Open Challenge to a public debate in Mandarin to Mr. Lew Sip Hon, whether in Bungsar or Malacca

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary and Parliamentary Candidate for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a General Elections Public Rally at Sungei Way New Village in Damansara Constituency on 10th April 1969 at 10pm:

Last week, the MCA Maju Ward Chairman and Alliance Parliamentary Candidate for Bungsar, Mr. Lew Sip Hon, boasted that the MCA Maju Ward had “sufficient brainpower to match the brains in the DAP, and that it could match the opposition parties word for word, slogan for slogan and statement for statement.”

Very high-sounding words, but within a week, they prove to be mere empty words.

As Mr. Lew Sip Hon is now posing as the champing of Chinese education, language and culture, I asked him some searching questions at the first national DAP Public Rally at Jalan Mountbatten, Kuala Lumpur, on 6th April 1969, I wanted to know how Mr. Lew could have signed the Aziz Commission Report, which if implemented, will be the final death blow to Chinese education, if he is really concerned about Chinese education. I also wanted to know how Mr. Lew Sip Hon could explain the MCA’s determination to eliminate Chinese education in this country, when in a multi-racial society like Malaysia, there should be room for the different language education streams to develop and grow.

One would have thought that with the ‘sufficient brainpower’ Mr. Lew Sip Hon claims that he has got, he would have accepted my invitation to a public argument on this matter.

But Mr. Lew Sip Hon did the opposite, he ran away from an open argument. To find an excuse for his running away, he said I am not qualified to argue with him.

Those who claim that they are intellectuals always look down on people, because they think they have degrees they are akin to God.

This was what happened to Dr. Syed Naguib Alatas. In November last year, he said I was not competent or qualified to discuss the question of Malaysian culture with him. But when he was forced to a public debate with me, he proved to have very little sense in his intellect.

Mr. Lew Sip Hon must be trying to avoid the fate of Dr. Naguib Alatas, because Mr. Lew will have even less sensible things to say about the MCA’s policy of Chinese language, education and culture, in the context of a multi-racial Malaysian nation.
However, I am giving Mr. Lew Sip Hon another chance to prove that he really has ‘sufficient brainpower to match the brains in the DAP.’

I hereby openly challenge him to a public debate with me in Mandarin, since he and the MCA are boasting that he is an expert in Mandarin, on ‘The MCA’s policy on Chinese language, education and culture in multi-racial Malaysia ’, whether in Bungsar or in Malacca.

Let this public debate be a confrontation of minds for the Malaysian people to decide who has more ‘brainpower.’
As I pointed out in the debate with Dr. Syed Naguib Alatas, the possession of a university degree does not make a man a superior human being.

In the Alliance Cabinet, there are a few who possess doctorates, like Dr. Tunku Abdul Rahman, Dr. Tun Tan Siew Sin, Dr. Khir Johari, but we all know that Tunku Abdul Rahman took 20years to pass his law; as for Inche Khir Johari, I doubt he could pass Senior Cambridge examination if he sits for it this year, unless he mark his own examination papers. What qualification Tun Tan Siew Sin has to get a doctorate is a great mystery, unless it is his financial wizardly to get Malaysia into a $4,000 million debt within 10 years after Merdeka.

I hope the Maju Ward President will have the courage, conviction and intellect to accept my challenge. Otherwise, he better change the name of his Maju Ward into Malu Ward.