Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, when officiating at the opening ceremony of the Tangkak DAP branch in Johore on Sunday, 30th July 1972 at 4.30 p.m.
DAP calls for immediate government initiative to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
In the last 18 months, the People’s Republic of China has shown goodwill and friendship towards Malaysia, as shown by the following:
1. The donation in kind by the People’s Republic of China, through the Chinese Red Cross, in aid of the victims of the great floods of January 1971;
2. The invitation by the People’s Republic of China to the Malaysian table-tennis team to compete in the Afro-Asian table-tennis championship competition;
3. The forthcoming visit of the Chinese table-tennis team to Malaysia at the end of the year;
4. The official invitation to Malaysian traders and Pernas to the Chinese trade fairs;
5. The cessation of hostile broadcasts from Radio Peking.
6. The unqualified support which the People’s Republic of China has given to Malaysia on her 12-mile claim of sovereignty over the Straits of Malacca, in contrast to the opposition on by the super-powers such as Russia and the United States of America, and maritime nations such as Japan and Britain.
The Government of Malaysia should respond boldly and imaginatively to these gestures of friendship and goodwill from the People’s Republic of China.
Rapid changes are taking place on the international scene. Even President Nixon, once the arch-enemy of Communist China and the stoutest defender of the Containment of China Policy, has made his historic visit to Peking to confer with Chinese leaders like Chairman Mao Tse Tung and Premier Chou En Lai. The new Japanese Premier, Tanaka, is going to Peking in September.
In this fast-changing international scene, Malaysian must not be a passive digit, but must be an active agent for her own interest. It is to Malaysia’s interest to normalise relations with the People’s Republic of China, accept the fact that the communist regime in China is the legitimate and effective government of China, and enter into the normal intercourse between nations with her.
The DAP therefore urges the Malaysian Government and Prime Minister Tun Razak to take the bold and imaginative initiative to communicate with the People’s Republic of China of Malaysia’s desire to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries.
While taking this initiative to begin discussions with the People’s Republic of China on the establishment of formal diplomatic relations with China, the Malaysian Government should take the following measures with the objective of paving the ways towards such normalization of relationship:
1. Permit free travel to China by Malaysians;
2. Send a Parliamentary mission to China on a goodwill visit to strengthen the people-to-people relationship;
3. Permit journalists from Malaysia to visit China and write about their impressions and travels;
4. Allow a liberal flow of books, publications and films from the People’s Republic of China;
5. Promote greater cultural exchanges between Malaysia and China, as by the exchange of cultural missions;
6. Promote greater exchanges between the sporting organisations of both countries.