DAP calls for the establishment of a National Inter-Religious Council to counter religious fanaticism and promote inter-religious understanding and goodwill.

Speech by Parliamentary opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, when officiating at the establishment of the Penang State Organising Sub-Committee held at DAP Penang headquarters at Jalan Ayer Puteh, Penang on Friday, 3rd August 1979 at 8 p.m.

DAP calls for the establishment of a National Inter-Religious Council to counter religious fanaticism and promote inter-religious understanding and goodwill.

The formation of the Penang State Organising Committee marks an important step in the Penang DAP’s plan to make a serious bid for power in the next general elections.

The success of Penang DAP’s plans for 1983 will depend to a great extent on the ability of Penang DAP to transform itself into a tightly-knit organisation, with a high sense of discipline and cohesion, and with an extraordinary degree of political motivation.

Organisation is therefore one of the three factors of success of any political movement, and this is where the Penang State Organising Committee will have the task of providing the organizational back-up to the Party’s thrust and expansion in the coming months and years.

Sdr. Lee Lam Thye appointed Chairman of the DAP National Committee for the Registration of Voters 1979.

In the last three general elections, the DAP found on each occasion that in all the constituencies we contested, we had many supporters who could not vote for us because they had registered as voters. There is no doubt that the DAP would have won many more Parliamentary and State Assembly seats if all our supporters had registered as electors and had the right to vote on Polling Day.

The registration of voters will be conducted by the Elections Commission in September this year, and all States and branches must impress on the people of the importance of registering as voters, so that they could help decide the type of nation we want to live under.

The Party has appointed Sdr. Lee Lam Thye, MP for KL Bandar, as Chairman of the DAP National Committee for the Registration of Voters 1979, with Sdr. Fadzlan Yahya as Secretary, and every State Committee to send a representative to serve on the committee.

This committee should ensure that there is a maximization of registration of all eligible voters during the September voters’ registration exercise.

Call for establishment of Inter-Religious Council to counter religious extremism and promote inter-religious understanding and goodwill.

Malaysia’s survival and stability depends on the preservation and protection of the multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious characters of the country.

Unfortunately, over the last one year, there has been an o9utburst of religious fanaticism and extremism as manifested in the persistent on-off desecration of temples and places of worship.

But what is more disturbing than the individual acts of desecration of temples and places of worship is the attitude and mentality which resulted in such acts of despoliation.

For it is clear that there must have been prolonged indoctrination in religious fanaticism and intolerance before the actual acts of intolerance are seen. In other words, the individual acts of desecration of temples and places of worship are just more tips of the iceberg.

This is most sad and serious, for it also represents a failure of the Rukunegara principles taught in all schools extolling religious freedom. Something is basically wrong with the education of the country, which has failed to promote the very values which the Rukunegara proclaims.

Religious intolerance, extremism and bigotry cam tear apart the Malaysian nation, and efforts must be made by all responsible leaders to get together to deal with this problem, for it is not merely the problem of one religion, but of all religious and of all Malaysians.

In this connection, I believe that the establishment of an Inter-Religious Council, with representatives from the various religious and faiths, will be able to play a positive role to counter religious extremism and fanaticism and promote inter-religious understanding, tolerance and goodwill in making more and more Malaysians understand that all religious share common universal values of making man good.

I urge the Prime Minister, Datuk Hussein, to take the initiative to take the initiative to establish the Inter-Religious Council as a concrete step to promote inter-religious understanding and tolerance.

MCA’s Two Per Cent Bluff

Recently, the people of Malaysia war treated to the latest political bluff of the MCA- the MCA Two Per Cent Bluff!

When the MCA discovered that the people throughout the country were extremely disappointed by the meager 2% increase for non-Malay students in the local universities this year, MCA Ministers and leaders went round the country to spread word that they had issued an ultimatum to the Prime Minister that if there was no satisfactory solution to the problem of higher education opportunities for non-Malays, MCA Ministers would resign from the Cabinet and the MCA pull put from the Barisan.

Of course, nobody believed the MCA claims, concluding rightly that the MCA was only staging an ‘opera’ hoping to deceive the people.

On June 28, MCA President Datuk Lee San Choon had a four-hour meeting with Datuk Hussein Onn, and nothing was announced after the meeting, apart from the mysterious ‘formula’ on university student intake.

MCA Ministers and leaders claimed that they could not give the details, declaring that the people should trust the MCA leaders.

How could the MCA Ministers expect the people to trust them when they have been staging ‘ operas’ instead of safeguarding the basic rights and interests of the people?

The people cannot have much faith in such ‘ secret understanding’ for firstly, nobody knows whether there is such a ‘ secret understanding’; secondly, even if there is such a ‘ secret understanding’, it is only a very vague and informal affair which could be forgotten when there is a change of Ministers; and thirdly, from past experience, such ‘secret understanding ‘ have a habit of becoming completely secret and forgotten.

A good example is the case in Malacca. On Merdeka in 1957, there was an understanding between the UMNO and the MCA on the two posts of Malacca Governor and Malacca Chief Minister.

According to this understanding, if the Malacca Chief Ministership is filled by a Malay, the Governor will be occupied by a Malaysian Chinese, and the vice versa. But apart from the appointment of Tun Loong Yew Koh as Malacca Governor in the early years of Merdeka, this understanding of Malacca has been completely ignored.

Unless the MCA President, Datuk Lee San Choon, or the Prime Minister, Datuk Hussein Onn, can disclose details of this so-called ‘new formula and understanding’ on the intake of non- Malay university students, then the people are justified in continuing to regard this episode as the latest MCA political bluff -the MCA 2% Bluff!

Detailed Penang 1978 Std. V .Assessment Test results

Penang Chinese primary schools perform poorly in Bahasa Malaysia in last year’s Std. V .Assessment Test, calling for urgent action by the Ministry and the parents and teachers to upgrade the standards in the schools.

The percentage of passes for the various subjects in the Std. V. Assessment Test for Penang Chinese primary schools are as follows:


Bahasa Malaysia 22.6%
English 47.8%
Mathematics 73.7%
Sains 62.2%
History/Geography 70.5%
Chinese 60.8%

Although these results compare favourably with the national results of national primary schools. There is considerable room for improvement in English and other subjects so that Penang Chinese primary school students would not find the opportunities of further educational advancement blocked to them. This requires the joint efforts of the Boards of Management, teachers and parents and I believe that the time has come for the Malaysian Chinese community to take a more active role in ensuring a raising of educational standards in Chinese primary schools.