Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Raub by-election ceramah at Sungai, Raub, on Wednesday, 1st June 1983 at 8 pm.
DAP welcome Mohd. Najib’s announcement that the Raub Assessment rates will be reduced to a maximum of 15 per cent from next year.
The DAP welcome the announcement by the Pahang Mentri Besar, Datuk Mohamed Najid binTun Razak, that the Pahang Government will lower the assessment rates in the Raub district from 25 per cent to a maximum of 15 per cent from next year.
This is the best answer to the Deputy Education Minister and MP for Raub, De. Tan Tiong Hon, who asked during the by-election campaign as to what the DAP could do. In fact, at the beginning of the campaign, Dr. Tan centred his attack on the DAP for raising trivial issues in the campaign, and one of the examples he gave was the DAP’s criticism of the Raub assessment rates.
Also, during the over an hour long “public criticism” by the people and the DAP at the now famous Sempalit New Village DAP ceramah on May 22, Dr. Tan was made to understand by the people’s response and expressions that the Raub assessment question is not a “trivial” or “irrelevant” issue as Dr. Tan held. In fact, any matter which increase the hardships of the people in term of imposing additional financial burdens is a major issue for the people.
Dr. Tan Tiong Hong’s “longkang” affair had at least benefited Dr. Tan politically, in helping to educate him as to what are the matters which deeply concern the people of Raub.
There is not doubt that if not for the DAP’s high-powered campaign concentrating on the people’sgrievances and unhappiness, like the assessment rates, Dr.Tan would have continue to disregard this matter as a “trivial” issue.
In actual fact, Dr. Tan had failed the people of Raub in the assessment matter. When the new assessment valuations were announced at the end of last year, giving those who object an opportunity to make representations before the new assessment valuations and rates come into force, Dr. Tan should have reached Datuk Mohamed Najib, the Penang Mentri Besar, to lower the assessment rates. This he did not do, and whould not have done, if not for the DAP’s effort in the by-election campaign.
As a result, the people of Raud had to pay at the beginning of this year their assessment based on 25 per cent. Could Dr. Tan secure for the people a refund of their monies which are in excess of the rates which are to be introduced from the next year, i.e. 15 per cent for factories, workshops and shops, and 10 per cent or less for houses?
Regardless if whether Dr. Tancould secure a refund for the people, this incident highlights one lesson, that the election of a Dap Assemblyman in Bandar Raub would serve the purpose of putting pressure on Dr. Tan Tiong Hong to discharge and carry out his duties as the MP for the area more responsibily and more sensitive to the needs of the people of Raub. He could not afford to take a “ high and mighty” attitude as he had done all this time.
The pressure the DAP had successfully applied on Dr. Tan and the Barisan National to reduce the assessment rates form next year could also be applied on Dr. Tan and the Barisan National in the coming years even more effectively by a DAP Assemblyman to benefit the people of Raub in a whole range of matters of concern to the district.