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Salient. Victoria University Students Newspaper. Volume 38 Number 8. 1975



1)The overwhelming majority arrested were Malays, including a few of royal blood. It is important therefore, to view the Baling issue, among others, as a class issue. The struggle of the Baling people is the struggle of the people of all nationalities and not confined to any particular 'race' as frequently amplified [unclear: y] the Razak's regime.
The true background to the spontaneous explosion of student dissentments is as a Malay leader puts it:

'We know about the problems of the small farmer and how little money he earns and how little food he eats. We know because we are his children'.

It is the poverty and hardships of their families and friends that urged the students to stand up.

3)The Baling epic had revealed the ugly face of the Malaysian system. The Government mobilized and whole state machinery (police, FRU, etc.) to sabotage the just struggles of the peasants and students. The mass media (newspapers, radio, TV etc.), which are controlled by the Government, went all out to distort the fact.
4)The starvation problem is but a significant aspect of the more embrasing problem faced in Malaysia:
  • Galloping inflation: Prices of daily necessities have increased by 50% — 200% in the last two years, A loaf of bread costs 50 cents, condensed milk 75c, sugar a kati 60c, etc.; the cost of living in K.L. is 4% higher than it is in London. (New Straits Times. 29-10-74). It is still rocketing.
  • Worsening recession: The imperialists are trying to transfer their economic crisis to the Third World, including Malaysia, by depressing prices of raw materials such as rubber, coffee, tea, etc., and inflating their exported products like machinery. Rubber price plunged to 25-30c a kati (1.31bs.).
  • Increasing unemployment: The unemployment rate is 22%. Workers were retrenched ruthlessly. For example — From Feb. to Nov. last year, more than 4,000 textile and electronic workers were retrenched in Penang alone.
  • Increasing landlessness: 40% of the K.L. residents are squatters, more than 350,000 peasant families have no land or inadequate land and the figure increases by more than 10,000 per year. (New Straits Times. 22-9-74). More and more fertile lands will be handed over to foreign capitalists. At the moment, more than 2,000,000 acres of the most fertileland in Malaysia, about ¾ of the total cultivated lands are in foreign hands like Guthrie, Dunlop, etc. to a mass fabulous super-profits to prop up the tottering imperialist economies.
5)In the consecutive 11 days of struggles the Malaysian students have shown their active concern for the oppressed majority by massive demonstrations and boycotting lectures. It is an unprecedented epoch in the history of the student movement in the Peninsular.
6)The struggle of students against social injustice will undoubtedly gain the support of progressive students all over the world.
1)Cheap labour: Working hours not less than 8 hours a day and workers' pay as low as $1.00 a day. If they are sacked, taw forbids them to strike. In order to provide 'political and social stability' for the foreign investors, suppressive policies are imposed and therefore the majority of the people suffer.
2)It is an empty promise. In fact empty promises just like the intimidation of people is a way of life of the Malaysian Government.