Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, when launching a series of Perak State DAP-organised political talks at the Perak State premises on Friday, 18th July 1980 at 8pm
DAP to form a Bureau of Religious and Cultural Affairs to promote greater inter-religious understanding and contribute to the development of cultural pluralism in Malaysia
I congratulate Perak State Committee for organizing a series of political talks aimed at a deeper understanding of important issues and questions directly bearing on nation building in Malaysia.
The inauguration of this series of political ‘brain-storming’ sessions is most opportune, at a time when the Party is embarking on a major assessment, examination and review of party policies, to prepare for a major policy document of the Party in conjunction with the 15th Anniversary Celebrations, to enable the Party to face and overcome the Challenges of the Eighties.
The next six to nine months promise to be very intensive periods for all party leaders, cadres and members, for all will participate in this review and formulation of the New DAP Policy Document for the 1980s, which will be adopted at the DAP 15th Anniversary Party Congress in 1981.
The Party will celebrate the 15th Anniversary in a big way, not in terms of monetary expenditure, but in terms of political activities to heighten commitment of party members to the political cause of a democratic socialist, Malaysian Malaysia, and deepen the people’s understanding and acceptance of the DAP’s political aims and objectives.
The DAP has set up a special Party 15th Anniversary Celebration Committee to plan and organize this year-long celebration. The members are:
Vice Chairman: Ibrahim Singgeh
Secretary: Bernard Sta Maris
Members: Lau Dak Kee
Teoh Teik Huat
Tai Sin Piaw
Fung Ket Wing
In the Eighties, the question of religious and cultural intolerance, bigotry and extremism will pose a serious challenge and threat to the stability of Malaysia and if unchecked, will seriously retard the process of nation building and national integration of the various races in the country.
There is an urgent need for greater inter-religious understanding where followers of all creeds in Malaysia appreciate and realize that they share in common with followers of other faiths the universal values of brotherhood, compassion, justice and equality. The rise of religious extremism shows the failure of the education system to promote such tolerance and understanding for other religions needed if Malaysia is to survive.
There is also a growing intolerance of other cultural expressions, which should not be permitted in a society founded on a diversity of cultures. Cultural pluralism is a fact of Malaysian life, but not accepted by all in Malaysia.
The DAP will form a Bureau of Religious and Cultural Affairs to promote greater inter-religious understanding and to contribute to the acceptance and development of cultural pluralism in Malaysia.