Statement by parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, at a Press Conference held at 63-D Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur, on Wednesday, 2nd Nov. 1977 at 12 noon, on the occasion of the first full year of the detention of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, and the publication of a Book on their Detention.
DAP calls on Prime Mimister, Dato Hussein Onn, to release immediately and unconditionally Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, who are Malaysian patriots and defenders of the Malaysian Constitution and the democratic system.
I have with me Mrs. Chian Heng Kai. I have called this Press Conference on the occasion of the full one-year arbitrary detention without trial of two DAP leaders, Sdr. Chian Heng Kai, DAP Member of Parliament for Batu Gajah, and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, DAP Assistant National Treasurer.
Both of them have been detained under the Internal Security Act, not because of any crimes they have committed against the laws or the Constitution of this country, but because of their political and democratic struggle to uphold the Constitutional rights of the people.
On the occasion of the first full one year-tem of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, the DAP has published a book “ISA Detention: Allegations and Rebuttals” containing letters from jail written by both Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, which make amply clear their political convictions and their commitment to a democratic, peaceful and Constitutional form of political struggle.
Both Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit make very clear in their letters from jail that they had never been involved with Communist United Front activities, and that they do not agree with the communist cause or method of struggle. They remain steadfast in their belief that in a multi-racial society like Malaysia, the only political form of struggle which can ensure Malaysia’s continued survival as a nation is by democratic means.
As the letters of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit reveal, the long list of grounds given by Ministry or Home Affairs for their detention concern their speeches and statements over a period of time in with Chinese education questions.
Any perusal or study of the letters contained in the Book, shows clearly that Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit’s espousal the cause the cause of Chinese education is fully in conformity with the Constitutional guarantees and provision of provisions of Clause 152. It is exactly because Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit have not transgressed or broken any law in their democratic, political espousal of the cause of Chinese education, but have kept strictly within the limits of the Constitution, that both Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit have not been charged in an open court.
The use of ISA to detain Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit for daring to espouse the cause of Chinese education, which is disliked by the ruling parties, whether UMNO or MCA, is however no cause or justification for the deprivation o their personal liberties.
Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit are national folk heroes
Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit are among the national folk heroes, who are prepared to sacrifice personal freedoms for basic principle of fundamental concern to the people; who are prepared to make great personal sacrifices so that the people and the future generations enjoy important basic rights, in particular the right to mother-tonge education.
Malaysia need more men or women of the calibre and quality of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit, who can subordinate personal interests to the interests of the people and nation.
The continued detention of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit will not dampen or frighten DAP leaders into silence or submission. On the contrary, DAP leaders, members, and supporters should take courage from the personal sacrifices of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit to re-double their efforts to strive for the realisation of a democratic socialist and genuinely multi-racial Malaysia, where all the languages, cultures, religions and customs have their rightful and proper place.
I call on the Prime Minister, Dato Hussein Onn, to release immediately and without conditions Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit if the Barisan Nasional Government wants the people and the world to believe that there is genuine democracy and respect for the Rule of L aw in Malaysia.
The Government has up to this date failed to furnish a single credible reason for the detention of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit. As I said in Parliament last week, if the Government can furnish proof to the DAP that Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit have been involved in Communist United Front activities, then provide the DAP with the evidence, and we will expel both of them from the Party. If the Government cannot do this, and the silence of the Government since my challenge in Parliament last Thursday shows that they cannot furnish any evidence, then both of them should be immediately released.
The Central Executive Committee of the DAP has this morning sent a telegram to the Prime Minister, Dato Hussein Onn, calling of the release of Sdr. Chian Heng Kai and Sdr. Chan Kok Kit. The cable reads:
“Dato Hussein Onn,
Detention of DAP MP Lim Kit Siang and National Assistant Treasurer Chan Kok Kit under ISA one year ago arbitrary and abuse of power. Government failed to date to produce single iota of credible evidence or reason for their detention. Both should be released immediately and unconditionally. Their espousal of Chinese education issues fully within Constitutional provisions and law. Both Malaysian patriots and believers of democratic system and defenders of Constitution. Urge special Cabinet meeting to review their case and release, failing which they should be charged in open court, or evidence furnished to DAP to justify their detention.