Responsibility and Challenge of State Committees
From now on, State Committees must play an active and leading role for all party tasks in the State, and the Central Executive Committee will hold the State Committees responsible for all aspects of the Party’s programmes and projects in the state, e.g. in fulfilling sales targets for the Rockets, in upgrading the organization of branches, or in meeting the various political tasks set by the Party leadership from time to time.
For instance, a new system with regard to Rocket distribution will now be imposed. The DAP Headquarters will hold each State Committee responsible for the total amount of Rockets sent out to each State for each publication, and within a month, the State Treasurer should issue a cheque to the Rocket Account in Headquarters for the total amount payable, regardless of whether the Rockets concerned have been sold or not, or whether the State Treasurer has collected the Rocket money from the branches or not. These are administrative details which the State Committee must itself sort out. However, as we need money to come out with every issue of Rocket, we cannot permit laxity in prompt payments of Rockets. State Treasurers should therefore make arrangements to pay monthly for the total Rockets taken by each State and if necessary, pay HQ first, and collect from branches later!
This new arrangement should not be an excuse for the States and branches to reduce the number of Rockets to be ordered from the Headquarters, or we will cease to be a political organization. It will be the challenge to each state to keep increasing the number of Rockets ordered each month – otherwise the State is stagnating or even retrogressing.
The State Publicity Secretary will be the official responsible in each State for pushing Rocket distribution and sales, and be responsible for getting the monies thus collected handed to the State Treasurer. While the State Publicity Secretary is the State official directly responsible for the maximum dissemination of Rockets in the State (although the State Treasurer is responsible to the CEC for prompt payment from State funds if necessary), the entire State Committee must regard this Rocket circulation as their immediate responsibility too. The Publicity Secretary of the States will be answerable too to the National Publicity Committee, under the chairmanship of Acting Publicity Secretary, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, which has been formed to co-ordinate and direct all publicity drives.
States and branches should devise new methods of pushing Rocket sales, by news vendor stands, sales teams, subscription collections, regular group sales at thoroughfares, like complexes, cinemas, etc.
In F.SG. 1/80, I had said that I will personally see to it that the Rocket comes out monthly and regularly, “so that it restore its original position as a staple reading diet for thinking and serious Malaysians.” States and branches have therefore been forewarned, and there is no excuse at all for Rockets to pile up in State and branch offices, and find that Rockets are coming month after month.
For your information, the third issue of Rocket, July 15-August 15 number, will be published within a week.
Emergency alteration of Perak State Committee meeting
I am scheduled to meet the Perak State Committee on Sunday, 20th July 1980, at 10 a.m. However, as the DAP proposes to host a meeting of political parties and organizations concerned the defence of the constitutional position of Chinese and Tamil primary schools from pressures to implement Clause 21(2) of the Education Act 1961 on that very same morning in Kuala Lumpur, it is necessary to have a change of Perak State Committee to Saturday, 19th July 1980 in Perak premises at 2 p.m.
Despite this last-minute change, I would expect a full turn out at the Perak State Committee meeting on 19th July 1980 because of its importance in setting new direction for the State in the 1980s.
The DAP MPs and SAs Seminar to be held at Cameron Highlands on August 8, 9 and 10, will not only mark a serious approach by the Party to the important aspect of political education, it will also confirm a precedent in inviting non-DAP personalities to participate in DAP deliberations and discussions to help DAP officials to gain deeper and wider insights about the various issues and problems in the country and around us.
A National DAP Cadres’ Seminar is planned for Port Dickson on 20th and 21st December 1980. While the details of the national political education programme are being worked out by the Political Education Committee, states and branches should go ahead and organize their own programmes.
In this connection, I must commend the Perak State Committee for initiating a new series of specialized political subjects, beginning on Friday, 18th July 1980, which could usefully be followed by other states.
The Serdang Constituency Branches in Selangor are holding a seminar on 27th July 1980, and the programme is as follows:
9 a.m.: Opening Remarks by Serdang Liaison Committee Chairman.
9.15 a.m.: Talk by Secretary- General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang on: “The Political
Chanllenges of the DAP in the 1980s.”
10.00 a.m.: Discussion.
11.00 a.m.: Talk by Deputy Secretary-General and State Assemblyman for Serdang, Sdr. Lee Lam
Thye, on: “Strategy to Retain out Assembly seats and to capture more state seats in Selangor in the next general elections.”
11.45 a.m. – 1: Discussion.
1.00 p.m.: End of Seminar.
This Seminar is strictly confined to members and branches of the Serdang Constituency.
Other states, constituency divisions and branches can also work out their own seminar programmes.
Visit to DAP Parliamentary and State Assembly Constituencies
A new series of party activities will be started in August – my visit to Parliamentary and State Assembly Constituencies to assess the state of political health of the Party in DAP seats, by meeting not only the MP or SA, but branches, members, and the public.
The first DAP constituency which will kick off this series will be the Bukit Bendera Parliamentary Constituency, on 16th and 17th August 1980.
It may take a considerably longer time than the last time before 1974 when I embarked on a tour of all DAP Parliamentary and State Assembly constituencies to visit all DAP seats, but I hope to be able to complete the round by before the next general elections.
Since June 12, 1980, six numbers of the F.SG.D.s have been issued, and together with other party circulars, and information sheets, for instance the new series on ‘Memo on Organisation’ from the NOS, stationary expenditure at the Headquarters have increased by leaps and bounds.
While a Party ‘on the go’ must mean increased expenditures, we must seek out all ways to minimize expenditures.
At present we are sending out to all out recipients all materials in the four languages. Party materials will continue to be published in four languages. However, in branches or areas where one language or two are used, economy may be effected by sending materials only in those languages used.
This will be the last HG circular or communication which will be sent out to all our redepients in all four languages. Branches which want all four languages to be sent to them would have to write in to make a specific request. Beginning from the next HQ communication, the HQ will send out to recipients materials in those languages which are applicable to them. Should branches or recipients find that they need another language material, or want to drop any language material, they should contact Headquarters. To bring such a change into immediate effect, there have to be some arbitrariness at the start, and I apologise in advance for such result, but I am sure all will agree that we should economise where we can, without in any way compromising on our principles.
A final word on notice boards in branch and State premises. The notice board of a branch is the window through which members of thepublic look at us. If a notice board is plastered with yellowed materials aging with years, then the impression is of a branch which has not waken up from long sleep.
Branches and States should therefore make an effort to have their notice boards updated periodically, with news items or party circulars. As the F.SG.D series is not meant merely for Branch Chairman or Secretary but for all party members, they should be put up on all notice boards.