Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, after the sale of ‘Save Bukit China’ T-shirts at Malacca Central Market on Saturday,, 4.8.1984 at 8.30 a.m.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple commended for its firm stand against any government levelling and development of Bukit China, and its boycott of the 5,000-People Dinner on August 8
The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple Tnco, the trustees of Bukit China, must be commended for its firm stand against any Malacca State Government plan to level and develop Bukit China into a housing commercial centre, and use the earth for land reclamation projects.
It should also be commended for boycotting the 5,000-Peoplae Dinner on August 8 by returning the 10 dinner tickets sent by the dinner organisers, for the 5,000-People Dinner is aimed at supporting the Malacca Chief Minister to deprive the ownership fights of the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and the Chinese community over Bukit China and to destroy the 500-year-old religious, historic and cultural monument.
From the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple statement released yesterday, it is clear that the Malacca State Government firdt informed Cheng Hoon Teng of its intention to level and develop Bukit China on 22nd August 1983, and in all subsequent meetings called by the State Government, the Cheng Hoon Teng objected to development of Bukit China and made no agreement whatsoever with the Malacca State Government on the matter.
I am very surprised that the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, should have misled the Malacca State Assembly, the people of Malacca as well as of Malaysia, when on July 23, he claimed that Cheng Hoon Teng trustees had initially agreed to development, that at the request of the Trustees the government agreed to change the original plan for development to include the preservation of several areas, and that a joint committee on the development of Bukit China comprising government members and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple Sub-Committee on Bukit China members had been set up.
The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple Inc., in its statement yesterday, had in clear and unmistakable language, denied all the Chief Minister’s allegations and claims.
The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple statement had made the actions of the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction in Malacca, led by Chan Teck Chan, Ng Peng Huay and Lim Soon Kiang, even more despicable and contemptible.
Ng Peng Huay branded the Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees as ‘pengkhiant Bangsa’ – ‘traitors of the race’ – for collaborating with the Malacca State Government on the development of Bukit China. When challenged to repeat outside the Malacca State Assembly without protection of privilege, and produce proof of his ‘traitor of the race’ charge, Ng Peng Huay hid behind Chan Teck Chan, who claimed that the State Government had evidence to support Ng Peng Huay’s charge!
Members of the public must wonder if it is true that Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees have become ‘traitors of the race’ because of the collaboration with the Malacca State Government, why is it the State Government should want to furnish such evidence to a third party?
From this episode, it is easy for anyone to see who is really collaborating with the Malacca State Government to develop Bukit China.
Call on people from Masjid Tanah, Alor Gajah, Machap Baru, Machap Umbu and Jasin to boycott the 5,000-People Dinner.
The 5,000-People Dinner on August 8 to support the Malacca Chief Minister’s plan to level and develop Bukit China must be a great failure. This is because if the 5,000-Dinner succeeds, then the Malacca Chief Minister would have the excuse to proceed with his three-options for the development of Bukit China as announced in the Malacca Assembly on July 23.
If the 5,000-People Dinner is a great failure, then it would be a very loud and clear message by the people of Malacca to the Malacca Chief Minister that he should abandon his plans to level and develop Bukit China.
The organisers of the 5,000-People Dinner are concentrating their efforts to get diners for the August 8 function from outside Malacca town, and I call on the people from Masjid Tanah, Alor Gajah, Machap Baru, Machap Umbu, Jasin and elsewhere to stay away from the 5,000-People Dinner. If they had been induced to buy tickets for the 5,000-People Dinner, then they can demand for a refund for their $15, or they could turn the dinner tickets to DAP officials for submission to the Malacca DAP State ‘Save Bukit China Committee and we will start a bonfire to burn these tickets.
I also take this opportunity to urge all people from outside Malacca to stay away from the 5,000-People Dinner on August 8, for I do not think they want to bear the responsibility for the destruction of Bukit China which symbolises our cultural roots, our historic contribution to the building of Malaysia, and our future rights.
Selling of ‘Save Bukit China’ T-shirts has three-fold objective
The sale of ‘Save Bukit China’ T-shirts has three objectives:
1. Educational: to raise the consciousness of the people as to the implications and significance of the Save Campaign Bukit China;
2. Involvement: to involve Malaysians in the battle to save Bukit China, for this must be the cause for every concerned Malaysians;
3. Fund-raising: thirdly, though not a major objectives, to raise some funds to enable other activities to save Bukit China to be carried out.
If every Malaysian, in particular the Chinese, in Malacca, could wear the ‘Save Bukit China’ T-shirt on the same specified day, which could be declared SAVE BUKIT CHINA DAY, it would be a powerful expression of public opinion to both the State and Federal Governments about the people’s stand on the Bukit China issue. We also intend to organise ‘Jog to Save Bukit China’ sessions, with joggers wearing the ‘Save Bukit China’ T-shirt jogging at Bukit China to highlight the people objection to the government’s plan to level and develop Bukit China.
I hope every household in Malacca will have at least one ‘Save Bukit China’ T-shirt – preferably every person one ‘Save Bukit China’ T-shirt – to symbolise the solidarity, commitment and determination of the people of Malacca to save Bukit China as a national heritage for all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.
Dr. Lim Chong Eu should advise Malacca CM not to raise sensitive issues instead of blaming DAP
I am not surprised by the statement by the Gerakan Chief Minister of Penang, Dr. Lim Chong Eu, who accused the DAP of arousing the sensitivities of the public through our campaign to ‘Save Bukit China’, and said that this was not the time for “polarised sensitive issues to be exploited by politicians who hold the interests of the nation at heart.”
Dr. Lim should advise the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, not to raise sensitive issues like levelling and developing Bukit China, polarising sensitive issues highly detrimental to national unity. But he, like other typical Gerakan leaders, dare not do this.
To the eyes of Dr. Lim and the other Gerakan leaders, the Malacca Chief Minister is within his right to want to level and develop Bukit China, but the DAP is wrong and ‘raising sensitive polarised’ issues in opposing the Malacca Chief Minister.
It is this type of political logic which had been the cause of the erosion of the rights of Malaysian Chinese in the last 27 years since Merdeka. I have no time for Dr. Lim Chong Eu at present, and would deal with his and the Gerakan’s political philosophy at a later date.
DAP to launch mass signature campaign to Save Bukit China, starting with Malacca, on Monday
On July 28, 2984, at the Pay Fong Chinese Independent Secondary School, the people of Malacca adopted a Malacca Bukit China Declaration affirming the people’s opposition to any state government plan to level and develop Bukit China which should be preserved as a national heritage for all Malaysians.
It was also decided to launch a mass signature campaign in Malacca and Malaysia to make the people’s views on the future of Bukit China unmistakably clear to the State and Federal Government.
This ‘Save Bukit China’ mass signature campaign would be launched in Malacca on Monday, 6th August 1984.