Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, at the Kundang DAP Branch dinner at Kundang, Selangor, on Saturday, 4th July 1981 at 8p.m.
MCA should dissolve as a political party if it could not fight for the basic political, economic, educational and citizenship rights of Malaysia, could not deal with “root problems’, but also do holdings business and deal with “symptom problem”
Two days ago, the MCA criticized me for commenting that the MCA’s KOJADI scheme does not deal with the root cause of denial of higher educational opportunities for our children, but only deal with the symptoms.
KOJADI cannot really solve the problem faced by aspiring Malaysians who want and are entitled to a university education, for the conditions of the KOJADI limit the applicability of the scheme to all intending students for higher studies, as:
1. the nomination of a child five years in advance by a participant of KOJADI restricts subsequent changes that my take place, where a different child may be heading for university education instead;
2. at an average, only about 4 put of every 100 have the chance to purse higher studies, which means that the overwhelming majority of the participants in the KOJADI scheme would not be able to benefit from the scheme; and
3. the limitation in the scope and applicability of the scheme if the “root problems” are not resolved, as new government regulations could easily clamp down on the institutions oversea which could accept Malaysian students – When local universities continue to hold out little hope for non-Malay students.
So long as the “root problems” and cause of denial of higher education opportunities for non-Malay students are not tackled, so long will the problem remain unresolved, however such anyone may tinkle with the symptom problem.
In fact, the KOJADI scheme may exactly furnish the extremists in the ruling party the reasons that there is no need for a basic change in higher education policy, in setting up new universities, the allowing of private universities, and expansion of university places locally for non-Malay students.
The MCA asks whether the “symptom problems”, should not be dealt with. The DAP is not opposed to the tackling of the “symptom problem” provided that the ‘root problems” are not abandoned.
As a component political party in government, the MCA’s No.1 responsibility is to solve the “root cause” of lack of higher education opportunities for our children in our country. If it cannot tackle the ‘root cause”, and abdicates from its responsibility to solve the root problem, then it should dissolve as a political party and concentrate on dealing with the symptoms.
In the same way, if the MCA could not and would not fight for the basic political, economic, educational, cultural and citizenship rights of the people and more interested in organizing holdings companies and businesses, then it should convert itself from a political party into a commercial organization so as not to be an obstacle to the struggle of the people for their basic citizenship rights.
In launching KOJADI, the MCA is in fact announcing that it has surrendered and abdicated from its responsibility to tackle and solve the “root problems” of inequality of higher education opportunities, and will only concentrate on dealing with the “symptom” problem.