Speech by DAP Candidate for Serdang State by-election, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, who is also DAP Organising Secretary, at the third DAP Serdang by-election public rally held at Serdang Bahru new village on Saturday, 7th December 1968 at 8 p.m.
I read Mr. Michael Chen’s speech at the first Alliance rally in Serdang Bahru two nights ago with great shock, sadness and sorrow.
I am shocked by what Mr. Michael Chen said in his speech, and I am saddened because Mr. Michael Chen, who is a very likeable man, should really believe what he said.
What Mr. Michael Chen said at the Serdang Bahru public rally summed up the entire MCA political philosophy. It is this:
(1) The Chinese in Malaysia must unite behind the MCA;
(2) The MCA will not fight for a Malaysian Malaysia, for racial equality, language and cultural equality, or against the division of Malaysians into first-class and second-class citizens; and therefore, all Chinese in Malaysia must not fight for a Malaysian Malaysia.
The underlying message of Mr. Michael Chen and the MCA leaders is that the Chinese of Malaysia must unite behind the MCA, but they don’t clearly explain what this unity is for.
As far as I can see, the unity of the Chinese under the MCA can only for one of the three following purposes:
(1) To assert that Malaysia is a Chinese land, that Chinese language and culture should be placed in a superior position to other languages and cultures, and that all non-Chinese are inferior in status and in citizenship to the Chinese.
(2) To unite the Chinese as a solid racial bloc to bargain with other races, and prepare for a racial showdown and conflict with other races.
(3) To unite the Chinese under MCA to collectively submit to the policy to Malay-ise Malaysia, which aims at steadily eliminating other languages, cultures, language schools, and in classifying non-Malays as non-bumiputeras, and therefore second-class Malaysians.
The Chinese unity the MCA is calling for is fortunately, not for the first purpose. Nor is it for the second purpose – as the MCA has made it very clear that it would not work for an equal Malaysian society for all her citizens regardless of race, in other words, a Malaysian Malaysia. I also do not think the MCA leaders want the Chinese to unite in order to prepare for a racial showdown and conflict, although this may be precisely the result – as can be seen in the racial riots in Penang and North Malaya last year.
This leaves us only the third purpose – to unite the Chinese so that they will all collectively submit to the policy to make this country a Malay Malaysia.
The DAP is a genuine multi-racial Malaysian party. We never claim, like the MCA, that the DAP is a Chinese party and that all Chinese must unite behind the DAP. We do not seek a Chinese Malaysia, where the Chinese language and culture is the exclusive or predominant language and culture.
But despite this, we have been called a ‘chauvinist’, ‘communal’ and ‘racialist’ party by the UMNO. Why didn’t the UMNO brand the MCA, and with real justification, as a Chinese communal party?
The reason is obvious. The UMNO and the Malay racialists are making use of the MCA as pawns to further their communal objectives. The UMNO and the Malay chauvinists want to get the Malays to unite as a race, but it wants to avoid the accusation of being ‘communal’ – so it allows the MCA to do the same thing among the Chinese.
What is the purpose of Malay unity under the UMNO? UMNO leaders have repeatedly made it clear that this was to unsure that Malaysia remains a Malay country. The Malays are told that they must unite as a race if the Malay race, culture and language is to survive, and if they are to succeed in making Malay culture, literature and language as Malaysian culture, literature and language. To the racialists and chauvinists in the UMNO, cultures, languages and other writings in non-Malay streams are alien elements to be eliminated. I can quote a catalogue of utterances by UMNO leaders to substantiate this. If Mr. Michael Chen challenge me, I will do so.
But the point is this: The purpose of Malay unity under the UMNO is to assert that Malaysia is a Malay land, and that all non-Malays are ‘orang tumpang’, ‘non-bumiputeras’ and ‘second-class citizens.’ The MCA call for Chinese unity is to support such a UMNO doctrine, and submit to Malay supremacy and cultural hegemony.
We can see therefore the hollowness of the MCA political platform.
The MCA claims that it is the sole champion of Chinese, interest, language, education and culture. But what has the MCA to show in the years since Independence in 1957?
Before independence, public notices in railway stations are also written in Chinese. Today, all Chinese notices have been removed.
Before independence, there were Chinese secondary schools, but today only a handful are left, and these are being threatened with closure.
Before independence, there were Chinese primary schools, but today, these schools may be converted within twenty-four hours into National Primary Schools, using Malay as the sole medium of instruction and examination.
The DAP do not claim to be the ‘sole champion’ of Chinese interests, language, education and culture. But anyone can see that the MCA is just making false claims.
Mr. Michael Chen pointed out that only the Chinese can sell out and betray Chinese interests. These are his words, and not mine. Mr. Michael Chen must be right, because the MCA has over twenty years of experience and record, and he must be speaking with authority.
There are many people who are prepared to sell their soul for a pottage of cash. There are those who opposed the MCA because it is was a effete, subservient and useless party, but switch to unflagging loyalty to MCA after they are given a few hundred dollars.
What we need in Malaysia today are men of principle, not men whose principles can be bought with money.
The Alliance candidate, Mr. Phang Phaik Fook, has claimed that he should be elected because he is Chinese-educated, and he understand the problem of Chinese education. I wish to ask him a series of questions at the Sungei Way new village DAP public rally tomorrow, to find out exactly what his stand are in connection with Chinese education, language and culture.
Audited by: Joyce T. and Faiz M.