Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, today issued the following statement:
DAP calls on New Village Minister, Michael Chen, and State Government to end the red-tape, delays and government inefficiency and to issue titles to the new villagers in Kinta Valley.
Yesterday, on the first day of my visit to the Batu Gajah Parliamentary Constituency, I visited the Kampar State Assembly constituency in the company of the DAP M.P. for Batu Gajah, Sdr. Chian Heng Kai, the DAP State Assemblyman for Kampar, Sdr. Chan Heng Who, Malacca State Assemblyman Sdr. Bernard Sta Maria, local branch officials and members.
The purpose of this visit is to find out for myself the constituency services of elected representatives of the Party, and to learn about the problem faced by the people.
I came across may problems which need immediate government attention and action, and which had been neglected by the State and Federal government agencies and the ruling parties for too long.
Thus, on my visit Membang Diawan New Village, I found to my shock that despite the several years’ of speeches, propaganda and publicity by MCA and Barisan Ministers, officials and members, not a single title has been issued to the villagers.
There are many who paid their premiums in 1961 but who have been issued titles for the 14 years! This is not the work of an action-oriented, dynamic and effective government, but the work of a lazy, incompetent, indifferent and totally unqualified government.
As a Malaysian citizen, and as a Member of Parliament, I am thoroughly ashamed that such incompetence and indifference at such a scale not only exists, but continues without any immediate recognition by the Barisan Nasional, Gerekan, MCA, UMNO, and PPP leaders about the need to take immediate action.
I understand that this state of affairs, where people who have paid premiums 14 years ago, are still without their titles, is common in the entire Kinta Valley. All the more shame to the Barisan Nasional Government, to all the leaders of the UMNO, MCA, Gerekan and PPP who make up the Barisan Government.
The Minister for New Villages and Housing, Mr. Michael Chen, visited Membang Diawan recently, but there was no help from him to solve this matter of issuing titles to the new villagers.
Furthermore, these titles are for 30-year leases. Unless the government wake up and take effective action, the leases may expire and the titles may still have not come out yet.
I call on the New Village Minister, Mr. Michael Chen, and the Perak State Government, to work out an emergency programme to issue titles to the new villagers. The DAP and the people cannot accept all the excuse and reasons which the State Government has given for the delays in the issue of titles. The delays are all man-made, and can be man-unmade;
Furthermore, at the meeting of Perak DAP State Assemblymen tonight, Is hall instruct DAP Perak State Assemblymen to press this issue of the immediate release and issue of titles to the new villagers at every meeting of the Perak State Assembly until the titles are all issued.
DAP calls for the conversion of 30-year titles to 90year leases.
Secondly, the New Village Minister, Mr. Michael Chen and the State Government, should take up the problem of converting the 30-year leases into 90-year leases or 60-year leases without any additional premiums.
The now villagers are Malaysians citizens, and have a right to title which can give then security and a stake in the country.
DAP calls for a special Felda resettlement scheme to settle at least 1,000 new villagers in 1976 to multi-recialise Felda schemes.
When speaking to Perak new village leaders in Kuala Lumpur recently, Mr. Michael Chen said that his Ministry is taking steps to multi-racialise new villages.
New villagers face the pressing problem of land shortage, and more and more new villagers are growing up to join the array of landless and homeless.
What Mr. Michael Chen must do is to help this new army of new village landless and homeless youths.
Mr. Michael Chen said that new villagers should join Felda schemes if they want land. I remember this was also what the former New Village Minister, Dr. Lim Keng Taik, had suggested. But as Cabinet Minister, he should not take suggestions which are meaningless. Will Felda accept new villagers onto their schemes?
Mr. Michael Chen should have as his first priority to find cutlets for new village increase of population. This can be done through the establishment of special Felda schemes to settle new villagers, which will also multi-racialise Felda settlements, as at present, some 98% of the Felda settlements of over 20,000 families are given to Malays.
The DAP therefore calls for the settlement of at least 1,000 new villagers in these Felda schemes by 1976, to correct the racial imbalance in the Felda settlements, and to provide economic cutlets for new villagers.
I will like to know whether Mr. Michael Chen support this proposal of nine, and undertake to secure Cabinet approval and implementation of this scheme.
Government should provide a buffer to help tin-mining workers tide over economic hardships arising from restriction of tin production.
As a result of restriction and limitation in tin production by the government, the 400,000 tin mining workers are seriously hit, suffering reduction in work-days and take-home pay. Some 20 tin0mies in Kampar areas has been closed down.
Just as there is an international tin buffer to help the tin-producing countries tide through low tin prices, the government must establish a scheme to help the tin-mining workers retrenched or working short-time buffer the economic hardships arising from this International Tin programme.
It is because of the economic decline that there is a sharp increase in crime rate, not only in Kampar, but throughout the country. A responsible government cannot just ignore these national problems.