Challenge to MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP to state within 48 hours whether they are prepared to join DAP MPs to submit a joint Parliamentary motion to oppose the legalization of illegal Indonesian immigrants

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Sian, at/the public seminar / the opening of on ‘Prospects and Perspectives of Malaysia in the 1990s’ organized by the Malacca DAP Socialist Youth on Sunday, 3rd June 1984 at 10 a.m.

Challenge to MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP to state within 48 hours whether they are prepared to join DAP MPs to submit a joint Parliamentary motion to oppose the legalization of illegal Indonesian immigrants.

For the last few months, while the component Barisan Nasional parties like the MCA, Gerakan, MIC were engaged in an intense, no-holds-barred internal power struggle, the people’s political, economic, educational and cultural rights had suffered the greatest erosion and setbacks.

Even under the best of times, the MCA leaders are not known to be sturdy and effective defenders of the people’s basic rights, but in the past few months, the MCA leaders, whether the Neo Yee Pan or the Tan Koon Swan faction, had completely abandoned their political responsibilities to future generations by devoting all their energies, resources and finance, as well as time, to a party feud while disregarding the great erosion of the people’s fundamental rights.

Thus, one MCA faction has launched a national ‘love-the-party’ campaign, while the other faction has a national ‘defend-the-party’ campaign. The Neo camp accuses the Tan faction of having spent some $10 million in its attempt to topple the Neo leadership; while the Tan faction accuses the Neo leadership of using some $10 million of MCA funds to hang on to power. If only both factions could donate the $20 million to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools, they would be doing the people greater good instead!

The same thing is happening in the Gerakan, which has followed quickly in the footsteps of MIC and MCA in securing court injunctions to fight intra-party battles, and the MIC which is striving very hard not to be overshadowed by the two late-comers.

While this component parties in the Barisan National are so pre-occupied and obsessed with their internal bickerings, the UMNO big brother, because of UMNO power struggle, had resulted in government decisions which had not taken into full account the political, economic, educational, cultural and religious rights, aspirations and needs and sensitivities of non-Malay Malaysians in the country.

The most recent example is the Malaysia-Indonesia labour agreement to legalise Indonesian illegal immigrants in Malaysia concluded between Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Musa Hitam and the Indonesian Manpower Minister Sudomo on 12th May in Sumatera.

The first thing that come to mind is why the Malaysian Minister of Labour was not in Sumatra to sign the agreement with his counterpart in Indonesia? Is it because Datuk Mak Hon Kam was too busy with his MCA party squabbles to spend time on important national issues? Or is it because on important national issues, like the Malaysia-Indonesian Agreement on Supply of Indonesian Workers, MCA Ministers are traditionally kept at the sidelines as they are not important enough to particularly in substantive policy decisions?

The signing of the Malaysia-Indonesia Agreement on Indonesian immigrant labour, without first resolving long-standing Malaysian problems like the citizenship status of 300,000 red-identity card holders and their job rights is a total disagree, especially as 10 years ago, the late Tun Razak had agreed solemnly in the Shanghai Communique with premier Chou EnLai to resolve once and for all this stateless problem.

But it is not Datuk Mak Hon Kam alone who must be totally ashamed for his dereliction of political duties in the Malaysia-Indonesian Labour Agreement, all the other MCA Ministers and MPs (including the Tan Koon Swan camp) , and the Gerakan and MIC Ministers and MPs as well, must be ashamed too. This is because Datuk Musa signed the agreement on behalf of all Barisan Ministers and MPs, unless they speak out in opposition.

I challenge all MCA, Gerakan, MIC, as well as SUPP Ministers and Mps to declare their opposition of the Malaysia-Idoniesian Labour Agreement, if they have a political conscience.

I challenge all MCA, Gerakan, MIC, as well as supp Ministers and MPS to declare within 48 hours whether they are prepared to join DAP MPS to sponsor a joint Parliamentary motion for the forthcoming July meeting of Parliamentary to oppose the ratification and implementation of the Malaysia-Idoniesia Agreement to legalise illegal Idoniesian until, firstly, the problem of the stateless status of the 300,000 red identity holders had been resolved; and secondly, iron-clad conditions that Idoniesian immigrant labour would not become Malaysian citizens and their period of stay in Malaysia would not be construed as periods qualifying for citizenship applications in future.

I do not think 48 hours is too short a time for an answer from the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Ministers and MPS, especially as during the MCA party crisis, the Tan Koon Swan faction prided itself on its efficiency and competence in securing 1,499 delegate signatures all over the country in 48 hours for the sake of the convening an Extraordinary General Meeting. Surely, the submission of a joint parliamentary motion opposing the implementation of the Malaysia-Indonesian Agreement on Labour until the rights of local

Malaysians are protected is even move important than the convening of an Extraordinary General Meeting?

If there is no response in 48 hours from any of the Ministers and MPS concerned, then the people should draw their own conclusion about their political integrity and purpose.

Why MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP agreed to the 70 million people population policy

Another pertinent development in recent months in the midst of the power struggles of MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Ministers and
MPs why they supported the 70million people population policy? Are they not aware that a new population policy for a multi-racial country like Malaysia would have vast racial, cultural and religious implications as well as far-reaching political, economic and educational repercussions?

Is the legalization of the illegal Indonesian immigrant labour one aspect of the 70 million people population policy? Are they not aware that a new population once every ten years and its 1980 Census Report revealed that for Penisular Malaysia, Malay made up 55.3% of the population compared with 52.7% in 1970 (an increase of 2.6%); while for Chinese and Indians, their proportion have fallen from 35.8% in 1970 to 33.8% in 1980 for Chinese; and for Indians from 10.7% to 10.2%.

The statistics would show a greater contrast if the census had taken fully into account the Indonesian illegal immigrants, which had clearly not been included.

With the legalization of the illegal Indonesian immigrants, the 1990 Population Census would show very different percentage figures. An indication of the percentage changes in the population composition that could take place in a matter of 10 years could be seen from Sabah, where there had been a great influx of Filipino refugees.

According to the 1980 Population Census Report, which classified the Filipino refugees and Indonesian immigrants as ‘Pribumis’, the Pribumis in Sabah increased from 76.5% in 1970 to 82.9% in 1980, an increase of 6.4%; while the Chinese sharply dropped from 21.3% in 1970 to 16.2% (i.e. by 5.1%).

According to the 1980 Population Census Report, which classified the Filipino refugees and Idoniesian immigrants as ‘Pribumis’, the Pribumis in Sabah increased from 76.5% in 1970 to 82.9% in 1980, an increase of 6.4%; while the Chinese sharply dropped from 21.3% in 1970 to 16.2% (i.e. by 5.1%) .

According to this trend, the Chinese population in Peninsular Malaysia could fall below the 30% line by the next 1990 Population Census.

The 70 million population policy must be fully debated, understood and accepted by all Malaysians before it becomes government policy,

For instance, in the 70 million population to be confined to any one particular racial group, or is it to be for all racial groups?

That the government had not fully considered in depth the new population policy could be seen from the fallacious arguments which government leaders had given in support of the policy. For instance, Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, the Prime Minister, had said that if birth controls were lifted, and the natural growth rate rose to 3.2 per cent, Malaysia would have 70 million by 2100. But calculations by demographers show that at the rate of natural increase of 3.2 per cent, Malaysia would have 538 million and not 70 million in 115 years!

As rapid population growth would worsen income inequalities and poverty, which are major long-standing problems in Malaysia, Malaysia should not blindly adopt rapid population growth as an objective without national debate and discussion.

Call on Neo Yee Pan and Tan Koon Swan groups not to use Bukit China question as a political football
Another important issue which might be sacrificed by the Neo Yee Pan and Tan Koon Swan factional struggle is the 100-acre Bukit China, the 500-year cemetery with great religious, cultural and historical significance for the Chinese in Malacca in particular and in Malaysia in general.

When the Malacca State Government decided to level and develop Bukit China, as admitted by the Malacca Chief Minister, Rahim Thamby Cik Neo Yee Pan and Tan Koon Swan camps, namely in the persons of Tee Cheng York and Lim Soo Kiang as Executive Councillors,

When the Neo Yee Pan-Tan Koon Swan fight intensified, the future Bukit China is made secondary to the question as to which faction could get more political capital out of it – and hence the controversy over the Gerakan Belia Bersatu’s signature campaign.

The GBS had clearly done the Malaysian Chinese a great disservice in submitting a memorandum which supported the government’s idea to develop Bukit China; but the Tan Koon Swan camp, through their State EXCO representative, Lim Soo Kiang, had also done the Chinese community a great disservice in being a party to the original decision of the State EXCO to level and develop Bukit China.

On the future of the Bukit China religious, cultural and historical site, one and only one principle must be established: and this is that its future must be decided solely by the Chinese community in Malacca and then it should under no circumstances deprive the Chinese community of the sole right to decide the future of Bukit China.

Both the Neo Yee Pan and Tan Koon Swan camps should stop using Bukit China as a political football, where directly or through proxies. Both camps should make clear their public acceptance of the principle which I propounded just now, and those who had acted in breach of this principle which, in particular, Lim Soon Kiang and Tee Cheng York as EXCO members and Tee Ann Chuan, should declare their stand to the Chinese community: that they oppose any government development of Bukit China!