Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, at the Circular Road DAP Branch dinner to commemorate the DAP’s 15th Anniversary held at the multi-storeyed car park Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur, on Tuesday, 24th November, 1981 at 8 p.m.
Three reasons why Haji Suhaimi wants the Malaysian Chinese to support Barisan parties like MCA and Gerakan against the DAP.
The UMNO Youth Leader, Haji Suhaimi Kamaruddin, said in Butterworth on Sunday that the Chinese community should not support the DAP, but must support instead Barisan component parties like MCA and Gerakan.
Haji Suhaimi said the DAP is a ‘stumbling block’ to national unity.
Haji Suhaimi’s extremist views are well-known in the country, as only a few months back, he called for the banning of the DAP when he was in Kelantan.
But Haji Suhaimi’s endorsement of the MCA and Gerakan a most interesting, and shows up his thinking and motivation.
There are three reasons why Haji Suhaimi wants the Malaysian Chinese to support parties like the MCA and Gerakan and oppose the DAP.
Firstly, Haji Suhaimi has known from experience that it is only the DAP which had publicly stymied his call for the conversion of Chinese and Tamil primary schools into national primary schools at the UMNO Youth General Assembly last year, when he demanded for the implementation of Clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act.
The MCA got its sixth or seventh-class politicians to make some noises in the press against Haji Suhaimi, but its MPs, State Assemblymen, and even more important, Deputy Ministers and Ministers kept quiet.
It was the DAP, which by lodging a police report against Haji Suhaimi for committing a sedition offence in infringing a sensitive issue that Haji Suhaimi quickly clarified that he never called for the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools. Of course, Haji Suhaimi could not explain Clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act, which confers powers on the Education Minister to convert Chinese and Tamil primary schools into national primary schools, could be implanted without their closure as well.
Secondly, Haji Suhaimi has also found from experience that around with DAP, he could not treat Parliament like a UMNO Youth Assembly, where he could say what he liked. Last week, Haji Suhaimi was completely exposed in Parliament by DAP Mps as a very irresponsible and shallow politician when:
1. he was unable to state with 100% certainty that not Minister or Deputy Minister had children who receive government scholarships, although he claimed that Barisan Nasional leaders never abused their powers;
2. he was speechless to the question whether he was aware that many Ministers and Deputy Ministers send their children overseas for education, showing no confidence in their own education system;
3. when he was pulled up in Parliament for trying to be funny when he claimed to not understand English to Fung Ket Wing’s question, but when I wanted to refer him to the committee of Privileges, he quickly back-tracked by claiming he meant he did not understand Ket Wing’s question.
The third reason is that Haji Suhaimi knew that with the MCA and Gerakan, he could get what he wants, whether it be the UMBC issue or Dunlop Estates Affair, or the Second MCA Deputy Prime Minister matter.
Although the MCA had four Ministers and five Deputy Ministers, and Haji Suhaimi is merely a Deputy Minister, Haji Suhaimi could not make the four MCA Ministers and five Deputy Ministers knuckle to his demands.
This, he could not do with the DAP, although the DAP has no Minister or Deputy Minister, but only MPs.
The MCA and Gerakan, for instance, would fully endorse Haji Suhaimi’s view that the DAP is a stumbling block to national unity. Haji Suhaimi also knows that whatever extremist demands he make, the MCA and Gerakan Ministers dare not censure him, as show by the MCA and Gerakan’s refusal to support the DAP motion in Parliament to condemn Haji Suhaimi’s extremism and chauvinism.
Haji Suhaimi can also rely on MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers, to take stands and attitudes very akin to his.
A good example is what happened in Parliament last Friday, when the Deputy Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports, Datuk Chin Hon Ngian, attacked the DAP for raising the ‘old cultural issues’ in Parliament and thus ‘hindering the development of national culture’.
This came about because during the debate on the Culture Ministry’s 1982 estimates, two DAP MPs, Sdr. Lee Lam Thye and Sdr. Chian Heng Kai, spoke and made two important points:
1. that the lion dance must be regarded by the government as part of Malaysian national culture;
2. that in the process of cultural evolution, there should be no attempt by any group to force its cultural ways, mores and values on other groups.
I would have expected Datuk Chim, as the MCA’s cultural spokesman, to support these two principles in cultural development in the country. Datuk Chin not only refused to express agreement for these two cultural principles, he embarked on a fierce attack on the DAP for being ‘extremist’ in raising these two issues.
If Haji Suhaimi had made such a speech, I would understand, although I would not be able to agree. But for Datuk Chin to make such a speech, I could not both agree or understand.
In any event, I can understand more clearly why Haji Suhaimi wants the Malaysian Chinese to support the MCA, and to oppose the DAP.
It is not the DAP which is the stumbling block to national unity, but politicians like Haji Suhaimi, who has no sensitivity, respect or regard to the rights and aspirations of other communities in the country.
Haji Suhaimi should realise that he had been making one extremist demand after another, while there is nobody like him among other groups who is trying to do a ‘Suhaimi’ is also countering one extremist demand after another.
Of course, I do not expect the MCA or the Gerakan to agree with me. But then, I do not expect the Malaysian Chinese to agree with the MCA, Gerakan or Haji Suhaimi at all!