Chinese education

Speech by DAP Candidate for the Serdang State By-election, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, who is also DAP Organising Secretary, when addressing election workers at the Sungai Besi DAP Branch on Tuesday, December 3, 1968 at 8.30p.m.

Last week, the Vice Chairman of the United Chinese School Teachers’ Association, Mr. Loot Ting Yu, said that communist activity in Chinese schools could be eliminated if the ‘outstanding grievances of the Chinese educated community can be solved.’

This is an observation which is shared by all those who understand the problems and grievances of the Chinese educated community.

Over the years, the Chinese-educated provided recruits for extreme politics, not because Chinese education made them extremists, but because of the resentments and frustrations felt by the Chinese-educated.

The Chinese-educated find that their education is not recognised by the government, and could not find suitable jobs. A Chinese senior high school graduate, with six years of secondary education, is in a much inferior position than a Lower Certificate of Education holder, who had only three years of secondary education in English or Malay.

Those who went to Nanyang or Formosan universities come back to find their degrees and qualifications worthless.

Their grievances, therefore, accumulate and mount up. It is common knowledge that the communist forces thrive best on discontent and frustration, whether economic or cultural.

To point out this relationship is not to advocate communism, but to advice a solution of a long-standing problem and grievances to forestall communist exploitation.

Instead of agreeing to the analysis, and trying to find means to remove these grievances, the MCA Secretary-General, Mr. Kam Woon Wah, reacted with the warning that “grievances could not be an excuse for encouraging communist subversion.”

It is apparent that Mr. Kam belong to that school of people who have no sympathy or understanding for the grievances of the Chinese educated, who in fact regard all Chinese educated as communists and trouble-makers, unless they prove themselves otherwise.

It is no wonder that the MCA supported whole-heartedly the Alliance’s education policy, as embodied in the Abdul Razak and Abdul Rahman Talib Education Reports, which seek to close down all Chinese, Tamil and English-media schools, from primary level upwards.

This also explains why they have opposed the recognition of Nantah and Formosan Degrees and qualification, and condemned the Merdeka University project.

The MCA, in fact, has aggravated the grievances of the Chinese educated, and is helping to give the communists more grievances and issues to exploit.

In the interest of the unity and harmony of Malaysia, I urge Mr. Kam Woon Wah to give careful and serious thought to Malaysian fundamental problems, and not content to remain a shallow politician.

Mr. Kam and his MCA colleagues must understand that the grievances of the Chinese-educated is a problem, and not a communal or a communist problem. If Mr. Kam and the MCA could understand this basic point, then we will be well on our way to solving this problem. The tragedy is Mr. Kam and the MCA have never been able to understand this problem.

Audited on 2021-03-17.