Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, when officially declaring open the Cheras 9 ms. DAP Branch, Selangor, on Thursday, 23rd August 1979 at 8 pm.
Call on Prime Minister, Datuk Hussein, to multi-racialism the heads of departments of government so that criticisms of departmental inefficiency and incompetence could not be exploited and distorted by irresponsible political leaders as criticisms against one race.
The Immigration Department Kuala Lumpur Office inefficiency and incompetence, the public outcry and criticism against the failure of the Immigration Department to provide efficient service to the people, the political exploitation of the criticisms by UMNO Youth Leader and the Director-General of Immigration and raising of racial issues, shows a very unhealthy aspect of Government service.
Where the heads of department belong to predominantly one racial group, criticisms of departmental inefficiency and incompetence could be distorted and twisted by irresponsible political leaders as criticisms against one racial group. This will not only prevent reforms of government service to ensure to ensure efficiency and dedication of civil service, but a great threat to inter-racial harmony in the country.
It is indeed most deplorable and regrettable that there are political organisations like UMNO Youth which regards itself as the Defender of Government inefficiency and incompetence.
To avoid this most unhealthy situation which perpetuates government inefficiency and incompetence, I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Hussein Onn, to regard it as a matter of priority to multi-racialism the heads of departments of government so that criticisms of departmental inefficiency and incompetence could not be exploited and distorted by irresponsible political leaders as criticisms against on race. It is only in this way that we could prevent irresponsible political leaders out for cheap political ‘heroism’ from turning a campaign to ensure efficient civil service into a racial issue.
2. Education and Finance Ministry should set up special panel to help Malaysian students’ abroad hard-hit by sharp increase of education fees.
The announcement by the Australian Government that from next year, all private overseas students going to Australia for further studies will have to pay a fee of between A$1,500 (M$3,600) and A$2,500 (M$6,000) per annum, must come as another body blow to the hopes of parents and students about higher education opportunities.
This year alone, New Zealand had announced increased tuition fees for overseas students, and in UK, the increases are even greater. For the new academic year in UK beginning next month, there will be a 33%increase in fees. Next year or 1981, the fees in UK will increase by some further 150%, making higher education abroad for the great numbers of Malaysian students denied places in local universities as impossible dream.
Human investment the most important form of investment for any country, and I call on the Education Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, to take a more enlightened higher education policy and ensure that the government will help subsidies Malaysian private students abroad who are hard hit by the spate of tuition fee increases in Commonwealth countries.
Government funds and the people’s money, and it is only right that the Government should subsidise private students abroad pursing higher studies which are going to benefits Malaysia’s development and progress.
I would urge the Education Minister and the Finance Minister set up a special punch to work out a scheme to help Malaysian students abroad from being forced to abandon their studies because if increase of university and others educational expenses.
Sarawak General Elections – a Contest Between People – Power vs. Money-Power
I have just returned from Sarawak where the DAP will be contesting in the state general elections for the first time when Nomination Day opens in next Wednesday, August 29.
The DAP is new in Sarawak, and the first branch in Sarikei will be celebrating its first anniversary tomorrow (August 24) while the Sibu ranch will celebrate its first anniversary on August 31.
The DAP will be facing Barisan National parties many with long decades of History, for we will be contesting against all the Sarawak component Front parties, namely PBB, SNAP and SUPP. All these parties will be very well-financed.
All these years, the politics in Sarawak has been the Politics of Money. For us in Peninsular Malaysia, where the DAP has fought in three general elections, we used and could afford only a minimal amount of funds. It is not unusual for our state candidates to spend only $400 to $500 for the whole campaign. But in Sarawak, it is common-place to talk in terms of spending $500,000 or even $1 million where Barisan Nasional candidates are concerned.
The DAP will not be able to match or compete with the Barisan National parties and candidates on money. I will describe the 1979 Sarawak General Elections as a contest between People-Power, as represented by the DAP, and Money-Power as represented by the Barisan component parties.
The DAP will not have ang-pows to go round disturbing in the various constituencies. Dap candidates seek the people’s support on the basis of the policies and principles on which the DAP stand for and which the candidates, if elected, will dedicate their lives for!
The DAP will field 10-12 candidates in the Sarawak general elections, and considering that the DAP had less than a year to organise in Sarawak, this is quite a big number. From the ground reactions which my colleagues and I had gathered, I am confident that in the Sarawak general elections, the DAP has a good chance of planting Rocket Assemblymen in the Sarawak Council Negri.
The Sarawak general elections will primarily be fought by the Sarawak DAP. The campaign will be the full responsibility of Sarawak DAP. We in Peninsular Malaysia can only render nominal assistance, sending a few DAP leaders over to Sarawak to help.
All eyes in Malaysia are now on Sarawak, and September 22 will determine whether the people of Sarawak will join the people of Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah in marching together towards the objective of a Malaysian Malaysia, where every Malaysian, regardless of race, religion or language owner of the Malaysian nation.