The moral crisis in Malaysia

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the Second Anniversary Celebration of the Rocket Journal at the Kampar DAP Branch on Sunday, August 18, 1968 at 4.30 p.m.

For six weeks, Malaysian underwent a moral crisis as to whether to execute the 13 youths condemned for consorting with the Indonesian during Confrontation.

There were people who campaigned for the execution of the youths, the most notable of whom were the MCA Secretary-General, Mr. Kam Woon Wah, and the Political Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Bernard Lu.

Mr. Bernard Lu declared that the 11 Chinese youths convicted in Johore were a disgrace to the Chinese in Malaysia, as they caused the Malays in this country to doubt the loyalty of Chinese to Malaysia.

He implied that those who do not support the execution of the 11 youths are not loyal Malaysian Chinese.

It is unfortunate that there are people who view this issue solely in racial terms.

From Mr. Bernard Lu’s logic, then the conviction of the two Malay youths in Perak must cause the Malaysian Chinese to doubt the loyalty of Malays to the Malaysian nation. Did any UMNO leader make such a statement? No. Then why should Mr. Bernard Lu make such a statement.

Even the P.M.I.P. has appealed for the pardon of the 13 youths. If every M.P. treat this issue solely on humanitarian grounds, I am confident they will vote for the pardon of the youths.

As the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, has publicly come out on the side of humanitarianism, and supported clemency for the youths, it is best that he could move a motion to reprieve the death sentence of the youths.

The moral crisis, however, would be resolved even sooner if the Sultan of Perak could take the humanitarian lead and exercise his prerogative of mercy to pardon the two youths in Perak. His action is bound to lead to the reconsideration and reprieve of the death sentence of the 11 Johore youths.

We urge the Sultan of Perak to take the lead in a good cause, a cause which all Malaysians with a heart, and the whole world, have supported.

When Parliament meets tomorrow, the attention of the world will be focussed on it. We hope the Parliament can rise up to the occasion, and undo all the damage that has been done in the last six weeks, which gave the nation and the world the impression that Malaysians are callous, unfeeling and heartless people.

Audited on 2021-04-08