Who is the true champion of the people’s interest – the DAP or the MCA

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the first anniversary celebration of the Serdang Bahru DAP Branch on Sunday, 9th March 1969 at 8p.m.

The DAP has been accused by the MCA of being a Chinese chauvinist party.

If the DAP is truly a Chinese chauvinist part, then the DAP will only have Chinese members and leaders, and not the multi-racial membership and leadership as we have in the DAP. Our National Vice Chairman, Nor Jettey bin Mohamed, our Deputy Secretary-General, Daing Ibrahim bin Othman, are Malaysians of Malay origin. Our Another Deputy Secretary-General, Dr. K.S.Das, our National Treasurer, Dr.S.Seeverratnam, Central Excecutive Councillor Dr. A.Seerian and Mr.C.V.Devan Nair are Malaysians of Indian origin.

Just as at the level of the DAP national leadership, we have Malaysians of all racial origins, so too at State and branch levels, we have a completely multi-racial composition.

This is in direct contrast to the racialist structure of the MCA, which only allows Chinese to join as member and to become leaders.

Again, if the DAP is a Chinese chauvinist party, then the DAP will fight for Malaysian Chinese to be first-class citizens of Malaysia, the bumiputras – and that Indians and Malays are second-class citizens. We will also fight for Chinese language to be the sole national and official language in Malaysia, and work for the elimination and destruction of other languages. We would also close down all Malay, and English and Indian schools, and only permit Chinese schools, whether primary, secondary or university.

But is the DAP advocating that we should have a Chinese Malaysia? Never. We have never advocated a Chinese Malaysia. What we are advocating is a Malaysian Malaysia, where there is equality for all races, languages and cultures.

The MCA is standing in our way for an equal Malaysian Malaysia, because it is the puppet of UMNO in the latter’s objective to bring about a Malay Malaysia.

This is why Tun Abdul Razak, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the MCA, said that the MCA “was the only party competent to represent the Malaysian Chinese.”

Now, there are two ways of representing Malaysian Chinese, or any particular community. One way is to represent the Malaysian Chinese in their fight for equal Malaysian citizenship, free study and use of the Chinese language and culture, and equal rights in every sphere of Malaysian life, whether in education, economic opportunities or cultural development.

The other way is to represent the Malaysian Chinese in the acceptance of a racialist policy, which seeks to make Malaysian Chinese second-class citizens of Malaysian, by branding them as non-bumiputras, the elimination of the Chinese language and Chinese education through a ‘one nation, one language’ policy which refuses to recognize Nantah and Formosan degrees and the Merdeka University, and the Practice of discrimination against them in education, economic sphere and cultural life.

The MCA represents the Malaysian Chinese in the second category – not the fight for their legitimate rights and interests, but to help the UMNO ultras to eliminate their legitimated rights and interests, so that a Malay Malaysia comes into being.
The MCA claim that they are leaders of Malaysian Chinese, they are not. They are UMNO’s ‘betray Chinese’ leaders.

The MCA is fond of making charges and accusations, but are never able to substantiate them. We in the DAP can always substantiate our charges. If MCA leaders, whether Tun Tan Siew Sin, Dr. Lim Swee Aun, MR. Khaw Khai Boh or Mr. Michael Chen, dispute my charge against them, I challenge them to a public debate, including a TV confrontation, so that the people can decide for themselves who is right and is the true champion of their interest – the DAP or the MCA.

If as Mr. Khaw claimed, as a result of the move to form the Merdeka University, the Malay community counter-moved to establish a National University, then why did the Alliance and the MCA support the National University and condemn the Merdeka University?

The Alliance government has pledged millions of dollars to the National University project. MCA itself has pledge financial support to the National University. Is the way the so-called champions of ‘Chinese language, education and culture’, which the MCA claims itself to be, behave?

Mr. Khaw invoked the name of Tun Tan Cheng Lock to illustrate the MCA’s achievements for the Malaysian Chinese. Tun Tan Cheng Lock must have turned in his grave!

If Tun Tan Cheng Lock is alive, he would have been the foremost champion and advocate of the Merdeka University. Fifteen years ago, when moves were launched to establish the Nanyang University, Tun Tan Cheng Lock was one of its most outspoken champions.

If Mr. Khaw Khai Boh had been a Minister 15 years ago, he would have condemned Tun Tan Cheng Lock as being guilty of a “political scheme to destroy the position of the Chinese in Malaya and Singapore.”

Instead of following in the footsteps of Tun Tan Cheng Lock, his son Tun Tan Siew Sin and his So-called successors Mr. Khaw Khai Boh, Mr. Chua Song Lim, etc., are indeed betraying all the life-work of Tun Tan Cheng Lock.

Fifteen years ago, Tun Tan Cheng Lock argued for the formation of Nantah University, and had a famous debate with the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Malaya, Sir Sidney Caine, over Radio Malaya, speaking up for the Nanyang University.

Today, his son and his successors, like Dato Chua Song Lim, are in the forefront opposing the recognition of the degrees of a university Tun Tan Cheng Lock had spent so much time, effort and energy to help materialize.

There is no doubt that if Tun Tan Cheng Lock is alive today, he would have disowned the entire MCA for trying to wreck the Merdeka University.

If for nothing else, at least in memory of the belief and convictions of Tun Tan Cheng Lock, I urge Tun Tan Siew Sin and Mr. Khaw Khai Boh to seriously reconsider the MCA opposition to the Merdeka University, reverse their present position, and give full support, fix to it – just as Tun Tan Cheng Lock gave full support to the Nanyang University.

Otherwise, the MCA should never mention the name of Tun Tan Cheng Lock again, because they have failed to live up to his aspirations and expectations, and have instead betrayed all that he had fought for in his lifetime.