Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Sungei Besi DAP Branch Anniversary Dinner held in Kuala Lumpur on August 30, 1984 at 8.30 pm
What is there for MCA and Gerakan to debate on political, economic, educational and cultural policy when they both support the Big Brother, UMNO’s policies?
On 19th August, MCA Acting President, Datuk Dr. Neo Yee Pan, called on the Chinese to unite and to speak with one voice, blissfully ignoring the fact that the Party which claims to represents the five million Chinese in Malaysia had never been so disunited as it is under his leadership? How could Datuk Dr. Neo Yee Pan call on the Chinese to unite when even the Chinese in MCA are so divided?
There is not only division in MCA, the Chinese leaders in the Barisan Nasional from the MCA and Gerakan are also greatly divided.
Then two days ago, the Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, challenged Datuk Dr. Neo Yee Pan to a public debate on the fundamental issues affecting the Chinese community, and up to now Datuk Dr. Neo Yee Pan had not responded.
I am very intrigued by this proposal for a open debate between the Gerakan and MCA leaders on fundamental issues facing the Chinese community. What is there for the MCA and Gerakan to debate on political, economic, educational, and cultural policy when they both support the Big Brother, UMNO’s policies?
There is no difference between the MCA or Gerakan for in the final analysis, they give full support to UMNO in the following:
(i) Politically, the redelineation of Parliamentary and State Assembly constituencies which would consolidate UMNO political power by creating an even greater disparity in the distribution of political power between urban and rural areas; such redelineation disregards the principle of ‘one man, one vote’ and would result in greater racial polarisation;
(ii) Economically, support the UMNO’s New Economic Policy, and if necessary as decided by UMNO, its extension after 1990;
(iii) Educationally, the denial of mother-tongue education its rightful place in the mainstream of the national education system, with the existence of Chinese primary schools constantly under threat; and the denial of higher education opportunities for promising young Malaysians in their own country;
(iv) Culturally, support the UMNO’s ‘One Language, One Culture’ Policy, which aims eventually at the objective of assimilation and not integration;
(v) Religion-wise, support the UMNO’s policy of ever-greater Islamisation of the national economy, education, social and cultural life and the political system, creating a totally new problem of religious polarisation for Malaysia;
Can Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Datuk Dr. Neo Yee Pan explain where they differ from each other in the above five crucial areas of national life?
If there is to be any meaningful debate on the fundamental issues facing the Chinese community as well as all Malaysians, it is for Dr. Lim Keng Yaik or Datuk Dr. Neo Yee Pan to challenge the DAP to a series of public debates. I declare that the DAP would accept any such challenge for a debate either from Dr. Lim Keng Yaik or Datuk Neo Yee Pan. For them to debate on political, economic, cultural and educational policy when they are no different from each other would be a total waste of time.