By Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, on Dec. 2, 1977:
DAP challenge to MCA to boycott the Universiti Technology Malaysia convocation as a protest against the university ruling requiring non-Malay graduates to wear Malay Costumes.
The most unreasonable and unjustifiable ruling by the Universiti Technology Malaysia requiring non-Malay graduates to wear Malay Costumes at the university convocation to be held in Parliament House tomorrow is the latest example of what is wrong with a Malaysia under Barisan Nasional government.
The concept of Malaysia as a nation of different races, languages, cultures and religions, where diversity is appreciated as the unique quality of Malaysia, s not accepted by many in power-as evidenced by the University Technology Malaysia affair.
I note that a MCA Youth Statement deplored the Universiti Technology Malaysia ruling requiring non-Malay graduates to wear Malay Costumes, and expressing full support and backing for the boycott by the non-Malay graduates of the convocation as a protest against the ruling.
The people of Malaysian will be entitled to know whether the MCA Youth is shedding crocodile’s tears, or cat weeping for mice. The MCA is a member of the ruling party for 21 years, and they must accept full responsibility for every action and ruling that is made by the government or government-controlled organisations like the Universiti Technology Malaysia which runs counter to the concept of respect the diverse cultures and customs of the different races in the country.
The Universiti Technology Malaysia is directly under the charge of the Education Ministry. The Deputy Education Minister is none other than the MCA Youth Leader, Chan Siang Sum. I want to ask him to explain why he allowed the Universiti Technology Malaysia to make such a ruling, without doing anything to repeal the ruling requiring non-Malay graduates to wear Malay Costumes in the convocation ceremony.
Or are we going to get the stock reply that Mr. Chan Siang Sum knew nothing about the university ruling all along? Either Mr. Chan Siang Sum demonstrates that as Deputy Education Minister, he is respected by his subordinates in the Ministry of Education, and that he has the power and influence to have his view respected and obeyed, or he should resign his Minister 1 position. There is no point of his continuing to draw Ministerial salary when he is completely powerless, in instance after instance, which has comes to public knowledge.
As a member of the ruling party, the issue of a press statement by the MCA Youth is not good enough. As a important principle is involved, I call on all the MCA Ministers to boycott the Universiti Technology Malaysia convocation tomorrow as a protest against the ruling, and let all parties and authorities concerned know that the MCA dirtiest Ministers and members to boycott the Universiti Technology Malaysia convocation.