Statement by DAP Secretary-General, Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka and State Assemblyman for Kubu, Lim Kit Siang, at a Press conference at DAP Malacca State Headquarters at 33A Jalan Munshi Abdullah, on Friday, 30th August 1974 at 11 a.m.
1. Call on leaders and members of Pekemas and other opposition parties and groups to join force with the DAP to present a strong opposition force to the National Front and promote the development of a two-party system in Malaysia
In the 1974 General Elections, the DAP succeeded in foiling the attempt of the National Front to impose a one-party state and government by the total elimination of Opposition parliamentary and state assembly candidates through a combination of unfair and undemocratic methods, e.g. the short campaign period; the control of the mass media especially radio and television; and the mass deregistration of voters especially in the urban areas where the National Front is unable to secure general popular support.
Although there was a multiplicity of parties and candidates contesting in the 1974 General Elections, the battle was really between the DAP and the National front, for the DAP stands for a clear-cut set of economic, educational, political, social and cultural policies.
The 1974 general elections results showed that the political battle in Malaysia for the next five years will be between the DAP and the National Front.
This is also a healthy democratic development for it paves the way for the promotion of a two-party system. The leaders and members and Parti Pekemas and other opposition groups and parties should realise from the 1974 general election results that the most sensible political decision for them to take is to join the DAP to present and enable a clear development of a two-party system. This will and the useless frittering away of energy, resources and manpower in opposition attempts which cannot get the people’s support, as manifested by the general elections results where over $100,000 was lost in terms of Parliamentary and state deposits forfeited for failing to secure one-eighth of the votes cast. The Pekemas, for instance, lost $48,000 for 17 Parliamentary and 62 State Assembly candidates who lost deposits.
2. DAP welcomes all idealistic young Malaysians to join our ranks in the battle for the next general elections in five years’ time
The DAP is generally satisfied with our 1974 General elections performance, except for several disappointments, especially Penang. In the last few days, many young Malaysians have shown their interest to join the DAP to start immediately preparing for the next general elections in five years’ time.
The DAP welcome all like-minded Malaysians to join us in the long political struggle to bring about radical political, economic, and social changes in Malaysia so that every Malaysian can feel fully part of this country.
We cannot offer them titles, wealth, position or money, but only the satisfaction of fighting for one’s beliefs and standing up for the rights and interests of Malaysians in the struggle to establish democratic socialist, genuinely multi-racial Malaysia.
All young Malaysians who are interested in joining our ranks should contact our new MPs and State Assemblymen, or all our DAP branches and offices.
3. Lim Kit Siang thanks people of Kota Melaka for their continued support and is making arrangements to shift his family to Malacca for permanent stay
I want to thank again the voters and people of Kota Melaka for their continued support for me and my colleagues in the DAP. I am particularly impressed by the determination of the people of Malacca to cast their precious vote despite the many difficulties and hardships on polling day, where voters had to wait under the hot sun sometimes for as long as two or three hours. I shall take up this inefficient voting system and call for a thorough reform of the voting procedure when Parliament meets.
I am making arrangements to shift my family to Malacca for permanent stay. As this is now coming to the end of the school year, I expect to bring my family to Malacca at the end of the year.
A thanksgiving party will be held next Saturday to thank all members and supporters who had worked and sacrificed themselves for the cause of the DAP and the people during the elections campaign period.
4. Lim Kit Siang to seek a meeting with Tun Razak to raise the plight of the 600 Malacca fishermen
I am seeking a meeting with Prime Minister, Tun Razak, to bring to his personal attention the plight of the 600 fishermen in Malacca arising from the insecurity of fishing in the high seas.
The majority of them are grounded in Malacca for they just dare not go out to fish in the Strait of Malacca. As a result, their dependants exceeding 3,000 people are grave economic hardships.
The Malacca State Government, together with the Central Government, are duty-bound to come out and look after the interests of the Malacca fishermen.
What the Malaysian Government should do is to reach an understanding with Indonesian authorities to allow Malaysian fisherman to take out fishing licence to fish in Indonesian waters. Otherwise, the Malaysian authorities should ban Indonesian fishing vessels from selling their catches in Malacca, which has only added to the economic hardships of the Malacca fishermen.
We are told that the National Front MPs now belong to a new breed, who do not look after the interests of tycoons and rich towkays only, but will look after the welfare of the poor. I hope that the newly-elected National Front MPs will prove themselves, and in this regard I invite the newly-elected Member of Parliament of Batu Berendam, Tan Sri Chong Han Nyan, in whose constituency a considerable member of fisherman are staying, can join me in persuading the Central and State Government to intervene actively to protect and help Malacca fishermen.
5. DAP Challenge Elections Commission Chairman, Tan Sri Ahmad Perang, to declare whether the vote is a secret one or not.
There has been considerable public doubt as to whether the vote is secret. This is caused by the polling clerk nothing down the electoral code number of every voter on the counterfoil.
Although I have been told by election commission officials that this has been done in every general elections and by-dection in the past, the Elections Commission must convince the people that this is necessary and that vote is secret.
I will pursue this matter with the Elections Commission and in Parliament at its first meeting.
6. DAP Constituency Service arrangements of Kota Melaka
We have finalised plans for constituency service to the people of Kota Melaka. The DAP Office at 33A Jalan Munshi Abdullah will be open daily during weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and every morning, it will be looked after by a DAP State Assemblyman.
Meanwhile, we are making plans to open up branches in Tranquerah, Bandar Hilir and Pringgit which will also become constituency offices for these state constituencies.
We welcome Malacca youths from these areas who want to join us in continuing the next phase of the DAP struggle to contact me or our State Assemblymen or officials.
I will be going round the constituency to thank the people for their support and to find out their problems. I hope to cover the whole constituency by the end of this year.