DAP calls for the establishment of a government unemployment fund to help the unemployed

Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Parliamentary Candidates for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP General Elections Public Rally at Alor Star on Monday, 19th August 1974 at 9 p.m.

1. DAP calls for the establishment of a government unemployment fund to help the unemployed

Unemployment is one of the major socio-economic problems in Malaysia. The various development plans have failed to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country. The government’s stated 7% unemployment is a gross underestimation and the unemployment rate easily exceeds 10%

The continued high rate of unemployment at 10% is indefensible from the point of view of income distribution. For this would mean that this 10% of the labour force have a zero share in the national income.

As the government planners themselves are incapable of creating full employment and give jobs to every Malaysian, then the government must take responsibility to assist and subsidise their livelihood from an unemployment fund.

In a modern society, every man and woman must have a constitutional right to work through no fault of his own but because of the inadequacies of the national economic planners, then every such person must have the constitutional right to be looked after by the State.

2. DAP wants university places to be doubled to let all Malaysians who have the requisite university entrance qualifications to be given opportunities for university education

For those taking university degree courses in the five Malaysian universities in 1970, there were 3,237 Malays, 4,009 Chinese, 595 Indians, 307 others, making a total of 8,148 undergraduates. For 1973, there were 6,188 Malays, 4,565 Chinese, 907 Indians, 89 others, making a total of 11,749. This means that for the period from 1970 to 1973, Malay university students increased by 2,951 or an increase of 91%, Chinese undergraduates by 556 or 14% increase, Indians by 312 or 69% increase.

These figures vividly explain the widespread feeling of uncertainty, insecurity and frustration among the non-Malays concerning the educational future fir their children.

Every Malaysian, including those from poor background, who has the intelligence, scholastic record, ability and inclination to pursue higher studies and develop his potential talents, so as to lead a fuller and more satisfying life and make a better contribution to society, must be given the opportunity to do so.

The DAP wants the higher university budget to be doubled so as to double the number of university places to provide for a new higher education policy whereby every Malaysian who have the requisite university entrance qualifications will be given opportunities for universities education.

3. Why the electors of Alor Star should vote Sdr. Karpal Singh

I call on the people of Alor Star to vote for Sdr. Karpal Singh because he has proved himself to be a fearless fighter for the underdog and the oppressed. A well-known civil rights lawyer, he had made a name for himself in defending the basic rights of Malaysian citizens from encroachments by the government.