Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the Sungei Way DAP Branch on Thursday, February 14, 1969 at 8p.m.
The recent statements by the MCA National Vice President, Mr. Chua Song Lim, on the question of the recognition of Nanyang and Formosan degrees and qualifications reflect faithfully the MCA stand on Chinese language, education and culture.
On the 18th January 1969, Mr. Chua Song Lim gave a policy speech on behalf of the MCA in Muar and reaffirmed without qualification the MCA opposition to the recognition of Nantah and Formosan University degrees and qualifications, on the ground that they are of low academic standard.
This caused a nation-wide uproar from Nantah and Formosan University graduates, and from DAP branches throughout the country.
At a DAP public rally at Kulai, Johore, on January 31, I asked MR. Chua Song Lim to give three reason to justify the MCA and his personal opposition to the recognition of Nantah degrees.
While waiting for his reply, I gave him three reasons why the Nantah degrees should be recognized by the Malaysian government. They are firstly, the Singapore government recognizes the Nantah degrees; secondly, the University of Malaya recognizes the degrees; and thirdly, reputable universities abroad, in Britain, Australia, Canada and the United States also recognise Nantah degrees
But Mr. Chua Song Lim was unable to give a single reason to justify his and his party’s opposition to recognize Nantah degrees.
Instead on February 6, 1969, again in Muar, Mr. Chua resorted to an untruth.
He claimed that in Singapore, Nantah graduates are paid on a lower scale than Singapore University graduates in the government service.
According to Mr. Chua, Singapore University graduates start at $630/- a month, while Nantah graduates start at $355 a month.
This is a downright falsehood. Everybody knows that Nanyang University graduates begin with the same starting salary as University of Singapore graduates = which is $465/- a month.
Why did Mr. Chua tell such a lie?
There can only be one explanation. Mr. Chua is so desperate in trying to produce a reason to justify the MCA’s unreasonable and indefensible opposition to recognition for Nantah degrees that he was prepared even to invent false figures.
Mr. Chua said that the MCA “is the only party which most supports Chinese education.”
Mr. Chua and the MCA boast that Mr. Chua is giving $100/- a month to the Chung Hwa High School in Muar, which they claim is proof of Mr. Chua’s love for Chinese education.
Is this necessary true? If Mr. Chua and the MCA are genuine lovers of Chinese education, then can they explain why they;
1. OPPOSE the recognition of Nantah and Formosan degrees and qualifications;
2. SUPPORT the closure of all Chinese Primary and secondary schools after the next general elections, as is the intention of the Alliance government in pursuance of the recommendations of the Abdul Rahman Talib Education Report;
3. ATTENPT to sabotage and wreck the Merdeka University project?
This does not make sense. Does a monthly donation of $100 make Mr. Chua Song Lim a champion of Chinese education, although he is working closely with the UMNO to exterminate Chinese education after the next elections?
Or is this $100 merely conscience money to see the Mr. Chua’s conscience for selling out the Chinese education?
Or is the $100 a month only an eye –wash to deceive the public to vote for him in the next elections?
We will not draw any conclusion of our own yet. We will give Mr. Chua Song Lim a final chance to explain to the people of Malaysia his stand on Chinese education, why he opposed recognition of Nantah and Formosan degrees and qualification, why he supported the Abdul Rahman Talib Education Report which will close down all Chinese primary and secondary schools, and why he opposes and seeks to sabotage a wreck the Merdeka University.
If Mr. Chua does not explain and define his stand on Chinese education, then and the people will draw our conclusions, and we will let every Malaysian know the true stand of Mr. Chua Song Lim on Chinese education.