Challenge to Lee San Choon to declare MCA stand on Merdeka University

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, when addressing a joint meeting of committee members of DAP Branches in the Kepong Parliamentary Constituency at the Jinjiang DAP Branch held on Sunday, 20th November 1977 at 10a.m.

Challenge to Lee San Choon to declare MCA stand on Merdeka University

MCA leaders have boasted that under the leadership of Lee San Choon, the MCA now dares to take stand on basis issues, and do not run away from important questions intimately affecting the interests of the people. Through endless speeches by MCA leaders, the people have been asked to believe that MCA leaders now dare to speak up, and dare to do!

Propaganda is always propaganda, and completely divorced from reality. In fact, MCA under Lee San Choon has continued to evade fundamental issues.

A good case in point is the MCA stand on the Merdeka University proposal, mooted to give our children higher educational opportunities currently denied to them in the large majority of cases; and to give graduates from Chinese Independent secondary schools an opportunity in their homeland to further their academic studies.

Last Saturday, on 12th November, at the 1,000-person anniversary dinner of the Perak DAP held in Ipoh, I pointed out that although the budget debate had lasted for 7 days, and many MCA and Gerakan Members of Parliament have spoken, not a single one of them had even mentioned the Merdeka University project. I had then urged MCA and Gerakan MPs who would be participating in the budget debate before the Ministers wind up the debate to express their support for Merdeka University.

The budget debate continued, and MCA and Gerakan MPs who spoke in the resumed debate again avoided the Merdeka University proposal.

It is clear that the MCA and Gerakan Members of Parliament are not prepared to support the Merdeka University proposal. If this is the case, then let them have the courage to explain why they oppose the Merdeka University proposal.

The MCA leaders do not stop claiming that they represent the 5 million Chinese in Malaysia. If the MCA’s self-claim is true, then they should be the first to give support for Merdeka University both inside and outside Parliament, as the Merdeka University project have the support of the overwhelming Malaysian Chinese population.

I challenge Lee San Choon to declare MCA stand on Merdeka University. If the MVA is opposed to the Merdeka University, then let Lee San Choon have the courage to declare so and give the reasons, and let the people of Malaysia judge whether Lee San Choon’s reasons are acceptable, or must be completely repudiated.

And where is MCA Youth, all the great champions of the five million Chinese? Who talk so bravely about nothing but on fundamental issues, run for cover and go into hiding?

All the DAP branches in Kepong must organise themselves and explain to the people in Kepong the political situation in the country, so that they can fully understand the basic forces at work in the country.

The DAP branches in Kepong must work hard, for the next general elections is not far away, and although the DAP did not win Kepong in the previous general elections, we must convert the DAP defeat in Kepong in the 1974 general elections as a stepping stone to our success in the next general elections.