Speech by DAP Organising Secretary and Parliamentary Candidate for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the first DAP General Elections Public Rally at Malacca Padang on 8th April 1969:
We in the DAP believe in the open argument and debate so that the people can judge for themselves which candidate and political party has the best policy and programme in the interest of the people and country.
I propose to conduct the general elections campaign in Malacca in this spirit of open confrontation of ideas and minds.
As Mr. Koh Kim Leng is the Alliance candidate for Bandar Melaka, I for one, and I am sure the voters of Bandar Melaka, would like to know his stand on various public and national issues.
I wish to ask Mr. Koh Kim Leng ten questions tonight to give him an opportunity to explain his stand, and I hope he will have the courtesy and courage to answer my questions.
1. Alliance policy of bumiputraism
Does Mr. Koh Kim Leng support the Alliance policy of dividing Malaysians into bumiputras and non-bumiputras, not on the basis of birthplace, citizenship or loyalty, but purely on the basis of the colour of the skin, and to proceed to discriminate against the non-bumiputras in language, cultural, educational and economic spheres? Would Mr. Koh have the courage and conviction to publicly denounce the poisonous policy of bumiputeraism of the Alliance, which has made his own children second-class citizens of the land of their birth, and which is the single biggest factor in sowing discord, disharmony and antagonism among the various races in the country?
Does Mr. Koh Kim Leng support the policy of multi-lingualism, to permit all the major languages in Malaysia, namely Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English to enjoy equal position and status, and that all of them should become official languages, with Malay continuing as the national language of Malaysia. Would Mr. Koh Kim Leng condemn the alliance policy to impose ‘one nation, one language, one culture’ policy in Malaysia, which will lead to the extinction of other languages and cultures in our country? Furthermore, would Mr. Koh support the demand that any Member of Parliament, State Assemblyman, Municipal Councilor, Town or Local Councilor, should have the right to make their addresses in Malay, Chinese, Tamil or English according to their choice? Would Mr. Koh join the DAP in demanding that all public notices and government correspondence should be in four languages?
3. Merdeka University
Does Mr. Khaw Kim Leng support the establishment of the Merdeka University, and would Mr. Koh dare to defy the directive of the MCA President, Tun Tan Siew Sin, who decreed last December that no MCA official or member could help in the formation of the Merdeka University, and come forward to help the launching of the Merdeka University? if the MCA and Tun Tan Siew Sin continue to oppose the Merdeka University, would Mr. Koh Kim Leng dare to leave the MCA because the MCA has failed to serve not only the public interest, but also to fulfill its self-declared promise to protect and safeguard Chinese education, language and culture – and has violated the memory of Tun Tan Cheng Lock, who was one of the foremost champions of the cause of Nanyang University 15 years ago.
4. Recognition of Nantah and Formosan degrees and qualifications
Does Mr. Koh Kim Leng agree with the National Vice President of MCA, Dato Chua Song Lim, who said that the Nantah and Formosan degrees and qualifications do not deserve government recognition and that their qualifications and academic standards are very low? Would Mr. Koh Kim Leng join the DAP in calling for immediate recognition by government of Nantah and Formosan degrees and qualifications?
5. Abdul Razak and Abdul Rahman Talib Education Reports
Does Mr. Koh Kim Leng endorse the Abdul Razak Education report and Abdul Rahman Talib Education Report which seek to close down all Chinese secondary and primary schools, and convert all of them into Malay schools? Would Mr. Koh Kim Leng call for the rejection of the Abdul Rahman Talib Education Report and Abdul Razak Report, which aim to build a Malay Malaysia and not a Malaysian Malaysia?
6. Aziz Commission Report
Would Mr. Koh Kim Leng join the DAP in opposing the Aziz Commission Report recommendation requiring 20,000 odd Chinese school teachers to pass Senior Cambridge or F.M.C examination within three years of face dismissal, when these teachers, some of whom have been teaching for over 20 years, need not (XXX) be conversant in the English language as they are teaching Chinese subjects in Chinese schools. Would Mr. Koh Kim Leng condemn the Chairman of MCA Maju Ward and Alliance Candidate for Bungsar a recommendation which will lead to the final elimination of Chinese schools and education in Malaysia.
7. Mass conversion of English schools into Malay schools
Without consulting the parents and seeking the views of the people, the Alliance government has started the process of the mass conversion of all English primary schools into Malay schools by 1971. Over 80 per cent of the teachers in their English primary schools will immediately become unqualified and incompetent teachers because they will not be able to communicate their knowledge in the Malay language. The result is a new generation of half-baked and semi-literate children. Would Mr. Koh Kim Leng condemn such a mass conversion policy?
8. Malaysian Cambridge Examination to be marked by Khir Johari and his syndicate in Kuala Lumpur from next year
From next year, Inche Khir Johari and his syndicate will take over the marking of Senior Cambridge examination papers, which had up to now been done in English. Does Mr. Koh Kim Leng support such a move? The public has no confidence in Inche Khir Johari and his syndicate, because they appear to be fully capable of fiddling with examination results, as largely believed to be practiced in past years in connection with L.C.E. results.
9. Malaysian Literature
The Alliance, through its leaders like Inche Senu bin Abdul Rahman, the Minister of information and Broadcasting, has declared that Malaysian literature can only be written in the Malay language. Does Mr. Koh agree with such a policy, which rejects as un-Malaysian any other writing by Malaysians, in other language, although on Malaysian hopes, aspirations, nationalism, life, etc?
10. Discrimination in contract tenders
Does Mr. Koh Kim Leng agree with the government discrimination against non-bumiputras contractors in the award of tenders, which reserved contract works below $10,000 to bumiputras only, and gave preferences to bumiputras in works below $50,000? After next month’s elections, the ceiling of $10,000 may go up to $100,000. What is Mr. Koh stand?