Malaysia and China

Extract of speech by DAP Secretary-General and M.P. for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a welcome party given by the Klang DAP branch on Saturday, 10th Oct. 1970 at Ban Siang Ean Restaurant at 8 p.m.

Malaysia and China

At our first international conference, the DAP called on all countries in the world to admit China into the United Nations.

This was at the Socialist International Conference in Zurich, Switzerland, in October 1967, where the DAP formerly became a member of the world-wide association of democratic socialist parties.

From the beginning, we in the DAP stressed that it is impossible and foolish to try to quarantine a nation of 700 million people, which is a quarter of mankind, from the world council, as no effective solution to any of the great problems of the age such as disbarment and world peace can be secured if China is excluded from the council of nations.

In the 1968 Serdang by-election and the 1969 general elections, we urged the recognition of China by Malaysia and the admission of China into the United Nations.

Just as it is foolish for the world to exclude China from the United Nations, it is equally stupid for a nation of 10 million people like Malaysia to refuse to recognize the government of a country of 700 million people, and which had been in effective rule for more than two decades.

We therefore welcome the government’s belated conversion to our view, and its intention to support China’s admission into the United Nations at the present General Assembly.

Whatever our likes or dislikes, we in this part of the world have to live with China. This is a fact of international relations in our region which we must accept. We should therefore seek to establish as normal and fruitful a relationship with Peking as possible.

In this new attempt to seek a normal and fruitful relationship with Peking, whether in trade, commerce, economies or diplomacy, we must discard old lines of thinking and prejudices.

We must understand that for such a relationship to materialize, it must be the result of a two-way effort.

The Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak, said in Alor Star two days ago that Malaysia could not be friendly with China as long as she adhered to her hostile policy against Malaysia.

It is also obvious that China cannot have friendly relations with Malaysia, as long as Malaysia shows her unfriendliness and antipathy for Peking.

For instance, Malaysia, through the ruling Alliance party, is a charter and founder member of the American-sponsored World Anti-Communist League, which has as one of its objectives the overthrow of Mao Tse Tung and the Chinese Communist Regime in China.

Apart from the naiveté on the part of the ruling Alliance Party in thinking that Malaysia can have the ability to influence China’s internal development, this is a blatant attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of China.

This indicates that the mutual suspicion and lack distrust between Peking and Kuala Lumpur is not the fault all of one side, and that it will be invidious to try to apportion blame.

Both countries must reciprocate to start anew in their mutual relationship, let us in Malaysia make the first move. Let us correct our attitudes towards China, by showing that we are desirous of being friends with Peking, and then it is up to Peking to respond.

Our policy must always be to make as many friend, and as few enemies, as possible in the international arena.

Our concrete gesture will be for Malaysia to announce her unequivocal withdrawal from the World Anti-Communist League.

It is not our role or function to go round fighting communists all over the world. Our task is to make Malaysia a prosperous, harmonious and happy nation, where her people enjoy a standard of life comparable to the best in the world.

The government’s new positive stand with regard to China’s admission to the U.N. is a step in the right direction. One of the reasons why the United Nations is not as credible and effective as it should be is the farce of Formosa pretending to represent 700 million Chinese, when Chiang Kai Shek himself had to use police rule to control 14 million people on the island.

We must also review our whole relationship with China to show that we are really desirous of a normal relationship with China, beginning in the fields of commerce, trade, and later diplomacy.