Speech by Parlaimentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the end of the DAP Socialist Youth ‘Save Bukit China’ KL-Malacca Cyclethon at Bukit China, Malacca, on Sunday, 2nd Sept. 1984 at 5 p.m.
Call on Malacca Chief Minister not to give one version for local people and a different version for international consumption on Bukit China
I call on the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, to be consistent, and not to give one yersion for the local people and a different version for international consumption on the Bukit China issue.
In his interview with a foreign magazine, Far Eastern Economic Review, which was published a week ago, Datuk Abdul Rahim said that the Malacca State Government was only ‘giving effect to the wishes’ of the Cheng Hoon Teng trustees when he announced that 80 per cent of Bukit China would be leveled and developed into housing and commercial centre.
How could the Malacca State Government be ‘giving effect to the wishes of the Cheng Hoon Teng trustees’ when right from the beginning, the trustees had told the government that it could not agree with any government plan for development of Bukit China.
If the Malacca Chief Minister really wants to ‘give effect to the wishes’ of the Cheng Hoon Teng trustees, then the Malacca Chief Minister should announce the abandonment of State Government plan to level and develop Bukit China, as the trustees have more than once publicly made clear their opposition to the State government plan.
Why then are the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction people still issuing warning to the Chinese community that ‘time is short’, and if the Chinese community are not ‘rational’, then they may lose not only ‘development rights’ but even ‘ownership right’ over Bukit China?
In his Far Eastern Economic Review interview, Datuk Abdul Rahim said that the 80:20 per cent ratio for the leveling of Bukit China, and the retention of a portion for its historic interest, is only a starting negotiating position.
Datuk Abdul Rahim must realize that the Chinese community have nothing to negotiate with him over the government’s plan to forcibly level and develop Bukit China, as the ancient cemetery hill had belonged to the community as a trust property for religious purpose for centuries.
The rights of the Chinese community over Bukit China are ‘non-negotiable’, an d his claim that the 80:20 position h announced in the Malacca Assembly was a starting negotiating position must be firmly rejected. But what interests me is whether his remarks in the Far Eastern Economic Review are ment only for international consumption, but not meant for the local people, to show that he is flexible and reason able. We therefore require the Malacca Chief Minister to confirm for all Malaccans and Malaysians whether it is now his position that his State Asembly speech of July 23 about 80 per cent of bukit China being leveled and developed, is not a final position, but as far as he is concerned, reducible?