Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, to Serdang Baru DAP Branch tea-party during hus official visit to Serdang Bahru new village on Wednesday, 12th Oct. 1977 at 8 p.m.
Challenge to all MCA and MCA Youth branches throughout the country to declare whether they support DAP motion in Parliament that Malaysia ratifies the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 which was adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 16, 1966
I have given notice to Parliament of a third motion I intend to move when Parliament meets from Oct. 24 to mid-December. This motion will ask the Malaysian Government to ratify within one month the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 which was adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 6, 1966.
Although the Covenant was opened for signature on December 19, 1966, the Malaysian Government has not yet ratified it.
The failure of the Malaysian Government to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, which spells out the human rights which State should accord to individuals, is a reflection of the weak commitment of the Malaysian Government to human rights in the country and in the world.
Or particular interest to Malaysians at the moment is Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which reads:
“Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women.”
The essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975 which makes it mandatory to sentence children, whatever their age, to death is a clear infringement of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which is probably one reason why the Malaysian Government has to date refused to ratify the Covenant.
The national and international revulsion to the case of the 14-year-old Penang Form One schoolboy sentenced to death for unlawful possession of a pistol and ammunition has highlighted the wickedness of the law.
Now MCA leaders and branches are making noises of concern, asking for the life of the 14-year-old boy to be spared. Even Gerakan leaders like Dr. Tan Tiong Hiong did not want to be left out, announcing that he had appointed a lawyer to study the case of the 14-year-old boy. (In this connection, I want to ask Dr. Tan why s it necessary to appoint a lawyer to study this case? Is he himself incapable, unqualified or incompetent to understand the consequences of Essential (Security Cases) Regulations and the death sentence passed on the 14-year-old boy?)
I would personally welcome support from all quarters, about the injustice of the death sentence even from the MCA and Gerakan, provided they are genuine and sincere, and not to make political propaganda.
It is indeed no use MCA leaders and branches, or even the Gerakan, trying to express concern for the 14-year-old boy, when Malaysians know that without the support of the MCA and the Gerakan Ministers and Members of Parliament, the Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975 would not have become the law of the land, and the 14-year-old boy from Penang would not have to be sentences mandatorily to death by the Penang High Court.
What the MCA and the Gerakan leaders must tell the people now is whether they will vote for the repeal of the Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975 which makes it mandatory to pass the death sentence on children on conviction.
I challenge MCA and MCA Youth branches throughout the country to declare whether they support the DAP motion in the forthcoming meeting of Parliament that Malaysian Government ratifies the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 which prohibits death sentence to be passed on children below 18 years of age, and would instruct MCA Ministers and MPs to support and vote for the DAP motion.
If the MCA and MCA Youth leaders and branches dare not respond to this challenge, and take a clear-out stand, then they will be exposed as again hypocrites and as “cats weeping for mice”.
Letter to President Carter to explain his “human rights” statement
Malaysians share my astonisnment when they heard recently news bulletins over Radio and Television Malaysia quoting the American President Carter praising Malaysia as a “model of Human rights for other countries to follow”. I have written to President Carter to ask him to clarify this report and his stand on human rights in Malaysia.
Contrary to some thinking human rights is not a luxury for the people, but a vital necessity if the diverse races in Malaysia are to unite and progress in a democratic, united and harmonious future.
The DAP will continue inside and outside Parliament and State Assemblies to press for fundamental changes in government policies for the benefit of the rakyat, and not just a handful of political and economic elites in the ruling parties. We will continue to speak out against all forms of government a buse of power and actions which disregard the basic rights of the different communities in the country.
DAP calls for immediate transfer of PJ Municipal President for failing to understand the multi-racial sensitive of the people
One recent example is the removal of the Chinese language on the road signs in Sungei Way New Village by the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council, when these Chinese characters have been there for over 20 years. This is an action of a Municipality which is insensitive and indifferent to the multi0racial sensitivities of the population, and which must be condemned.
The PJ Municipal President should be immediately suspended by the State Government for this action, which will harm and setback all work of nation-building in the country. I call on the Selangor State Executive Council to convene an emergency meeting to discuss this matter, and have the PJ Municipal President immediately suspended and transferred away. As the MCA Youth National Secretary is Lee Kim Sai, who is also a Selangor State EXCO member, he should immediately demand an emergency State Exco meeting and demand the suspension of the PJ Municipal President. Official actions must be dealt with officially. Let us see whether Lee Kim Sai is bark is equal to his bite or whether he is all bark and no bite. The State Exco should apologise to the residents of Sungei Way for this disrespect by the PJ Municipal ad restore the Chinese characters to the road signs in Sg. Way.