Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Johore DAP State Sub-Committee Meeting at Kluang DAP premises on Sunday, 8th Sept. 1974 at 10 a.m.
1. DAP calls on the new Finance Minister, Dato Hussein Onn, and his Deputy, Tan Sri Chong Hon Nyan, to make bold financial innovations in their first new budget for 1975 and lessen the financial and economic hardships of the small men and women in Malaysia
In the last18 years since Independence, although Malaysia as a nation chalks up economic progress and development, there was little attention given to the distribution problem of the wealth and income in the country. As a result, despite the annual rising GNP and the rising national per capital income, there was greater inequality in the distribution of income and wealth among Malaysians whereby the rich become richer and the poor poorer; where by unemployment not only mounts, but educated unemployment became a serious national problem.
Every year, the Financial Minister’s budget adds to the financial burden of the poor and the middle incomes, who are already very tightly squeezed by inflation and the reduced purchasing power of the Malaysian ringgit.
I take this opportunity to call on the new Finance Minister, Dato Hussein Onn, and his deputy, Tan Sri Chong Hon Nyan, to break from past fiscal policies and make bold financial innovations in their first budget for 1975 which aims at lessening the social and economic burdens of the small men and women in Malaysia.
In this connection, I command the following fiscal measures for their 1975 budget:
(1) ABOLISH the Sales Tax and the import surtax to bring down the inflationary trend in the country;
(2) DOUBLE the income tax relief for individuals from $2,000 a year to $4,000 a year and other exemption entitlement for wives and dependents;
(3) Separate income tax assessment for working wives;
(4) Income tax exemptions for supporting aged parents in accordance with the Asian way of life;
(5) Raising the income tax for Higher income groups.
Dato Hussein Onn should order an immediate review of Employees’ Provident Fund investment and financial policies to ensure that workers fully benefit from their hard-earned savings, as why raising the interest rates of EPF contributions by workers as an advance for the purchase of houses. Most important of all, the investment of EPF contribution should be concentrated on projects which can directly benefit the workers, as in building public housing for workers, instead of the present EPF investment policy in making use of the workers’ contributions for unnecessary and extravagant spending by the government, as in building the multi-million dollar Senai Airport.
2. DAP has instructed our lawyers to proceed in the suit of defamation against Thung Pao, Radio and Television Malaysia for a false report concerning a speech by Kua Tse Tui during the general elections
The DAP has given instructions to our lawyers to proceed with the suit of defamation against Malayan Thung Pao, Radio and Television Malaysia for publishing and broadcasting a report during the general elections which is false and untrue, and as a result, bringing our Tangkak Branch official, Kua Tse Tui, into public ridicule and contempt.
On August 17, the Malayan Thung Pao reported that Kua Tse Tui has said at a Segamat rally at Kampong Abdullah that the DAP was opposed to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.
This was a falsehood, as a result of which Kua Tse Tui was humiliated by the feelings the public and other members of the Party expressed about him.
3. DAP to take out an election petition to challenge the election of Ng Nam Seng of Bekok
The DAP has also instructed our lawyers to take out an election petition the election of the MCA State Assemblyman for Bekok, Ng Nam Seng. Our DAP candidate was disqualified from standing in Bekok, resulting in Ng Nam Seng being returned unopposed, for failing to till one particular; when a MCA candidate in Negri Sembilan was not disqualified although he made precisely the same mistake despite a similar objection.
There must be one rule applicable for all candidates, and it is to the future public interests that a ruling be secured that returning officers cannot make rules as and when they like, but should conform to one rule.
4. Call to Johore DAP Branches to begin to work hard and plan for parliamentary and state assembly success in the next general elections
General elections and political struggle is not a past-time but a full-time commitment of one’s life, energies and time for the betterment of society and the people. This is why for DAP, there can be no holidays although we have just fought a general elections.
I urge all DAP branches to start work immediately to plan for the next general elections. I am confident that in five years’ time, there will be a swing for the DAP, and we must start working now to lay the basis for Parliamentary and more state assembly successes in Johore the next round.