By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung. Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 21.9.1987:
DAP challengers MIC to sue Hang Mochtar for the song, Ayo-uo Sami offers free legal defence to Hang Mochtar.
The vice President Datuk K. Pathamanaban has entered into the fray over Hang Mochtar’s song, Ayo-yo Sami, claiming that it is in “bad taste” and not the proper way for someone to show disagreement over the toll charges. Can Datuk Pathmanaban tell Malaysians what is the “proper way to show disagreement over the toll charges”?
Datuk Pathmanaban took objection to the lyrics of the song as the tape would be heard by people of all ages.
I have had another look at the lytics of Ayo-yo Sami, and I do not see anything objectionable for people of all ages. The lyrics is as follows:
Ayo-yo Sami Ayo-yo Sami
Sekarang orang ada susah hati
Toll di-sana Tol di-sini
Di Penang orang suka naik feri
Tak boleh kasi til kurang lagi
Hari-hari bayar tol lagi
Nanti saya habis duit gaji
Jalan baik hati suka
Hari hari pergi ronda
Sampai Jalan Kuching kena jaga-jaga
Duit lima-puloh sen kena keluar
Sekarang ada susah hati
Tol di-sana Tol di-sini
Bila-kah ini mahu berhenti
Ther is nothing seditious, offensive, defamatory, obscene, lewd in the lyrics of Ayo-yo Sami. It is a protest against the heavy tolls being imposed all over the country, and a cry as to when all the toll-burden would be ended. Let Datuk Pathmanaban tell us which word, sentence or phrase is in ‘bad taste’!
If the MIC thinks the songs, Ayo-yo Sami, is defamatory, then the DAP challengers MIC or Datuk Samy to sue Hang Mocktar, the singer-cum-songwriter, and the DAP offers free legal defence to Hang Mochtar to any such suit.
Songs are a legitimate vehicle for social comment, and not just for romanticising. Ayo-yo Sami may mark the arrival in Malaysia of songs as a medium of social protest, and must be encouraged, so that the people of Malaysia can use songs to convey their aspirations and expres their discontent.
Yesterday, in Ipoh, as part of the DAP programme to make the song, Ayo-yo Sami the official song of the DAP anti-toll campaign to be launched country-wide soon, we bought up the entire 33 copies of the cassette from a cassette-and-record shop. At the Thousand-People Dinner organised by the Perak State DAP in Ipoh, more than a thousand people took part in the singing of the song to mark the official adoption of Ayo-yo Sami as the official song in the anti-toll campaign.
MIC and MIC Youth should be more concerned about the hardships Datuk Samy Vellu’s toll policy is causing the people, rather than the song. No Cabinet Minister is immune from public criticism, whether in the form of writings or songs, if his decision creates hardships to the people. Anyone who suggests that the Cabinet should not be criticised or ridiculed is trying to turn Malaysians into robots who are denied a mind of their own.
Gerakan’s stand on North-South Highway too late and to timid.
Gerakan’s stand on the North-South Highway is too late and too timid. After 10 weeks of the North-South Highway controversy, the Gerakan Central Committee met to produce a statement on the North-South Highway that says nothing, evading the various specific issues concerned.
What the Gerakan Secretary-General, Kerk Choo Ting, said after the Gerakan Central Committee meeting is a ‘general’ stand, which is most disgraceful, for the North-South Highway privatisation contract of United Engineers Malaysia (UEM) is not a theoretical issue, but a specific question which any responsible political party must take a stand on.
The Gerakan had always boasted that it is the ‘conscience’ of Barisan nasional. But from the North-South Highway issue, it is clear that the Gerakan is nobody’s ‘conscience’, but a ‘captive puppet’ of UMNO.
Why is it Kerk Choo Ting or Gerakan dare not comment on the statement by the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, and Actiong UMNO Youth Leader, Najib Tun Razak, that the UEM contract for North-South Highway is necessary to repay the $360 million UMNO Complex debts?
Kerk Choo Ting is trying to use his legal training to evade a public stand on the UEM contract for North-South Highway. I ask Kerk Choo Ting to say what law prohibits Gerakan from taking a stand whether it supports or opposes the UEM contract for NSH, just because I have taken the matter to court?
In Malaysia, there are people who use the law to defend and advance the people’s rights; but there are also whose who use the law as an excuse to avoid a stand on an issue of great concern to the people and nation. The Gerakan and Kerk Cho Ting belongs to the latter group!