Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Pusing, Batu Gajah, on Saturday, 16th February, 1974 at 8.00 p.m.
A third challenge to Dr.Lim Keng Yaik to declare his stand on the future of Chinese education in Malaysia
On 19th January at a public rally at Kampar, I called on Dr. Lim Chong Eu and Dr, Lim Keng Yaik of the Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia to declare their stand on Chinese education in Malaysia.
At the DAP public rallies at Kampar and Tanjong Rambutan on January 19 and February 2, I had twice challenged Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Dr. Lim Chong Eu of Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia to declare their stand on the future of Chinese education in Malaysia. Both they have kept silent with a thousand tongues.
I shall challenge them a third and last time tonight to declare their stand on Chinese education. And if they continue to run away from this issue, then the people of Malaysia can only conclude that both Dr. Lim Chong Eu and Dr. Lim Keng Yaik do not have any different policy on Chinese education from that of the MCA and the Alliance.
In a recent speech in Ipoh to Chinese teachers, the Minister for Special functions and Director of MCA Chinese Education Bureau, Mr. Michael Chen, said that in his view the Chinese primary schools would not change in character after 1975.
What the people of Malaysian are not the viewpoints of Mr. Michael Chen, but the policy of the Alliance government.
It is not good enough Mr. Michael Chen going round the country saying that in his view Chinese primary schools saying that in his view Chinese primary schools would not be converted after 1975. The question is whether it is the declared Alliance policy not to change the character of Chinese primary schools at any time after 1975. If this is the policy, then why is the Alliance Cabinet so shy in making definite a policy statement on this matter?
The unwillingness of the Alliance and the MCA, together with the National Front partners, to make clear their stand on the future of Chinese primary schools can only due to one explanation: that the Chinese primary schools will be converted after the next general elections after 1975, unless the people can solidly demonstrate their opposition to this move.
If the MCA is sincere in waiting to preserve the character of Chinese primary schools after 1975, then I challenge them to join the next session of Parliament to move a motion to repeal, the 1961 Education (Amendment) Act which gives the Minister of Education powers to convert the Chinese primary schools overnight, and the 1972 Education (Amendment) Act which abolishes the Chinese schools Boards of Managements.
I challenge Mr. Michael Chen, as Director of MCA Education in Bureau, to state whether the MCA would be prepared to join the DAP in this motion in the next session of Parliament. I also challenge Dr. Lim Chong Eu and Dr. Lim Keng Yaik to declare their stand on this specific question.