Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, at the Cameron Highlands DAP Branch Dinner held at Hotel Merlin, Cameron Highlands, on Friday, 8th August 1980 at 8 pm
DAP calls on private sector to give minimum 10% salary increases to workers to help them keep in step with inflation and match recent government salary increases
The Government recently awarded a $600 million salary increase to some 75,000 public employees, which though announced as aimed to help cushion government servants from inflationary spiral, have fuelled further inflationary price increases.
For the low-income government servants, it is dubious as to whether in the final analysis, the government increases have not been all eaten up by price rises.
But the worst victims are the workers in the private sector, who have to face another inflationary increase of prices.
The DAP calls on the private sector to give a minimum 10% increase of wages to private sector workers to help them keep up with inflationary price increases, and also to match the recent government salary increase.
The biggest failure of the Government has been in its inability to keep a firm check on price increase. Price leaps have returned to haunt housewives, the low and fixed-income, reducing the purchasing power of the Malaysian ringgit to a new low.
The Government should not allow private sector workers to go unaided, and it should take the initiative to call in all private sector employers to impress on them of their corporate responsibility to increase the salaries of their workers.
Large number of workers find their hands tired because they have concluded collective agreements through their unions with their employers, and these collective agreements do not permit revision during the currency of the agreement.
The government should take the initiative to allow such collective agreements to be varied because of inflationary spiral.
A form of indexation to allow wages to be automatically increased to keep in step with price increases, so that there is no real fall in living standards of workers should be incorporated into every collective agreement, and if necessary, this should be enacted by emergency legislation.
NBI – Ineffective in combating corruption in high political places
Although the NBI has been returned to the Prime Minister’s Department from the Attorney-General’s Department, the NBI has not shown any greater effectiveness in combating corruption in high political places.
In fact, the NBI closes its eyes and shut its ears to many corruption and malpractices with are common knowledge. A good example is the case of gross misuse and corrupt practice of the Berjaya State Government in parceling out timber concessions to its own party officials, the notorious ABC system, whereby Berjaya party officials are divided into three categories with different acreage of timber concession for each category.
Berjaya Sabah State Chief Minister, Datuk Harris Salleh, have admitted the ABC system, but have defended it as in the best tradition of American style political patronage.
When I asked in Parliament in June whether the NBI is aware of this gross abuse of power and corrupt practice. The Deputy Minister of Law, answering on behalf of the Prime Minister, said the NBI was not aware of this notorious ABC scheme.
The NBI will never be effective in the battle against high-level political corruption, so long as it come under the responsibility of the Executive, and this is precisely why the DAP had demanded that the NBI should be established as an autonomous body answerable only to Parliament.
I had invited the Director of NBI, Datuk Abdullah Ngah, to come to Cameron Highlands this weekend to meet DAP MPs and State Assemblymen, to brief them on the NBI’s anti-corruption efforts and to discuss and hear the views of DAP MPs and State Assemblymen on this vital national issue.
But Datuk Abdullah Ngah declined, I still do not know the reason, but this cannot enhance the reputation of the NBI has an agency which will is not subject to the dictates of the ruling party, in its objective to weed out corruption at high political levels.
Malaysians see political stalwarts, who have waxed rich through political corruption, walking around as free man. In these circumstances, the arrest and conviction of “ikan bilis” case of corruption cannot make much of an impact to end corruption in Malaysia.
The DAP calls on the Government to establish a Royal Commission on Corruption, as had been established in other Commonwealth countries, to go in depth into the entire problem of corruption.
DAP aims to make a breakthrough in Pahang State in next general elections
Although the DAP contested one state assembly seat in Pahang, namely Triang, in the 1969 general elections, and in subsequent general elections, have increased the Parliamentary and State Assembly seats that we contested, we have not been able to make a breakthrough in the Penang State Assembly yet.
Despite the lack of party representation in the Pahang State Assembly, the Pahang DAP Branches, under the guidance of Sdr.Lau Dak Kee, have been very active and purposeful, for which out Pahang branches and comrades deserves commendation.
I have confidence that in the next general elections, the DAP will be able to make a breakthrough and end the Barisan monopoly in the Pahang State Assembly, not in terms of getting one solitary seat, but several.
The realisation of my 1983 hopes for Pahang lies in the hands of our Pahang DAP leaders and members.