Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Johore State Convention held in Kluang on Sunday, 17th March, 1974 at 10.00 a.m.
1. DAP calls for the fullest normalisation of relations between Malaysia and China when diplomatic relations between the two countries are established
It is now over 3 ½ years since the announcement by Tun Razak of a new china foreign policy to mormalise relations between Malaysia and China. However up to now, diplomatic relations between Peking and Kuala Lumpur has still not been established and the people of Malaysia are kept in the dark about details of discussions and negotiations between the representatives of the two nations.
We in the DAP, have since our formation in 1966, called for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China although at that time we incurred Alliance hostilities and accusations of being anti-national.
We now call on the Prime Minister to forthwith announce the establishment of diplomatic relations with China and not to allow party or other electoral consideration to affect the timing in this matter.
When diplomatic relations is established between Peking and Kuala Lumpur there should be the fullest normalisation between the peoples and Government of Malaysia and China in all fields of endeavour as in trade, travels, economic relations, cultural, sports and other areas of human effort.
The DAP calls on the Prime Minister to assure the people that there will be fullest normalization of relations between Malaysia and China and all restrictions which are now placed on the peoples of Malaysia and China for closer understanding will be removed. This must involve among other things the lifting of all travel restrictions on Malaysians who want to visits China and the free entry and circulation of books, films, records and other cultural items of the Peoples’ Republic of China. and vice-versa.
The establishment of relations between the two countries, without fullest normalization, will be meaningless. There should be no fear or doubts about the loyalty of Malaysian Chinese, because Malaysians of Chinese decent, who have made great sacrifices to the prosperity and progress of this country are part and parcel of Malaysia. It is important that the loyalty of Malaysian Chinese should not be questioned in any context for such questioning can only undermine the unity and solidarity of the people in the country.
2. DAP wants guidelines to regulate foreign purchase and ownership of lands
One of the most disturbing features about the Malaysian economy is the predominant ownership and control by foreigners of key factors of our economic life. Thus, 70% of our modern and most productive economic sector of our economy are in the hands of the foreigners.
Recently, the Prime Minister announced guidelines to regulate the acquisition by foreigners of Malaysian companies, assets, megers and take-overs. This is a step in the right direction, but by itself it does nothing to rectify the grave economic imbalance between Malaysians and foreigners.
For instance, the various State Government are still granting and alienating large chunks of land running into several thousand acres to foreigners. Johore is a good example, as recently vast tracts of good land were given to foreign concerns and syndicates with utter disregard of the crying needs of the hundreds of thousands of our landless in the country.
The DAP calls for immediate Government regulations to stop State Government from alienating vast tracts of land to foreigners and Multi-national corporation regardless of the long term economic damages to the country.
Furthermore, the Government should conduct a study of the adverse effects of foreign domination of our economy on our economic independence. We must be very watchful of those foreigners who are only interested in coming into Malaysia to exploit Malaysians and Malaysian resources for maximum profits.
3. Need to expand University places to give Non-Malay students an opportunity in University education
The new University year will begin in a few months time, and enrolment for Malaysia’s five universities will soon be processed. The Prime Minister Tun Razak has more than once pledged in Parliament that in implementing the New Economic Policy and the 2nd Malaysia Plan, the Government would ensure that ‘no particular group, experiences any loss or feel any sense of deprivation’. The Prime Minister should look into the field of higher education to ensure that no particular group feels any sense of loss or deprivation.
In 1970 there were 3,237 Malay undergraduates, 4,009 Chinese undergraduates and 595 Indian undergraduates in the five Universities. From 1970-1973 the Malay undergraduates figure increased by 91% while the Chinese undergraduates figure increased by 14%. The Indian undergraduates figure increased by 69%.
It is clear that there is an urgent need to increased number of University places so that non-Malay students who hold the necessary qualifications can have opportunity to have higher education.
I therefore appeal to the Prime Minister to look into this matter so that all groups in the country can enjoy the progress in the field of education.