Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, when opening the Selangor/Federal Territory State DAP Ordinary Convention 1981 at the Transport Worker, Union Hall in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 5th July 1981 at 10a.m.
DAP invites MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and MIC to jointly sponsor a motion in Parliament to condemn UMNO Youth Leader, Haji Suhaimi, for this extremist and chauvinist speeches which seriously undermine national unity.
Although top UMNO leaders had said that despite its being a party of the Malays, UMNO also looks after the other races, the fact remains that every time the UMNO and UMNO Youth hold their General Assemblies, the task of nation building of the different races in Malaysia suffers another setback because of extremist demands and speeches.
This year’s UMNO and UMNO Youth gathering is no exception, with the extremist and chauvinist demands of the UMNO Youth Leaders, Haji Suhaimi Kamaruddin, in calling for the slowing down of the economic growth of the non-Malays and the prohibition of the non-Malays from buying foreigners’ shares.
So long as UMNO and UMNO Youth leaders, who are also Ministers or Deputy Ministers, exploit the extremist positions for their own political interests, so long will inter-racial relations in Malaysia be undermined and nation building efforts marred.
It appears to have become an annual occasion for Haji Suhaimi to make use of the UMNO Youth assembly to spout extremisms in utter disregard of the rights and sensitivities of the other racial groups in the country.
Thus in June 1980, Haji Suhaimi in his UMNO Youth Presidential address made three highly divisive calls:
Firstly, the imposition of control on the economic progress of non-bumiputras to reduce the economic gap between them and the bumiputras;
Secondly, the raising of the quota of housing to be set aside for bumiputras in housing schemes from 30 to 55 peer cents;
Thirdly, the implementation of Clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act to convert Chinese and Tamil primary schools into national primary schools.
A few months ago, Haji Suhaimi successfully opposed the acquisition of the majority shares of United Malayan banking Corporation(UMBC) by the Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd. on the group that non-Malays should not acquire majority control of a bank.
In making such extremist and chauvinist demands, Haji Suhaimi had completely disregarded the multi-racial nature of Malaysia, and even more important, the New Economic Policy principle that in its implementation “no particular group would experience any loss or feel any sense of deprivation.”
Malaysia’s survival, prosperity and future can only be premised on an expanding economy, and not on a principle of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
All political leaders, from whatever party, must realize the inescapable and ineluctable fact that Malaysia is a multi-racial nation, and that she could only progress and prosper if extremism of any form are not allowed to rear their ugly head!
Whenever extremist rears its ugly head, it must be the duty of responsible leaders to smack hard on them so as not to allow them to have a lease of life.
This is what the DAP did last year when Haji Suhaimi proposed the implementation of Clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act in utter contempt of the legitimate aspirations of the Malaysian Chinese that the over 1,000 Chinese primary schools in Malaysia should exits and flourish forever.
If Sdr.Lee Lam Thye and Sdr.Kuppusamy had not smacked down such extremisms on its head by lodging official police reports and the DAP pressuring for prosecution of Haji Suhaimi for sedition offences, Haji Suhaimi’s call would have hear taken up by other extremists in UMNO and UMNO Youth creating a very different situation from today.
Similarly, Haji Suhaimi extremist calls at the UMNO Youth General Assembly must be condemned in the strongest possible manner by all political parties.
It is sad that the component parties in the Barisan, like MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and MTC are avoiding the isuue of denouncing extremism of any form from rearing its ugly head. Although the MCA small fries have come out with frierce statements criticizing Haji Suhaimi, the fact is not a single MCA Minister, Deputy Minister or national leader had come out openly and strongly against the extremist demands of Haji Suhaimi.
The Gerakan is also disappointing. I call still remember that last June, immediately after Haji Suhaimi had called for the implementation of Clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act, Haji Suhaimi was treated as a VIP in a Gerakan fuction in Selangor, implying Gerakan endorsement of Suhaimi’ speech at the UMNO Youth meeting.
If we dare not let those who make extremist demands know that their extremism is not acceptable, but are on the contrary feted them as if the “saviours” generations a grave disservice.
Haji Suhaimi’s extremist utterances are often and regular enough for a clear and unequivocal stand to be taken to denounce them.
The DAP invities the MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and MIC to jointly sponsor a motion in the next Parliamentary meeting to condemn Haji Suhaimi for this extremist and chauvinist demands in the UMNO Youth General Assemblies which seriously undermine national unity in Malaysia.
If the voices of reason and moderation are not prepared to make themselves heard, then they will be drowned by the sirens of extremism.
If all the MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and MIC Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Members of Parliament will jointly with DAP MP’s move a Parliamentary motion deploring the Suhaimi extremism, this will assure that the voices of reason, and moderation will not be drowned by the siren of extremism.
I will write to the leaders of MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and MIC to ascertain whether all their Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and MP’s will join the DAP MPs in such a joint Parliamentary motion, and I hope Datuk Lee Sen Choon, Dr,Lim Keng Yaik, Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui and Datuk Samy Vellu would be able to given an affirmative reply.
Shuaimi’s extremist demands at the UMNO Youth came Assembly at a time when leadership changes in UMNO were already creating apprehensions among the people.
Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, the new UMNO President and Prime Minister-designate, and Datuk Musa Hitam, the new Deputy President of UMNO and Deputy Prime Minister-expectant, will be the first to admit that such apprehensions among the non-Malays are not completely without basis in view of their political record in the 1960s.
However, I believe I can speak on behalf of the non-Malays in the country when I say that the non-Malays wish both Dr. Mahathir and Datuk Musa the best, and despite their apprehensions, are prepare to suspend their judgment and give both Dr. Mahathir and Datuk Musa the benefit of the doubt and believe that both of them in the seventies as Minister have had understood the larger and wider aspirations of Malaysians from all racial groups.
This is why the Suhaimi extremist utterances at such a juncture added to the unease and nervousness. The non-Malays in Malaysia are not demanding anything unreasonable. They fully support all government efforts to ensure that the Malays catch up educationally, economically and in other fields. It is very different however if there are those who want the economic progress of the non-Malays to be retarded and slowed down- for such a proposition is not only prejudicial to non-Malay interests, but inimical to the national interests.
There are those who want to retard not only educational progress of the non-Malays, but also the economic development of the non-Malays as well.
This is why the voices of moderation and reason must made themselves heard and felt. Otherwise, in the absence of the ability of the force of moderation and reason to assert itself, and the siren of extremism given a field day, even moderates in UMNO would have to become extremist to survive.
For this reason, I hope that the MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and MIC could join the DAP in taking a stand against extremism as espoused by Suhaimi. Last year, after Suhaimi made extremism and highly divinsive speeches of imposing control on the economic progress of non-bumiputras and thw implementation of Clause 21(2) of 1961 Education Act to covert Chinese and Tamil primary schools into national primary schools, Haji Suhaimi was promoted to Deputy Ministership.
IS he going to be rewards a Ministership because of this extremist call this year for slowing down the economic growth of non-Malays and the prohibition of purchases of foreigners shares by non-Malays? This will depend on whether the MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and MIC Minister, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Members of Parliament dare to stand up with DAP MPs to censure Datuk Suhaimi for his extremism and chauvinism.
Yesterday, UMNO Youth Executive Council member and Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Najib bin Tun Razak, said that UMNO Youth was opposed to the idea of 40% non-Malays control, and not merely ownership, in strategic economic sectors. He said strategic economic sectors should be controlled by the government and not by any one race.
Datuk Najib’s argument cannot be faulted, provided that the ownership and control of the government is seen and accepted as control and ownership on behalf of all races, and not on behalf of one race only.
This cannot be said to be the case today. For instance, although Petronas is a fully owned and controlled government organization, it appears to be but another agency to spearhead bumiputra commercial and industrial advance.
Is UMNO Youth prepared to press on the government to ensure that all governmental commercial and industrial projects are in fact owned and controlled behalf of all races and not be any one particular racial group? Otherwise, Datuk Najib’s argument is merely a red herring!
Many Malaysians are worried about the future of Malaysia, and ask each other what they think the Eighties and Nineties will turn out to be.
In my view, the future of Malaysia as a democratic, tolerant, multiracial Malaysia will depend on whether there are enough moderate Malaysians dedicated to the concept of multi-racialism who are prepared to stand up for cause of moderation and multi-racialism, and oppose and expose extremism of whatever form and from whatever quarter when it emerges.
For instance, in Ipoh more than a week ago, when the San Chai Chinese Independent Secondary School was having its anniversary dinners, certain Ipoh Municipality enforcement officers pulled down a Chinese banner put up a private premises for occasion, in gross violation of Clause Article 152 of Malaysians Constitution guaranteeing free use of the other languages while according Bahasa Malaysia the status of sole official and national language.
If such anti-national and unconstitutional acts are allowed unchallenged, it would lead to other excesses. Did the MCA, Gerakan or other Barisan parties speak up, let alone, act against such unconstitutional excesses?
Both the MCA and Gerakan are represented on the Ipoh Municipality, and both these parties must explain to the people, not only in Ipoh but in Malaysia, what they have done to discipline Ipoh Municipality enforcement officers who had shown such contempt for the constitutional-guaranteed and respected language of the Malaysian Chinese.
General Elections may be help in 10 to 11 12 months’ time
The Selangor/Federal Territory DAP state Ordinary Convention today is important because it will elect a new State Committee which will be responsible for preparing, organizing and conducting the DAP’s general elections campaign in Selangor and Federal Territory I the next general elections, which may be help in 10 to 12 months’ time.
Our political enemies in the Barisan Nasional had tried their very best in the last nine months to destroy the DAP from a combination of internal subversion and external intimidation. Despite the betrayal and treachery of handful, who have proved their lack of political principles, the party as a whole has remained intact.
However, the DAP in Selangor and Federal Territory continues to face a stiff challenge from the Barisan Nasional, who will leave no stone unturned to destroy the DAP in the next general elections.
The new DAP Selangor/Federal Territory committee to be elected today has therefore the onesure responsibility of not only countering and defeating this Barisan campaign, but to take the DAP to greater achievements by winning more Parliamentary and State Assembly seats in the next general elections.