Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang,at the inaugural meeting of the Selangor/Federal Territory DAP Woman’s Section at 63-D Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur on Monday,20th July 1981 at 8 pm
DAP to write to Attorney-General, Abu Talib bin Osman, to re-open the case if Suhaimi Kamaruddin and to charge him in court for sedition for proposing at UMNO Youth Conference last year to implement Clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act to convert Chinese and Tamil primary schools into national primary schools
The biggest shocker in the new Cabinet line-up is the appointment of UMNO Youth President, Haji Suhaimi Kamarrudin, as Deputy Education Minister.
It was only last year that Haji Suhaimi Kmatuddin, at the UMNO Youth Conference, called for the implementation of Clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act to convert Chinese and Tamil primary schools into national primary schools.
Haji Suhaimi had not retracted what he said at the UMNO Youth Conference which flouted the wishes and aspiration of the Malaysia Chinese and Tamil communities who cherish their mother-tongue schools.
The appointment of Haji Suhaimi Kamaruddin as Deputy Education Minister is therefore most unsettling in terms of the long-term development of educational system of the Barisan Nasional government.
Haji Suhaimi Kamarrudin should make clear his stand on the Chinese and Tamil primary schools, as to whether he is prepared to retract what he had proposed last year to implement Clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act.
Otherwise, with the UMNO Youth leader as Deputy Education Minister, how can the people expect that the Chinese and Tamil primary schools would begin to get their fair share of development funds and attention after the long years of neglect?
In fact, if we look at the Ministry of Education set-up, with Dr.Suleiman Daud as Education Minster, and Haji Suhaimi and Datuk Chan Siang Sum as Deputy Education Ministers, it is obvious that of the three, it is Haji Suhaimi who has the most political power and influence.
Datuk Chan Siang Sam is of course a dead loss, who is stuck in the post of Seputy Esucation Minister like a jammed record needle, and despite his five parliamentary terms, will probably never rise any higher or have any real political influence.
Haji Suhaimi Kamarrudin has clearly committed sedition when he called for the implementation of Clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act at the UMNO Youth Conference last year. Mark Koding , who called for the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools in Parliament in October, was charged in court for sedition, about three years after the DAP decided to lodge a police report against him in 1978.
Similarly, the DAP decided to lodge a police report against Haji Suhaimi last year when he called for the implementation of Clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act, for the simple reason that such implementation cannot be brought about without the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools. Consequently, to call for the implementation of Clause 21(2) of the Education Act is tantamount to calling for the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.
The DAP will write to the Attorney-General Tan Sri Talib Othman to re-open the case of Suhaimi Kamaruddin and to charge him in court for an offence of sedition in calling for the implementation of Clause 21(2) if the 1961 Education Act, to show that there is impartial enforcement of the law, regardless of status, position or rank. Let the courts finally decide whether Haji Suhaimi had committed sedition, as otherwise, the impartiality of the Attorney-General is in question.