If the people are united to set up Merdeka University, the government must bow down to people’s wishes

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary and Parliamentary Candidate for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Serdang Bahru new village on Saturday, 26th a rill 1969 at 9p.m.:

At the Serdang Bahru by-election last year, we in the DAP stressed that our country is at the crossroads of a Malaysian Malaysia or Malay Malaysia.

Since the Serdang by-election, more and more evidence have come to light to prove the UMNO’s determination to realize a Malay Malaysia, leading to the elimination of other languages, cultures and way of life.

In January this year, Dato Chua Song Lim, MCA National Vice President, ridiculed Nanyang University degrees by saying that its academic standards were too low to deserve government recognition.

What did the Serdang State Assemblyman, Mr. Thuan Phaik Phk, himself a Nanyang University graduate, say to this insult to his own degrees and those of his follow graduates from Nantah?

Nothing, Mr. Thuan is a ‘spineless and boneless’ assemblyman who when insulted by his own leader, takes it with a smile. Can we expect such men to stand up for the just rights and aspirations of the people, for freedom of their languages, cultures in this country?

Today, one of the most vital issues facing our country is Merdeka University. Tun Tan Siew Sin has poured contempt and insult of all those Malaysians, hawkers, barbers, teachers, fishermen, trishaw riders, etc. who have responded warmly to the call to establish the Merdeka University.

Tun Tan Siew Sin said that even if they are given 10 years, they will fail, if he, a millionaire, does not support it. He said that to expect the Merdeka University to succeed is like expecting ‘iron trees to produce flowers’

The Merdeka University today represents the entire question of the survival or extinction of Chinese language and culture in Malaysia. If Merdeka University fails, then there is no hope for Chinese language and culture in Malaysia. If Merdeka University succeeds, then there is still a chance that Chinese language and culture will not be wiped out from Malaysia.

I am convinced that however staunchly and fanatically Tun Tan Siew Sin may be opposed to the Merdeka University succeed, the UMNO and MCA must bend to the people’s will. Not one Tun Tan Siew Sin or even 1,000 Tun Tan Siew Sin can stand in the popular demand for the Merdeka University.

The question now is for the people to make clear their support and demand for the Merdeka University. The people all over the country are making their desire very clear and ‘pronounced, and I am sure that the popular demand will finally prevail. But the battle for the achievement of an equal place for Chinese language and culture in Malaysia is a long and arduous one. The UMNO and MCA may make tactical retreats but they have not given up their long term objective to have a Malay Malaysia. The fight has only started. It will be a long way. The DAP is prepared for it.