Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Parliamentary candidate for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP General Elections Public Rally at Jalan Gelang (Ring Road), off Jalan Sungei Besi, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, August 18 at 9.30 p.m.
1. DAP challenge to Tun Razak to set up an all-party commission to investigate and expose unethical electoral practices like using money to buy voters or even of these parties.
Tun Razak has said that the withdrawal of Pekemas, PSRM and DAP candidates from the general elections is proof that the people had lost faith in the leaders of these parties.
By his same argument, the mass exodus of members from the National Front component parties to stand as Independents in the 1974 General Elections must be even stronger proof that the people have lost faith in the leaders of National Front and Tun Razak. So if the people have lost faith in Tun Razak, the National Front and the Opposition parties, then why are we having general elections?
If political leaders are not to make themselves look ridiculous, they should give mire thought to their statements and speeches.
We know that in the 1974 general elections, the National Front is spending a lot of money to win parliamentary and state seats. For instance, in my parliamentary constituency of Kota Melaka, the National Front is spending $800,000. They think they can buy the people of Malacca with $800,000.
Using money to buy votes is a highly unethical practice, which debases and corrupts politics. In the 1974 general elections, there is a new phenomenon. There is not only buying of votes, but also buying of candidates from Opposition parties.
I challenge Tun Razak to set up an all-party commission to investigate into and expose all unethical electoral practices like using money to buy votes and opposition candidates, if we want a clean political democracy, where the watchword of all politicians should be ‘public service’ and not ‘investment for future financial and material dividends.’
2. DAP wants the Public Complaints Bureau abolished and replaced by a Parliamentary Commissioner, who is independent of government control and answerable only to Parliament with full powers to investigate into the public’s complaints and grievances against misuse and abuse of power by government departments.
The DAP wants the Public Complaints Bureau abolished because they have failed to serve the people to attend to their problems and complaints relating to government abuses of power and other excesses. In fact, there are many cases where letters to the Public Complaints Bureau themselves have not been replied to, and there appears to be a need for a Complaints Bureau against the Public Complaints Bureau.
The Public Complaints Bureau should be abolished and replaced by a Parliamentary Commissioner or Ombudsman who is independent of government control and answerable to Parliament with full powers to investigate into the public’s complaint against misuse, abuse of power by government departments or other abuses in the relationship between the public and the government and to publicise all governmental shortcomings.
3. DAP calls for general wage increase and statutory minimum wage to protect workers from exploitation and the savages of inflation
The Labour Minister, Tan Sri Manickavasagam, said yesterday at the opening of the National Union of Bank Employees’ Union that the government is always prepared to amend the labour laws to help the workers.
This is merely election talk. For the last five years that I was in Parliament, I had repeatedly pressed on the Labour Minister of the need for drastic amendments to the labour laws which help employers rather than workers, but invariably I had been stonewalled.
What Tan Sri Manickavasagam should tell the people and the workers of Malaysia now is in what areas the government is considering amendment to the labour laws, and not engage in vague generalities which will evaporate into thin air after August 24.
The DAP want the workers in Malaysia to be given a new deal, to ensure that they are no more exploited as cheap labour. To achieve this, it is urgent and necessary to completely overhaul the anti-labour laws, to ensure that effective legal protection are given to workers to organise and free themselves from exploitation by capitalists. At present 90% of the working population are unorganised and they cannot be unionised without fear being intimidated, victimised and even dismissed.
The DAP also demands general wage increases for workers in the private and public sector to enable them to catch up with fantastic price increases. We also want a statutory minimum wage for workers, especially those in the new industries, to ensure that the exploitation of cheap Malaysians workers by local and foreign capitalist, who pay them the ridiculously low sum of $1.50 or $2 a day is abolished.
3. Why votes of Sungei Besi should vote Sdr. Fern Seong Tang, DAP Parliamentary candidate
Sdr. Farn Seong Tang is a trade unionist in the National Union of Bank Employees, and from his involvement in the fight for labour rights he appreciates the sufferings of the working class.
He would be able to represent the voice of the labour in Parliament if elected.
When we fielded Sdr. Lee Lam Thye to stand in the Bukit Nanas constituency in 1969 General Elections, he was also a complete unknown, very young, but full of zest, commitment and idealism. But now Lee Lam Thye has become a household word in Kuala Lumpur.
Similarly, we have fielded Farn Seong Tang in Sungei Besi, because through complete unknown, very young, he is full of zest, commitment and idealism, and we want to build up a new young DAP leader who will also become a household word after his election by his industry and dedication.