The meaning of a Malaysian Malaysia

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary and Parliamentary Candidate for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a mammoth DAP public rally at Suleiman Court, Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 7th May 1969

The meaning of a Malaysian Malaysia

Speaking at a public rally at Kangar two days ago, the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman said: “Jawatan Perdana Menteri Malaysia sa-lama2-nya akian di-sandang oleh sa-orang berugama Islam kerana ‘Kuasa politik di-negeri ini ada-lah di-dalam tangan orang Melayu.’ (Berita Harian, 7 May). In other words, the office of Prime Minister in Malaysia will always be hold by a Muslim because political power in this country is in the hands of the Malays.

At an interview with Dewan Masharakat, organ of the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka in April 1968, Tunku said, when talking about the Malay position in Malaysia:

“Lagi pun kuasa memerontah negeri ini memang sa-penoh-nya ada di-tangan kita. Kita boleh buat apa yang kita hendak buat.”
“Furthermore, the ruling power in this country is completely in the hands of the Malays. We can do what we want whatsoever.”

These two instances show clearly that political power in Malaysia is not in the hands of the Malaysians, but in the hands of the Malay feudalists and aristocracy.

The Malay feudalists and aristocrats ‘boleh buat apa yang mereka hendak buat.’

The non-Malays in Malaysia are on sufferance, by the grace of the kindness of the Malay feudalists and aristocrats. This is why the non-Malays are classified as second-class non-bumiputras. This is also why the languages, cultures and schools of the non-Malays are being suppressed, and their educational and economic opportunities discriminated against.

We in the DAP oppose political power to be in the hands of the Malays. We do not want political power to be in the hands of Chinese either, or in the hands of the Indians. We want political power to be in the hands of Malaysians, regardless of their race, language or religion.

The Alliance and its leaders, including Tun Tan Siew Sin yesterday, have accused the DAP of wanting a Chinese Malaysia. If this is so, then we would demand Chinese citizens to be firstclass citizens with Malays as second-class non-bumiputra status. We would also have demanded Chinese to be the national language and sole official language. We would say Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Tan Siew Sin cannot speak in Parliament unless they speak in the Chinese language. We would also want to close down all Malay schools, and require all Malays to study in Chinese schools.

We could have backed up by demand for a Chinese Malaysia by saying: “the economic infrastructure of Malaysia, the rubber estates, the tin mines, etc. are all the result of the blood, sweat and toil of Chinese who came to Malaysia from China 50, 100 years ago. They are also the result of the blood, sweat and toil of indians who immigrated into Malaysia 50, 100 years ago. Without them, Malaysia today will remain only jungles and swamps.”

But we in the DAP never say such thing. We never ask for a Chinese Malaysia or an Indian Malaysia, because to do so will be to commit the same chauvinist crime as the ultras in the UMNO.

The crux of the DAP Malaysian Malaysia message is this: “we do not want to destroy Malay language. We do not want to destroy the Malay culture. We do not want the Malays to be our slaves, and out second-class citizens. Similarly, we do not want our language and culture to be destroyed, and we do not want to be the slaves and second-class citizens of others.”

This is a simple, straight forward objective. But the UMNO, and its stooges in the MCA and MIC, oppose it, because they want a Malay Malaysia.

Let the people of Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia unite behind the banner of a Malaysian Malaysia, and let the winds of change blow out on May 10, so that we can all help to bring about a more just and equal society in 10, 15 years time. Otherwise, we would have all failed not only ourselves, but also our children, because they would have met an even worse fate than us now.