Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, when launching the 200,000 ‘Save Bukit China’ Mass Signature Campaign in Johore at the Batu Pahat Central Market on Tuesday, 14.8.1984 at 8 a.m.
Bukit China is not a Chinese issue, but an issue for all Malaysians who cherish their national heritage
I am here to launch the 200,000 ‘Save Bukit China’ Mass Signature Campaign in Johore, the seventh state after Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Federal Territory, Penang, Perak and Selangor.
I want to stress that the Bukit China issue is not a Chinese issue, but an issue which should comcern all Malaysians who cherish their national heritage.
Bukit China marks the first Sino-Malay friendship and co-operation dating gack to 500 years ago, and even the Malay Annals recorded the marriage of Malacca Sultan Mansur Shah and Ming princess Hang Li-po, and the hill was residence for the Ming princess, and since that time, the hill which was previously without a name was known as Bukit China.
The 200,000 ‘Save Bukit China’ mass signature campaign is to get the support of Malaysians of all races and religions, and this is why the 200,000 ‘Save Bukit China’ mass signature memorandum is in Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese, English and Tamil, and the use of the different languages on ‘Save Bukit China’ T-shirts.
The 200,000 ‘Save Bukit China’ mass signature campaign is the most ambitious mass signature campaign in Malaysian history. I am confident that with public support, this target could be reached.
This 200,000 ‘Save Bukit China’ mass signature campaign is important for the people must demonstrate convincingly their stand against the levelling and development of the 500-year-old national monument symbolised by Bukit China into a housing and commercial centre with its earth used for land reclamation.
The Malacca State Government claims that there is a 20,000-signature memorandum representing Chinese youths who support the government’s plan to level and develop Bukit China. This is untrue, for all those who signed the 20,000-signature campaign did so to oppose the levelling of Bukit China. Unfortunately, the Malacca Chief Minister is not prepared to admit this. So, it is vital that we must have the target of a 200,000 signature campaign to show the people’s real voice and feelings about the future of Bukit China.
The DAP will take the 200,000 ‘Save Bukit China’ mass signature campaign to every nook and corner of Malaysia, because we want every Malaysian, in particular every Malaysian Chinese, to realise the importance of preserving Bukit China, as it symbolises our cultural roots, our contribution to Malaysian nation-building over the centuries, our religious freedom as well as political rights as full citizens of Malaysia.
There are extremists who say that the Chinese are not loyal to Malaysia, or had not made any contribution to Malaysia. I will advise these extremist to go to Bukit China in Malacca and see for themselves the 12,500 graves buried on the hill, which represents the ‘blood, sweat, tears’ and sacrifice of generations after generations of Malaysian Chinese to the making of Malaysia today.
Any attempt to level Bukit China is also an attempt to re-write history and remove the historic proof of the Chinese contribution to Malaysian nation-building. Just as any attempt by the Japanese government to re-write history to justify its aggressions in Malaysia and South East Asia in the 1940 Japanese occupation must be objected to, similarly, any attempt to wipe out the historic contribution of any community to Malaysian national-building must also be opposed.