Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, at a dinner organised by the Batu Gajah DAP Branch to mark the one-year unjustified detention of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, the dinner being held at Kuan Tai Temple Hall, Batu Gajah on Wednesday, 2nd Nov. 1977 at 7p.m.
Call on every Malaysian who cherish Chinese education to get a copy of the new DAP booklet “ISA detention: Accusation and Rebuttals” to understand the hard and thorny road ahead for mother-tongue education in Malaysia.
Every Malaysian who love and cherish Chinese education, and who wants Chinese schools to enjoy it rightful place in Malaysia society in accordance with the Malaysian Constitutional guarantee of Clause 152, should get a copy of a new DAP book “ISA detention: Accusations and Rebuttals” to understand the nature of the struggle involved.
The book “ISA detention: Accusations and Rebuttals” will prove to be one of the most important political testaments in the country, containing the declaration of political beliefs and principles of two DAP leaders, who are now detained in Kamunting Detention Camp and sacrificing their personal liberties for these very political beliefs and principles
The book contains letters written by Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit from the Kamunting Detention Camp, which have been censored by the Special Branch, before they reach me. I cannot understand why the Special Branch, having read and Sdr. Chian and Sdr. Chan’s letters, which make it very clear that they believe democratic political struggle and have nothing to do with the Communist United Front, to achieve for Chinese education and schools an rightful place, should feel justified to keep them in detention.
Unless, of course, those who read the letters and allow them to reach me, which shows that they are not subversive documents, have really no power to decide on their detention –as their detention is not a real question of ‘national security’ but a matter of ‘Barisan National Politics’.
Today, the Prime Minister, Dato Hussein Onn, has been flooded with telegrams from DAP Branches, MPs and leaders calling for the release of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit. I urge him to heed these telegrams and response to them.
The DAP Central Executive Committee has also today sent a telegram to Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit in Kamunting Detention Camp, which reads:
“Sdr. Chian Heng Kai / Sdr. Chan Kok Kit
Kamunting Detention Camp
DAP and people of Malaysia solidly behind you in sacrifice of personal liberties for fundamental political principles. Both of you are national folk heroes who will be example of Malaysians and generations to come of Political Leaders of principle and courage of conviction. DAP oroud of both of you.
Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit are in detention because of their espousal of Chinese education and schools, It is therefore essential that everyone who loves and cherish Chinese education read and know the real reasons for their detention, and make a judgement for himself of the injustice of such arbitrary detentions.
For DAP leaders, members and supporters, the biggest tribute we can make to Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, on the occasion of the first full year of their detention, is to continue unwaveringly in the uncompleted task which both of them have left us.
There maybe those who had hoped that the detention of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit will halt the espousal of Chinese education issues is in full conformity with the constitution and the laws of the country?
In arresting Sdr. Chian Heng Kai, the Barisan Nasional have deprived the people of Batu Gajah of an active MP, who can help service them and solve their day-to-day problems. But while in detention, Sdr. Chian Heng Kai is continuing to serve the people of Batu Gajah, not by solving their day-to-day problems, but in fighting to ensure that the people of Batu Gajah and their children han have the right of mother-tongue education in their country.
The warm response from the people of Batu Gajah tonight show that the people of Batu Gajah not only understand this, but are solidly behind Sdr. Chian Heng Kai’s sacrifice. This makes Sdr. Chian Heng Kai worth it, and will give further encouragement and courage to Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and the DAP to press ahead with our political struggle to achieve a democratic socialist, and genuinely multi-racial Malaysian society.