Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Kulai, Johore, on Friday, January 31, 1969 at 8p.m.
On the 18th January, the MCA National Vice President, Mr. Chua Song Lim, gave a policy speech in Muar on the MCA’s stand on the recognition of Nanyang and Formosan university degrees and qualifications.
Mr. Chua said the Alliance government was right in refusing to recognize Nanyang University degrees because of its low academic standard.
How does Mr. Chua know? Did he speak with knowledge, or was it merely from hearsay? Has he made a study and comparison of the standard of the Nanyang University with other universities, for instance, the University of Malaya or the University of Singapore?
Is Mr. Chua qualified and competent to make any such study and comparison? We know Mr. Chua is a very successful and prosperous rubber baron, who knows when to strike a business deal to pile up a fortune, and who grows richer and richer year by year. But that does not make him an authority qualified to condemn the Nanyang University as of low academic standard!
If Mr. Chua is not qualified or competent to make a personal evaluation of the academic standard of the Nanyang University, who told him that the Nantah degree are worthless? It is Tun Tan Siew Sin, Chan Chong Wen, Syed Nasir Ismail or Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar?
Or is it from personal and party experience, that he found these Nanyang university graduates inside the MCA to be rather mediocre men, and to be of poor stuff? Even if this is so, surely, the Nanyang graduates in the MCA are not representative of the Nanyang graduates as a whole.
Be that as it may, we expect a public figure, especially a National Vice President of the MCA, to know what he is talking about, and when he makes a public statement, to be able to back it up with facts and figures.
We ask Mr. Chua, therefore, to give three reasons to the Malaysian public, and to the Nanyang University graduates fraternity, to justify his policy speech in Muar that the Nanyang University is of low academic standard, whose degrees are worthless.
I am sure Mr. Chua will reply and enlighten the public, because I do not think he belongs to that group of MCA leaders who do not have
a mind of their own, whose speeches are written by others, whose ideas are planted by others, and who can only claim as their own – their money.
The DAP has from the very start pressed for the recognition of Nanyang University degrees, as a valuable contribution to the modernisation and industrialisation of Malaysia.
And we can give at least three reasons in support of recognition:
Firstly, the Singapore Government recognizes the Nantah degrees
Secondly, the University of Malaya recognizes the degrees;
Thirdly, reputable universities abroad, in Britain, Australia, Canada and the United State also recognize Nantah Degrees.
MCA leaders, like Mr. Chua Song Lim and Mr. Chan Chong Wen, have often claimed that they are not opposed to Chinese language and education.
Then why did they oppose the recognition of Nanyang and Formosan degrees, and yet support the recognition of Indonesian degrees?
Why did they support the Alliance education policy, aimed at closing down all Chinese primary, secondary schools? Why did they try to wreck the Merdeka University project?
We remember that during the MCA language crisis two years ago, which led to the expulsion of Mr.Sim Moh Yu, it was Mr. Chan Chong
Wen who spearheaded the MCA nation-wide campaign to urge all MCA members to accept the UMNO’s ‘one nation, one language’ policy.
It was Mr. Chan who told all MCA members that they must accept a language policy which prohibits the use of Chinese language in public notices, railway stations, government correspondence and for any official use whatsoever.
It was again Mr. Chan who was the foremost opponent of the DAP’s language policy, which advocates language equality, where all language, Chinese, Tamil and English, share official language status with Malay, with Malay remaining as the national language of this country.
Why is Mr. Chan Chong Wen so opposed to a free and equal position for the Chinese language, together with other languages, in Malaysia? Why is Mr. Chan Chong Wen opposed to a Malaysian Malaysia concept, where there is no exploitation of race by race, language by language, or culture by culture?
We hope Mr. Chan Chong Wen, like Mr. Chua Song Lim, will explain his stand to the Malaysian