1982 Chinese New Year message by Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang issued on 23rd January 1982
Call on Malaysian Chinese to regard themselves completely as Malaysians whose loyalty is second to none and who are determined to assert and defend their citizenships rights in a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation.
The 1982 Chinese New Year, of the Dog, is a year of great test and challenge for the Malaysian Chinese which would have far-reaching consequences for the future generations.
Although the Malaysian Chinese celebrate the Chinese New Year every year in fullness of Chinese customs and cultural expressions like the lion dance, they celebrate as 100% Malaysians.
In time of joyous festivity, the Malaysian Chinese must also use the occasion to take stock of their future and challenge. Our future is completely with Malaysia, for good or for ill, and Malaysian Chinese must regard themselves fully as Malaysians, whose loyalty to Malaysia is second to none, who are prepared to lay down their lives to protect the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the country.
Our challenge lies in our preparedness and determination to assert and defend our citizenship rights whether political, economic, educational, social or cultural, in a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation.
Malaysian Chinese must join Malaysians of other races to build a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious nation through the process of integration and resist the efforts of those who want to build a Malaysia based on the concept of one race, one language, one culture and one religion by the process of assimilation.
They must be prepared to accept fully the rights and responsibilities of citizenship if they are not to become less than full and equal citizens.
The 2M leadership of Dr. Mahathir and Datuk Musa Hitam have given the Malaysians Chinese a most unpleasant present for the year of the Dog, in the form of a 3M system for Chinese primary schools, which will lead to the progressive and irreversible erosion of their character and distinctiveness.
Nothing which the various top level ministers and government officials had said in the form of clarifications and assurances have altered the fact that the 3M system is completely unacceptable and is being imposed against the express will and vision of the parents and the Chinese community.
The Malaysian Chinese community send their children to Chinese primary schools so that they can receive a distinctive form of Chinese education under the Malaysian sun and not for a translated version of education being taught in the national primary schools.
Malaysian Chinese would not want a Chinese New Year celebration devoid of its Chinese cultural content. Similarly, they do not want a Chinese education devoid of its Chinese cultural character and values.
Malaysian Chinese, when they celebrate the Chinese New Year must discuss more deeply and thoroughly the implications of the 3M in Chinese primary schools, their right to insist that the government respect their wishes that should be no character change in Chinese primary schools, and ways and means for them to make their views and demands respected by the government through a more direct and open manifestation of their will.