Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, to the Selangor/Federal Territory DAP State Committee on Tuesday, 19th May 1981 at 7.30 p.m.
Call on Malaysian Government to show humanity and give priority to enable foreign wives of Malaysians to reside in Malaysia, and not to give them even lower status than illegal immigrants from Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand
The latest administrative regulations by the Ministry of Home Affairs concerning the residential status of foreign wives of Malaysians have created great hardships, suffering and unhappiness to tens of thousands of Malaysians who are affected.
The DAP calls on the Malaysian Government to show humanity and give priority to enable foreign wives of Malaysians to reside in Malaysia, and not to force them to separate, not only between husband and wife, but also between children and father or mother, just because of some heartless and unacceptable administrative interpretation of the constitution and the law.
It is even more unacceptable where hundreds of thousands of Indonesian illegal immigrants are allowed into Peninsular Malaysia, not to mention the new influx of Southern Thailand Muslim refugees and the Filipino refugees in Sabah, allowed to reside and even work and enjoy the social, educational and economic facilities and amenities of the country, while the foreign wives of Malaysians are threated as if they are criminals.
This is most inhuman and heartless way of treating the wives and mothers of Malaysians.
Such double-standards, where the foreign wives of Malaysians are denied residential rights and therefore family rights of Malaysians, are disregarded, while about 500,000 illegal immigrants from Indonesia, Philippines and South Thailand are allowed virtually complete freedom to stay and work, is unacceptable to all right-thinking and fair-minded Malaysians.
I challenge the Home Affairs Minister, Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie, to explain and justify such double-standards!
The DAP will raise this grave injustice in the next meeting of Parliament, and press for a general ruling that foreign wives of Malaysians should be allowed to reside in Malaysia – especially as 500,000 illegal immigrants are allowed into Malaysia – so that the family rights of Malaysians, not only husbands but also children, are also respected.
Selangor/FT DAP should gear itself for general elections in 15 months’ time
1981 is a turbulent year for political parties. There are those who believe that with sufficient money, they can buy not only MPs and State Assemblymen, but also the hearts and minds of the people.
I have however great confidence in the people and that the next general elections will prove such Money-Politicians wrong. Money can buy individuals but not the people at a whole.
Although the DAP has lost a few MPs and State Assemblymen who have proved to be wanting in political integrity and principles, the DAP as a political party remains steadfast in our political commitment and objectives. The people vote for the Party and not for individuals, and although the treachery of a few DAP MPs and State Assemblymen had created disappointments, I believe that the people are still behind the DAP’s ideals and objective. As the next elections may be held in 15 months’ time, the Selangor/FT State DAP should gear itself for the next electoral challenge.