Speech by DAP Member of Parliament for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, at the ninth anniversary dinner of the Sungei Way Khuan Loke Association in Sungei Way on Wednesday, 16th July 1978 at 8 p.m.
Call on the Government to heed the voice of the people expressed in the 1978 general elections results demanding changes in education, economic and nation building policies.
After the elections, there were rumours that the DAP was having talks about entering the Barisan Nasional and that Datuk Michael Chen was the middleman. Tonight, I sit on the same table with Datuk Michael Chen, and I do not know whether this will give rise to another new spate of rumours.
In actual fact, this is the first time I have me Datuk Michael Chen since the elections, and there is absolutely no truth to the rumours about DAP wanting to join the Barisan Nasional.
I do not want to talk about party politics tonight. What I want to emphasise is that as citizens we must all know our basic and constitutional rights, and be prepared to shoulder our responsibilities to defend these rights.
The 1978general elections results showed very clearly that the people of Malaysia want to have changes in the country, in educational, economic and the whole gamut of nation building policies. The people want to see government actions being taken to assure that our children would have higher educational opportunities in our own country. They want mother-tongue education like Chinese education being given its proper and rightful place in Malaysia. They want Merdeka University to be established as is the wish of the people. They want their children to get fair job opportunities in the country.
In a democratic country, a general elections is for the people to express their wishes; and after the elections, it is for the ruling party to make adjustments to its policies to conform with the people’s wishes as expressed I the elections.
In this connection, I call on the Government to heed the voice of the people in the 1978 general elections, and to make a thorough review of its education, economic and nation building policies and to make the necessary adjustments to fulfil the deeply-felt needs and desires of the people.
I thank the people of Sungei Way for their support in my election as Member of Parliament for Petaling. I will do my best to live up to their expectations.
The people have basic rights which they are entitled to fight for. These basic rights are divided into two categories constituency needs concerning their local government facilities and development. The other category is their basic rights and the future of their children.
Both these categories must be looked after, if our children are to enjoy an equal stake in the country in the years to come.