Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General and Member of Parliament for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, when officiating at the opening ceremony of the DAP PJ SEA Park Branch on Saturday, 9th September 1978 at 3 p.m.
DAP calls for the formation of a National Inter – Religious council to foster mutual respect and tolerance for each other’s religion, and to create greater inter – religious harmony and understanding in the country
Recent developments have demonstrated that there is need for greater inter – religious harmony and understanding in the country. For a multi – racial country like Malaysia with its diverse religions and cultures, inter – religious tolerance, harmony and misunderstanding is vital to national unity and progress.
All the religions seek to bring out the best in men, and there is no doubt that there is considerable common religious principles and teachings among all the great religions.
Malaysia as a nation is predicated on the basis of religious freedom. In view of what has happened recently, in particular the systematic desecretion of temples and places worship, there is a need for a more vigorous national effort to promote inter – religious understanding and tolerance.
In this light, the DAP proposes the formation of a National Inter – Religious Council to foster mutual respect and tolerance for each other’s religion, and to create greater inter – religious harmony and understanding in the country. All the major religions and religious denominations should be represented on this National Inter – Religious Council – for it is the responsibility, not only of every Malaysian citizen, but also of every religion to inculcate the qualities of religious tolerance in the country.
DAP to raise in Parliament why the Principal of Nam Kheung Chinese Primary School, in Cheras, Thong Li Poh, was trasnferred
It is most deplorable that despite the protests of the Nam Kheung Chinese Primary School Board of Management, the Old Boys’ Association and the Parents – Teachers’ Association, the Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Chan Siang Sum, decided to transfer the School Principal, Mr. Thong Li Poh, away from the school to Ampang.
It is clear that this transfer is politically motivated, and part of the MCA plan against Chinese educationists for the MCA setbacks in the 1978 general elections.
I will raise a parliamentary question next month to demand to know why the Education Ministry has completely disregarded the legitimate requests of the Nam Kheung Chinese Primary School Board of Management, Old Boys’ Association and the Parents – Teachers’ Association for Thong Li Poh’s retention as principal of the school, and why Datuk Chan Siang Sum is so determined to get Thong Li Poh transferred out.
It is public knowledge that Mr. Loot Ting Yu is teaching in Nam Kheung Chinese primary school, but the Deputy Education Minister, Chan Siang Sum and the MCA should be warned that the people at large will not allow Mr. Loot Ting Yu to be victimised or persecuted because of his courage in speaking up for the rights and position of Chinese education in Malaysia, whether it be with regard to Chinese primary schools, Chinese Independent Secondary Schools, or the formation of the Merdeka University.