Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the 11th Merdeka Anniversary Dinner organised by the Johore Bahru DAP Branch at the new Hong Kong Restaurant on Saturday, August 31, 1968 at 7 p.m.
Johore Bahru was one of the centres in the nation-wide campaign to save the 13 Malaysian youths condemned for consorting with Indonesian confrontation from hanging at the gallows.
The leadership given by the residents of Johore Bahru in the campaign made a great impact and was one of the factors leading to the reprieve of the youths.
The people of Johore Bahru have shown that they have a social conscience, and that they are prepared and capable of making their contribution to make this society a more humane, decent and worthwhile place to live in.
It is fortunate that Malaysia is not full of Bernard Lus, who are completely without human feeling and social conscience. It is to Johore Bahru’s honour to have a courageous and outstanding personality like Mrs. Lee Cheng Lai, who despite disapproval from influential circles and personal inconveniences, devoted all her time and energy towards the cause of mercy and compassion.
She and many others did this, not because there was any personal benefit to be gained, but because they believe that it was worthwhile doing.
It is the Mrs. Lee Cheng Lais who give hope to Malaysia, that Malaysians can still be aroused to unite and to action for a cause.
It is not only Johore Bahru, but Malaysia, which owes a great debt to Mrs. Lee Cheng Lai, for her role in redeeming Malaysian image in the world as a humanitarian nation and people.
This is a personal tribute which I wish to make to Mrs. Lee Cheng Lai.
Audited on 2021-04-21.