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Would BN MPs Dare To Be The Voice Of The People In Opposing The  Price Increases Of Essential Items Or That The Kajang Police Must Stop Human Rights Abuses Of Shaving Detainees In The Lock-ups Bald?

Speech  During The Batu 11 Cheras DAP Branch Chinese New Year Gathering
by Lim Guan Eng

(Balakong,Saturday): DAP strongly disputes the claim by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that Barisan Nasional (BN) backbenchers have proven themselves to be even more vocal and effective in voicing issues of concern to society than opposition parties as dishonest political spin that no one will believe, including their own supporters. The people are not so naďve as to believe in such political spin for to believe such outrageous claims would be no different from believing that sharks dislike blood.

Najib said, “In previous years, Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh from the DAP were the favourites when it came to people seeking help. Today, those who have problems go straight to Barisan MPs.” This is untrue because apart from BN, the people also seek opposition MPs to voice their problems. But the people know that only opposition MPs can help when their problems relate to corruption and human rights abuses as BN MPs are mere rubber stamps.  

BN MPs calling on ministers to resign are just cheap publicity stunts of “wayang” for they would never support opposition motions asking errant Ministers such as Works Minister Datuk S. Samy Vellu to resign. In fact MCA MPs would say one thing to the Chinese press but completely different to the English/Malay press. Would BN MPs dare to be the voice of the people in opposing the price increases of essential items or that the Kajang police must stop human rights abuses of shaving detainees in the lock-ups bald?

The proposed rise in schoolbus fares by 20% is the first “ang pow” of price increases given by the BN government this year. This fare rise is the first in 5 years and is expected to take effect before April 2006. Such “ang pows” are unavoidable as a result of the government allowing fuel price increases last year despite Petronas earning nearly RM 67 billion for fiscal 2004/2005.

In fact schoolbus fares this is not the only item increasing this year as DAP expects the government to give at least 11 more “ang pows” of price increases as follows.

1.      fuel and gas;

2.      quit rent as announced by some states such as Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Perak;

3.      assessment rates;

4.      electricity tariff as proposed by Tenaga Nasional Bhd;

5.      water rates after the privatization/corporatisation of water supply services is approved by Parliament in March this year;

6.      insurance premiums of health card/medical care;

7.      tobacco;

8.      alcohol and beer;

9.      university-related fees following the reduction of government assistance of 90% of government assistance to 70%;

10. land registration fees; and

11. bank’s interest rates.

So far no BN or MCA MPs have dared to stand with DAP MPs in opposing such price increases. Similarly would BN MPs dare to demand that police stop human rights abuses such as Kajang police shaving bald all those detained in their loc-ups.

DAP regrets that to-date MCA has achieved nothing in representing the 11 men shaved “botak” by Kajang police after being detained for allegedly gambling. Their heads were shaved even before they were charged or convicted in court. The police have neither apologized nor stopped such unlawful practices. The charges against the 11 botak men were also not dropped.

Any opposition expressed by BN or MCA MPs are mere pretence that seeks to “deceive onself as well as others”. Neither did MCA get the police to stop such illegal practices or the police apologise to those who had been shaved “botak”. DAP wonders whether MCA dares to oppose such practices by the Kajang police.

Tonight’s 60 table gathering in this small village is proof that the people stand together with DAP in being the people’s voice. Only with DAP is there hope for the country and only with the Rocket is there justice for the people.


* Lim Guan Eng,  DAP Secretary General

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