Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Parliamentary Candidate for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP General Elections Public Rally at Tanjong Malim on Sunday, 18th August 1974 at 7.30 p.m.
1. DAP calls for Commission of Inquiry to determine whether the New Economic Policy and the Second Malaysia Plan have benefitted the rich Malays and poor Malays
The second prong of the New Economic Policy and the Second Malaysian society to correct economic imbalances, so as to reduce and eventually eliminate the identification of race with economic function.
It is evident that the restructuring of the economic imbalances in the country in the last five years under the Second Malaysia Plan has been used to benefit the rich Malays to the detriment of the poor Malays.
In the other words, instead of narrowing the gap between the haves and the have-nots, the Second Malaysia Plan has widened the gap between the rich and the poor, especially among the Malays.
The aim of the Second Malaysia Plan is to create a small Malay capitalist class to keep company with the MCA and MIC capitalists, while the Malay poor, together with the Chinese and Indian poor, are left to struggle by themselves to eke out a miserable existence.
I will give some examples:
(1) Scholarships and bursaries
Many scholarships and study awards are monopolised by children of well-to-do Malay families, depriving deserving Malays pupils from poor families of a chance to better themselves.
(2) Taxi licences: Taxi and other transport licences are given out to Malays who have connections and strings to pull, to defeated Alliance and National candidates, while the genuine Malay taxi drives are deprived of them. Many Malays with proper connections with th Communications Ministry possess not one but several taxi licences. They do not drive the taxis themselves but hire them out to the taxi drives spawning a parasitic, unproductive class of Malays at the expense of both the poor Malays and poor non-Malays.
(3) Land, timber and mining concession: The sorry tale of state-sponsored middle men as mentioned with regard to taxi and other transport licences repeat itself in the granting of land, forest and mining concessions. It is the rich and the well-to-do and well-connected who are given these concessions while the genuinely poor Malays do not benefit.
I therefore challenge the National Front to set up a Commission of Inquiry to find out whether the New Economic Policy and the Second Malaysia Plan in its operation for the last five years have benefitted the rich Malays or the poor Malays.
If the National Front genuinely believes that its Second Malaysia Plan and New Economic Policy benefits the poor, then it should welcome the opportunity for such a public opportunity to vindicate itself. Its reluctance and refusal to hold such a public investigation can only mean that its record under the Second Malaysia Plan cannot bear public scrutiny, but can only be the subject of propaganda through the controlled mass media, like radio, television and the press.
2. DAP challenge to all National Front candidates to individually declare their stand on the National Front education system which fails 10,00 to 20,000 above-average, intelligent Malaysian students because of failure in Bahasa Malaysia
One the gravest injustices in Malaysia is the education system of the National Front which fails 10,000 to 20,000 above-average, intelligent and hardworking Malaysian students at the MCE level, although they get a host of distinctions, but because of their failure in Bahasa Malaysia .
There is simply no reason, explanation or justification for such a scandalous education system, for if there are proper teachers and a competent education system, such a gross wastage and mass failures would never occur. The excuse by extremists that these students deserve to fail because they do not pay enough serious attention to Bahasa Malaysia is all bunkum and rubbish, for every student knows that if he or she fails in Bahasa Malaysia, then he or she would fail the entire examination. We have so many examples in every part of the country where students who have distinguished themselves in school in Bahasa Malaysia still fail in the MCE examination. Why is this?
In 1970, the first year when Bahasa Malaysia was made a compulsory paper, 8,000 students were failed because of this subject, although they would have got Grade Ones if they had passed in Bahasa Malaysia. This was when Parliament had not yet been reconvened.
In 1971, when Parliament reconvened, and DAP Members of Parliament had taken their places in Parliament and proved that they would stand up fearlessly for the people’s interests and rights, there was a lower figure of failures – 6,000 failures.
In 1972, after the PPP and the Gerakan had betrayed the people’s trust and joined the coalition governments and the National Front, which gave the ruling parties the belief that their policies had secured greater public support, that year, there were 14,000 failures.
In 1973, last year, when the National front was formally declared with the addition of PAS into the coalition governments, giving the ruling parties greater illusion of even more widespread support, ??, there were 20,000 failures at the MCE level because of Bahasa Malaysia.
If we add up all these failures of the last four years, we find that some 50,000 of our children have become victims of this scandalous MCE education system.
I want to know what all the MCA, Gerakan, PPP and National Front Ministers, Members of Parliament and national leaders have to say about this grave educational injustice. In fact, they are now asking the people to vote and support the National Front candidates, which in effect would mean support and endorse their education policies which in the last four years failed 50,000 intelligent, hard-working, above-average Malaysian students.
I challenge every individual National front candidate to declare his stand on this issue, and to state whether every one of them is prepared to pledge that of this wasteful, unjust education system is not immediately stopped, they would withdraw from the National Front – for they must be prepared to stand firmly by the people’s interests and not just think of preserving their place of favour in the National Front.
3. Lim Kit Siang urges people of Tanjong Malim to vote for Sdr. Ibrahim Singgeh
I call on the voters of Tanjong Malim to vote for Sdr. Ibrahim Singgeh as their Member of Parliament. The DAP General Executive Committee has picked him to be our Mentri Besar of Perak should we capture the Perak State Government. Sdr. Ibrahim Singgeh has gone to jail in the fight to drive out the British colonialists. In the last five years as Perak State Assembly leader for DAP, he had proved himself as a leader of all people, regardless of race, who is a champion for the underdog. I have no doubt that Sdr. Ibrahim Singgeh, who is no stranger to Tanjong Malim, will not only be a worth representative of the people in Tanjong Malim, he would also be able to be the spokesman of all Malaysian throughout the country in Parliament.