Razak’s “new breed of Malaysians”

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, to the Segamat DAP Branch on Wednesday, September 11, 1968 at 7.30 p.m.

Razak’s “new breed of Malaysians”

In his Merdeka Day message, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Rahman, said that 11 years of Alliance rule have resulted in a “new breed of Malaysians who identify themselves as Malaysians first and as Chinese, Malaya or Indians second.”

How comforting and reassuring this is if what Tun Abdul Razak said is true, because we are then breaking down the racial barriers and prejudices which divide Malaysians from Malaysians.

But all evidence point to the contrary – to the fact that eleven years of Alliance rule have failed to breed a new generation of Malaysians who can subordinate their racial loyalties to national Malaysians loyalties.

This is why eleven years after Merdeka, the Alliance Government felt compelled to put up huge hoarding boards all over the highways and trunk-roads of West Malaysia, advertising the national anthem and the national flag, and urging the citizens of this country to respect them.

The Alliance government has degraded and demeaned our symbols of national sovereignty by advertising them in the same way as cigarettes, groundnuts, shoes, Dunlop tyres, motor cars, singlets, etc. are advertised.

This is also a confession that the Alliance has failed to make Malaysians more Malaysian-minded and less race-conscious.

If the hoardings must be put up, one would expect them to be put up ten years ago, and removed a decade after – instead of being put up on the 11th year of Malaysian independence.

Where is Tun Razak’s new breed of Malaysians if the people have to be constantly reminded to respect our national anthem and national flag?

Eleven years of Alliance rule has brought us the Penang racial riot. Whether the next eleven years will see more terrible riots than the Penang disturbances, no one can foretell.

But the signs are there. Racialism is gaining strength and not losing ground.

Even in the University of Malaya, here we have the elite of the young generation of Malaysians who had the privilege of receiving over 16 years of primary, secondary and tertiary education, racialism is becoming a problem.

At the recent elections to the 10th University of Malaya Students’ Union Council, racialism played a part to help secure the election of some Councillors.

Those who attend university forums on nation building or multi-racial integration, can immediately sense the student audience diving into two mental groups – the Malays and the non-Malays, who are separated by a wide gulf of racial prejudice and misunderstanding.

Library books are scribbled with abusive and even obscene racial abuses between one racial group and another. Toilet walls are also a platform for the exchange of racial curses.

All these developments are very disturbing. We call for a high-powered commission of inquiry to look into the entire problem of race in Malaysia, to consider the social, educational, economic, cultural and political aspects, in an effort to really understand the race problem, and to find ways and means to solve the problem. Unless we can solve this problem of race, our Malaysian nation must sooner or later crack up and disintegrate on the rocks of racialism.

Audited on 2021-04-28.