By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, on Tuesday, 17th July 1979:
1. Call on MAS management to take back the 33 MAS employees who have not been re-employed
Following the MAS-AEU dispute, and the full resumption of MAS services after the deregistration of the Airline Employees Union, the MAS management had taken back all its employees except for 31 workers.
I call on the MAS management to take back 31 MAS employees who come from various departments, and that the management should not follow a policy of discrimination. The MAS management must be fair in the re-employment of MAS employees, so that a long-term basis could be laid for sound employer-employee relationship in the national air service.
I understand that the MAS management has taken back some very active AEU activists, which is to be commended. But there are a few who played a comparatively minor role who had not been taken back. This would be most unfair.
I understand that out of those who were detained under the Internal Security Act during the MAS-AEU crisis, 13 have not been taken back. The MAS management should take them back, especially as the Minister of Home Affairs, Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie, had given an undertaking to them that they would not be penalized.
2. Call to Selangor and Rawang MCA to stop playing politics with the sufferings of the Sungai Buloh Leprosarium inmates, and to stop their opposition to lift the clamp-down on the freedom of movement of inmates and patients
The inability of the Health Minister, Tan Sri Chong Hong Nyan, to meet me, and the continued clamping down on the free movement of patients and visitors of Sungei Buloh Leprosarium is much to be deplored, especially as the Selangor Police have now declared that they did not ask and were in no way responsible for the clamp-down in Sungei Buloh Leprosarium.
The Sungei Buloh Leprosarium authorities should therefore be able to restore its Open Door Policy, initiated in 1969, to allow freedom of movement to make the inmates fully integrated with ordinary society.
However, a curtain of silence seemed to have descended on the whole matter. I have now reliably learnt that the Selangor and Rawang MCA are opposed to the lifting of the clamp-down in Sungei Buloh Leprosarium on the ground that Selangor and Rawang MCA would lose face to DAP, as they had earlier tried to get the clamp lifted. However, when told that the Police were responsible for the clamp for security reasons, Selangor and Rawang MCA accepted the explanations meekly. They now argue that although the Police have now explained that they did not need a clamp-down, any lifting of the clamp-down would mean loss of face to MCA.
I call on the Selangor and Rawang MCA to stop playing politics with the sufferings of the Sungei Buloh Leprosarium inmates. Instead of putting pressure to block the lifting of the clamp-down in the Leprosarium, Selangor and Rawang MCA should actually support the removal of the clamp-down now that the reasons given for it have been shown to be unfounded.
Let Selangor and Rawang MCA prove that they are concerned about helping the people, whether leprosarium inmate or others, and not to make political capital at the people’s expense, to the extent that they want the people to prolong their suffering for their political interest.