Arrival Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and Member of Parliament for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, at Kuching airport on Sunday, 19th August 1979.
DAP’s 1979 Sarawak General Elections Objective: To restore the people’s voice in the Council Negri and to establish that Government is to serve the interests of the rakyat and not a handful of politicians and their backers.
The DAP will be contesting the Sarawak General Elections with very clear objectives in mind. Of course, we would like to win the maximum number of seats in which we will be fielding candidates, bur even more important than winning seats, we want to bring about radical changes in the political development of the state by restoring the people’s voice in the Council Negri and to establish that Government is to serve the interests of the rakyat and not a handful of politicians and their sponsors.
More than anything else, the DAP sees the Sarawak general elections as an important occasion for the people to re-assert their rights as voters and citizens to repudiate the politics and policies of the past, which had been based on opportunistic political interests of a handful of people in the ruling parties, and to demand a new style of government and politics where the first and only consideration is the welfare of the people.
The September elections will be an excellent opportunity for the people of Sarawak, who had for so long been neglected and forgotten by the powerful politicians in the National Front parties, to tell these powerful National Front politicians that their policies are no good and must change.
These policies cover a whole range affecting the livelihood, quality of life and type of Sarawak and Malaysia we are building.
The people must demand a new government policy and approach to the problems of the hawkers, squatters, the farmers, landless, the fishermen, the poor; that all government departments must stop treating the people in a high-handed fashion, making people wait for long hours whether in land office, or any other government department to do something which government servants are paid to do; that the government is responsible in looking after the poor to ensure that their livelihood is looked after radical land reforms giving land to the landless, special assistance to those sections of the population needing assistance like the fishermen and pepper farmers; that parents can send their children to schools of their choice; and that the government undertake full responsibility for the upkeep and expansion of schools, regardless of whether they are Chinese primary schools or national primary schools.
The people of Sarawak must make clear their disapproval of the Sarawak State and national policy which did not permit a full and fair telecasting of Chinese and Iban language programmer over Television Sarawak. The people should also demonstrate very clearly their desire for a clean, honest and incorruptible government, where every political leader and government servant is guided by the motto of public service, and not how to become rich in the shortest possible time through misuse of public funds and positions!
In other words, this is the time for Sarawakians to show that through their vote, they are the real masters of Sarawak, and not the handful of political leaders who had been acting as if they are the real masters.