Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Malacca DAP State Lion Dance Troupe “ Dotting – the –eye” ceremony for two new lions held at Malacca DAP State premises, Malacca on Thursday, 5th July 1984 at 8p.m.
Call on all Malaysian Chinese, regardless of state, clan or political affiliation to unite to save bukit China, as all Chinese Cemeteries would face danger if Bukit China could not be preserved.
All Malaysian Chinese must unite to save the 500 year-old historic religious and cultural symbol of Chinese Contribution to nation-building represented by Bukit China, which is also a nation heritage for all Malaysians regardless of race and religious. – for failure to do sp would have far-reaching consequences for our rights and that future generations.
Bukit China specifically entrusted by our ancestors to be dedicated for religious worship, or in the words of the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple Incorporation Ordinance 1949, “ for the promotion, propagation and observance of the doctrines, ceremonies, rites and customs of Buddhist and other religion: of the Chinese in the country.
Bukit China is no ordinary cemetery, although it is the biggest outside China. It is also the symbol of the first friendship and association between Malays and Chinese in Malaysia, going back to 500years.
If Bukit China, with its religious, cultural and historic significance, could not be saved, and the 12, 500 graves on the hill have to be dug out to provided earth for land reclamation projects and make way for a housing and commercial complex, then all the Chinese cemeteries in Malaysia would face the danger of being dug out and leveled, in the name of ‘development’.
This is why it would be very short-sighted if Malaysian Chinese do not unite to save Bukit China, because of a variety of spurious reasons. I know that there are those who say that Bukit China is a Hokkien cemetery and is the concern of Hokkiens, and no concern of other Chinese clans and associations. There are again those who say that the Bukit China issue is a big problem of the people of Malacca, and no concern of the people of other states. There are prevent them from coming forward to defend Bukit China from being leveled and developed y the Malacca State Government.
Those who take the view that Bukit China is the concern of others only, that it is the Hokkiens’s problem, or that of people of Malacca, ao that of other political parties, will be doing themselves, their children and the Chinese community a grave disservice unless they change this attitude immediately.
The battle to defend and preserve Bukit China is a battle to defend and preserve the roots of the Malaysian Chinese, so that they could contribute richly and fully to the development of a new Malaysian culture and identity. If the roots of the Malaysian Chinese are chopped off, then the Chinese would not be able to make any contribution towards to the evolution of a multi-cultural Malaysian society and future.