Lim Kit Siang challenges Khir Johari

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, to the Perak State Committee meeting in Ipoh DAP Branch premises on Sunday, August 18, 1968 at 10 a.m.

In his speech at the Central Kedah UMNO annual delegates conference last Friday, the UMNO Secretary-General, Inche Khir Johari, repeated the unfounded Alliance charge that the DAP is 100% communal, takes moral and material inspiration from outside the country, and fight for the interest of foreign countries.

This is a downright irresponsible statement, utterly unbecoming of the Minister of Education, who is responsible in instilling in hundreds of thousands of Malaysian children the moral qualities of honesty, integrity, sincerity and truth.

We publicly challenge Inche Khir Johari to a television debate with the DAP to substantiate his charges against the DAP. If Inche Khir Johari has substantiate in his charges against the DAP, he will become a public opportunity to ‘expose’ the DAP.

But if Inche Khir Johari runs away from the challenge, it can only mean one thing: Inche Khir Johari is talking through his hat, making wild and groundless charges which cannot bear a second of public challenge and examination. He must stand exposed as an irresponsible an unprincipled politician, who will stoop to any depth to slander political opponents and get cheap publicity.

Inche Khir Johari has said that the DAP is 100% communal. We want to know what he means by that.

The DAP supports Malay special rights, support the constitutional monarchical system, support Malay as the National Language, support the proposed formation of the National University. How are we communal, and what form of communalism are we guilty of?

The DAP was formed with the specific purpose of fighting racialism and communalism of all forms, as advocated and practiced by the UMNO, the MCA and the MIC.

Only Malays can join the UMNO. But all Malaysians regardless of his racial origin, can be a member of the DAP. Only Malays can be leaders of UMNO. But DAP has leaders who are of Malay, Chinese and Indian origin.

It is a Inche Khir Johari himself who is communal. Unlike Inche Khir Johari, I can substantiate my charge.

In the same speech he gave to the General Kedah UMNO annual delegates conference, Inche Khir said the Thais in Kedah have been accepted as bumiputeras.

Inche Khir said: “These Thais have settled in Kedah from the early days. This is a good example for people of different origins to follow.

“It is a well known fact in Kedah that through inter-marriages, the Thais and the Malays are exceptionally integrated.”

Inche Khir Johari predicted that one day, all Malaysians would be bumiputras, but how soon this will come about “depends on how the people regard themselves.”

Although Inche Khir Johari did not say in so many words, he is clear in his implication that if one is to be accepted as a bumiputra, one must conform and virtually become a Malay.

This is communalism of the worst kind. To demand that a non-Malay Malaysian, before he could be regarded as a bumiputra, must become a Malay, is to advocate that Malaysian is a Malay, and not a multi-racial, country.

Inche Khir must be reminded that the Alliance’s policy of bumiputeraism is one of the factors poisoning inter-racial understanding in this country.

We challenge the Alliance to define who is a bumiputra. Is every Malay, a Thai, an Indonesian, a bumiputra of Malaysia? Or should every Malaysian citizen, regardless of his race, who is born in Malaysian, a bumiputra of Malaysia?

We in the DAP look forward to the TV confrontation with Inche Khir Johari, because we have dossiers and dossiers of material to prove the communal nature of the Alliance Party. The $64,000 question is: Has Inche Khir Johari the courage of his public statements?

Audited on 2021-04-08