, and whether they are prepared to make a firm stand on this issue.

3. Challenge to Dato Harun bin Idris to declare his assets and his next of kin to the public for public scrutiny

In the last few months, the Bangi scandal has rocked the Selangor State. Dato Karun has denied all imputations of corrupt practices, although Tun Razak has said in Parliament that the National Bureau of Investigations is making investigations, although up to now, no news about those investigations have been heard.

I challenge Dato Harun bin Idris, as Selangor Mentri Besar, UMNO Vice President and UMNO Youth Leader, who preaches the Rukunegara one of the principles called for good morality and behaviour, to set a good Rukunegara example to making public his personal assets and those of his next kin for public scrutiny to satisfy the people of Selangor and Malaysia that he is beyond reproach.

This, surely, would not be a difficult thing to do, if he is really sincere in wanting to set a good public example that Ministers and Menteri Besars, should not only be free from corruption and malpractices, but be seen to be free from corruption and malpractices. There is no better way than to do what I have challenged him.