The objective of Gerakan Ra’ayat Malaysia: An Indonesian Malaysia

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the Women’s Day Celebrations organised by the Klang DAP Branch held at the Klang DAP Branch premises, 27B Jalan Raja Hassan, Klang on Sunday, 8th September at 7 p.m.

The objective of Gerakan Ra’ayat Malaysia: An Indonesian Malaysia

It is important that party members and supporters understand the basic objectives of the various political parties in Malaysia.

Tonight, I wish to discuss with you the objectives of the Gerakan Ra’ayat Malaysia.

From the public pronouncements of Gerakan leaders, it appears that the Gerakan Ra’ayat Malaysia is trying to achieve, not a Malaysian Malaysia of the DAP, but an Indonesian Malaysia.

The Gerakan expert on culture, Dr. Syed Naguib Alatas, spelt out the Gerakan’s cultural policy recently. He said Malaysian culture must be based on Malay culture, and that genuine Malaysian literature could only be written in Malay.

Dr. Syed Naguib Alatas also declared that Malaysian literature should include Indonesian literature.

This is a clear-cut attempt to Indonesianise Malaysian culture, and to deny Chinese and Indian cultures an equal place in the free development of the cultural streams in Malaysia to evolve a Malaysian culture which is a synthesis of all that is best of the four great cultures that meet in Malaysia.

It was Dr. Syed Naguib Alatas who once stated that literature should reflect the “value, pride and honour” of the nation, and that no literature could develop independent of nationhood.

Is the Gerakan seriously suggesting that Indonesian writings, on Indonesian aspirations and struggles, reflect the “value, pride and honour” of the Malaysian nation and people? And does the Gerakan think that Indonesian literature is dedicated to the growth of a multi-racial Malaysian nationhood?

Apparently, the Gerakan leaders must think so, because otherwise, they would not have upheld their cultural policy of basing Malaysian culture and literature virtually on Indonesian culture and literature.

We in the DAP rejects unconditionally the Gerakan’s cultural policy.

We believe that it is possible to reflect the “value, pride and honour” of the Malaysian nation and people, even if the literature is written in Chinese, Tamil or English. We believe that Indonesian literature has nothing whatsoever to do with Malaysian nationhood.

It is an Indonesian Malaysia which the Gerakan is fighting for, not a Malaysian Malaysia.

Another instance of Gerakan partiality towards Indonesia can be seen from the comment of the Chairman of Gerakan, Dr. Syed Hussein Alatas, concerning Russian invasion and aggression of Czechoslavakia.

In his comment, Dr. Syed Hussein Alatas said the Russian aggression of Czechoslavakia was “more serious” than the Indonesian confrontation and aggression against Malaysia.

I can see no difference between Russian aggression of Czechoslavakia and Indonesian aggression of Malaysia under Sukarno. Both of them are acts of criminal violation of a small nation’s national sovereignty and integrity by a big nation, to be condemned with equal severity.

The only difference between the two cases is that the Russians have the military might, capability and organisation to impose its military will on Czechoslavakia, while Indonesia, under Sukarno, was decadent, incompetent, inefficient and lacked the military capability to impose its will on Malaysia.

But if Indonesia, under Sukarno, had the same military prowess as the Russians, I have no doubt that Indonesians would have marched into Malaysia, and the atrocities they would commit against Malaysians would be nothing compared to what happened in Prague.

The pertinent question is this: Why was it necessary for the Gerakan to deliberately try to white-wash the Indonesian guilt and aggression against Malaysia during the Confrontation period?

We are all aware that some of the Gerakan leaders had been silent when Malaysia was being threatened by Indonesian Confrontationists. These leaders, who were formerly in a different political party, had by their non-condemnation of Indonesian aggression, given comfort and inspiration to Sukarno because he thought that he could count on internal Malaysian support for his “Crush Malaysia” policy.

This is the basic difference between the DAP and the Gerakan.

We reject either a Malay, Chinese, Indian or Indonesian Malaysia. We want a Malaysian Malaysia.

This is probably also the reason why the Gerakan is opposed to the policy of cultural democracy in having multi-lingualism in this country.

The DAP advocates the granting of official status to Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English, while unconditionally accepting Malay as the National Language.

The Gerakan is opposed to the DAP’s multi-lingual policy, and supports in principle the Alliance’s “one nation, one language” policy.

The DAP supports the Merdeka University and the National University, because we are convinced that regardless of the language system of education, so long as the content is Malaysian-oriented, it will be able to produce a Malaysian-minded generation.

The Gerakan, through its Chairman, Dr. Syed Hussein Alatas, has opposed the Merdeka University and National University projects because they are “communal”.

We all know that this was not the stand of some of his colleagues in the Gerakan a few months ago.

In March this year, Mr. Teh Ewe Lim, then UDP Penang Chairman, and now Gerakan leader in Penang, condemned the MCA for not supporting the Merdeka University project.

In the Dewan Ra’ayat on January 22, 1968, Dr. Tan Chee Khoon called on the Minister of Education to support the Merdeka University project.

Today, of course, the situation is different. The Gerakan is opposed to Merdeka University, although no cogent reasons are given.

I have raised these points tonight because I believe it is healthy to discuss issues and policies of parties. But we will under no circumstances got involved in personality clashes, which serve no purpose except enrich the vocabulary of abuse in Malaysia.

Audited on 2021-04-28.