Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Tuesday, 7th August 1984 at 11 a.m.
DAP calls on Malacca Chief Minister why he is giving all assistance to make the 5,000-People Dinner a success?
The attendance of the 5,000-People Dinner tomorrow night would be an acid test as to whether the Malacca State Government’s plan to level and develop Bukit China could claim to have the support of a section of the Chinese community, so that the State Government could proceed with its Bukit China plan as announced by the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, in the Malacca State Assembly on July 23.
Every person who attends the 5,000-People Dinner tomorrow night would be providing the Chief Minister with a justification for him to proceed with his plan to level and develop 80 per cent of Bukit China into a housing and commercial centre and use the earth for land reclamation.
Those who oppose the government levelling and development of Bukit China must therefore stay away from the 5,000-People Dinner, for let not one dinner sacrifice the politicial, economic, educational, cultural and religious rights of our future generations!
I want to ask the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, why he is giving all assistance to make the 5,000-People Dinner a success when he should leave this matter to the Chinese community solely to decide.
The Malacca Chief Minister is so keen to see the 5,000-People Dinner a great success, that the State Government has given all facilities to the organisers of the 5,000-People Dinner to put up their banners and billboards all over the town, including on State Government property, like Dewan Hang Tuah.
The organisers of the 5,000-People Dinner claimed that they had printed 7,000 tickets. Many of these tickets are being given out free in accord to attract a crowd. On the basis of $15 per person, for 7,000 people, this means that the organisers of the Dinner are prepared to spend 7,000 x 15 = $105,000 alone for the dinner not to take into account the costs of the posters, leaflets, banners, billboards and other expenditures – which could all come to $200,000 or $300,000.
Where have all this money come from, and what is the motive of spending such a vast sum of money to in order to allow the Tan Koon Swan faction of MCA led by Chan Teck Chan, Lim Soo Kiang and Ng Peng Huay, to demonstrate public support to the Chief Minister’s Bukit China plan?
My latest information is that in order to arouse curiosity and attract people to attend the 5,000-People Dinner, the organisers have spread word that Chan Teck Chan & Co would expose the ‘treachery’ of Cheng Hoon Teng trustees and Chinese Chamber of Commerce officials in the Bukit China affair. One source tells me that even the name of Datuk Lim Kim Soo was mentioned, that the organisers of the 5,000-People Dinner would expose Datuk Lim’s ‘betrayal’ of Bukit China.
I find the tactics of the organisers of 5,000-People Dinner despicable and contemptible, and call on the people not to be misled by curiosity to attend the dinner to hear what are these so-called ‘expose’ of the treachery of Cheng Hoon Teng trustees and Malacca Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
If Chan Teck Chan, Lim Soo Kiang and Ng Peng Huay could indeed have information of such ‘betrayals’, then it must have come from the Malacca Chief Minister State Government. This shows that the who are really collaborating with the Malacca Chief Minister against the Chinese community’s stand on Bukit China is the Malacca Tan Koon Swan faction itself.
As the Tan Koon Swan faction in Malacca is determined in proceeding with its 5,000-People Dinner, despite the public boycott, Ng Peng Huay should have the courage to repeat his charge against Cheng Hoon Teng trustees as ‘pengkhiant bangsa’ at the August 8 dinner. Otherwise, he should resign as Assembly man in shame and disgrace.
The Tan Koon Swan faction seems to have decided as matter of policy to give full support to Chan Teck Chan & Co. in their attack on Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and give support to the Malacca Chief Minister on the Bukit China issue. This could be seem from the three latest issues of thrice-weekly publication belonging to the Tan Koon Swan faction, which in these three issues had given full support and encouragement to the stand of the Malacca MCA Tan Koon Swan faction, to this extent of abusing and insulting the people of Malacca and Malaysia as ‘stupid’ people.
If Tan Koon Seng is so bent on coming to the 5,000-People Dinner to support the Chief Minister in his plan to level and develop Bukit China, then the DAP will declare an all-out war against Tan Koon Swan after August 8, for his openly defying the aspirations and wishes of the Chinese in Malacca and Malaysia.
Call on Chinese community, and in particular the Chinese educational circles, to take special note of the speech by Anwar Ibrahim’s political secretary
The Chinese community, and in particular the Chinese educational circles, should take special note of the speech by the political secretary of Anwar Ibrahim that racial polarisation is caused by Chinese parents sending their children to Chinese primary schools.
The political secretary to the Minister of Agriculture is Dr. Ibrahim Saad, who is an leading advocate of the pollicy of ‘assimilation’ not only in culture but in the education process and system.
By Ibrahim Saad’s logic that racial polarisation is caused by Chinese parents sending their children to Chinese primary schools, then in the interests of national unity and nation building, Chinese primary schools should be closed down.
Ibrahim Saad’s views is not new in UNMO circles, who wants to see closure of primary schools, and that is why there is Clause 21(2) in the Education Act 1961 which invests the Minister of Education with the power to close Chinese primary schools and convert it to national primary schools.
The pertinent point is why Ibrahim Saad should be raising this issue in a paper on ‘Educational and Social Policy’ Seminar. Does it indicate that a new policy is also developing in the educational front which would raise all over again the survival of Chinese primary schools in Malaysia?
We in the DAP reject totally the thesis advocated by Ibrahim Saad that the existence of Chinese primary schools is the cause of racial polarisation, for it is the government’s policies like dividing Malaysians into ‘bumiputras’ and ‘non-bumiputras’; its discriminatory policies under the NEP; and its insensitivities to the cultural, religious and community aspirations of others like the decision to level and develop Bukit China which are the main causes of worsening racial polarisation.
DAP expresses grave concern at the police ban on political gathering in Kedah/Perlis
The DAP is gravely concerned by the total ban by the Police on political gatherings in Kedah and Perlis indefinitely to preserve peace and security in the two states.
Have the peace and security in these two states become so delicate and precarious as to justify such a draconian drastic measure as a total ban on political gatherings?
Does this ban apply to UMNO, MCA, Gerakan political gatherings?
The government parties started the bad example of defying the law by holding illegal public rallies and demonstrations throughout the country during the Constitutional Crisis last year.
Public confidence must be restored that the Government would not use government powers for party political purposes. What is needed now is a democratic attitude and spirit towards the political expression of the people.
The Government should lift the ban on public rallies, so that there could be healthy political expression, and where such political gatherings could be regulated by the police from the law and order point of view.
But a total ban on political gatherings is completely indefensible, and sets a dangerous precedent for the banning of other political party activities in the country, leading to a one-party state in Malaysia.
I hope to meet the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, to discuss the many important issues that had arisen lately, like the total police ban on political gatherings in Kedah and Perlis, the proposal to revoke the citizenship of large number than 7,000 including those who visited China without authority, the importation of Indonesian workers under the Malaysia-Indonesia agreement, the arrest of PAS leaders under the Internal Security Act, and Datuk Musa’s expression of concern at worsening racial polarisation in Malaysia.