National Solidarity

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally in Port Dickson on Saturday, February 9, 1969 at 6p.m.

Rallies, flag-raising ceremonies, cultural shows, film shows, competitions, dances and parties will be held for the next week on the occasion of this year’s National Solidarity Week.

The Alliance leaders think that all these outward show will be able to cement and unite the diverse races in Malaysia into one people. Are we really going to find on February 14, when the National Solidarity Week closes, a more united, purposeful and cohesive Malaysian nation than today? Only fools will think so.

We have been holding National Solidarity Weeks for six years, but they have not prevented the first major racial conflict in Penang and a ridiculous law to compel respect to the National Anthem – which is an abject confession of the utter failure of the Alliance government to create national solidarity and unity since Merdeka 12 years ago.

National solidarity weeks, rallies, exhibitions, speeches, etc. are useful only if there exists a basis for national solidarity. If such a basis does not exist, all the rallies and fanfare will be no more than a grand self-delusion and self-deception.

Unfortunately, this is the case with Malaysia today. Malaysian national solidarity is still a very frail and fragile thing. And the greatest enemies to Malaysian national solidarity is the Alliance government and party.

The UMNO stresses Malay racial solidarity, the MCA Chinese racial solidarity and the MIC Indian racial solidarity throughout the length and breadth of Malaysia every day. Any school boy can tell that Malay racial solidarity, Chinese racial solidarity and Indian racial solidarity added up together produces Malaysian national disunity, and not national solidarity.

It will be more profitable to find out the causes of national disunity, and remove the obstacles to national solidarity. If these obstacles to national solidarity can be removed, they will be more effective to nation-building than 100 National Solidarity Weeks. But if these obstacles are not removed, 1,000 National Solidarity Weeks cannot achieve any national solidarity at all.

The two greatest obstacles to national solidarity are: One: The racial policies of the Alliance government and Party, which stresses racial solidarity and affinity, rather than national solidarity and unity.

The solution is to dissolve all racial organisations, like the UMNO, MCA and MIC, and replace them with truly multi-racial Malaysian organisations.

The second greatest obstacle to national solidarity is the division of Malaysians into ‘bumiputras’ and ‘non-bumiputras’ solely on the basis of race. When Malaysians feel that they are being unequally treated and divided into ‘bumiputras’ first class and ‘non-bumiputras’ second class citizens ,the basis for national solidarity simply does not exist.

If the Alliance government is genuinely sincere in wanting national solidarity, then I call on the Alliance government and Tunku Abdul Rahman to announce at the grand ‘makan nasi perpaduan’ at Stadium Negara on Feb. 14, which is to climax this year’s National Solidarity Week, that henceforth, there will be no more distinction and division of Malaysians into ‘bumiputras’ and ‘non-bumiputras’ and that all Malaysian citizens locally-born are ‘bumiputras’ regardless of race, religion or language.

This one act can do more to solidify Malaysians than a thousand National Solidarity Weeks. The key to Malaysian solidarity and unity is there for the Tunku and the Alliance government to use. If they fail to live up to the opportunity, they must be held responsible for a disunited and divided Malaysian