Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General And MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the planning meeting Of the Save Bukit China Thousand – Mile Marathon Walk Committee Held at DAP PJ Hqrs on Sunday, 7.10.1984 at 11 a.m.
200,000 signature – mark passed in the 300,000 Save Bukit China Mass signature campaign
I am glad to announce that the 300,000 Save Bukit China mass signature campaign has passed the 200,000 – signature mark, making it even now the most successful and memorable signature campaign in Malaysian history.
There are 22 days left to the closing date of the signature campaign on Oct. 29, to collect the final 100,000 signatures to reach the revised target of 300,000 signatures. This is going to be a tough task, for so many had already signed, but with determination and dedication and the support of the people at large, I am confident that this could be achieved.
The Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, is now trying to create the impression that there is ‘very little support’ for the Save Bukit China campaign, so as to justify the Malacca State Government’s decision to forbibly level and develop Bukit China in utter disregard of the religious, cultural and historic sensitivities of the various communities in the country, in particular the Chinese community for whom Bukit China had been community trust property for religious purposes for some 500 years.
The 300,000 mass signature campaign would be one of the four Save Bukit China ‘highlights’ that would be held at the end of October to prove the Malacca Chief Minister very wrong – and to let everyone in Malaysia, including the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, and the whole wide world, know that the Save Bukit China campaign has the broad – based support of all Malaysians regardless of race or religion.
Another ‘highlight’ is the Save Bukit China ‘Thousand – Mile Marathon Walk’. It was originally meant to be only 8800 miles, but it has been decided to increase it to 1,000 miles. There would be three main directions – Alor Star / Penang – Malacca, Kuantan – Malacca and Johore Bahru – Malacca, together with several subsidiary routes, such as Lumut – Ipoh to join the main northern route, Pontian – Batu Pahat to join the main southern route, etc.
The save Bukit China ‘Thousand Mile Walk’ has four objectives:
1. To bring to Malacca for presentation to the Cheng Hoon Teng temple the 300,000 signatures from all over the country;
2. To demonstrate the determination, will and stamina of Malaysians to defend Bukit China from being desecrated or levelled;
3. To prove the Malacca Chief Minister to be wrong when he claimed that the Save Bukit China campaign has little public support;
4. To give Malaysians who care for Bukit China and our basic cultural religious and political rights an opportunity to participate to manifest popular will;
We welcome members of the public who wish to take part in the historic Save Bukit China ‘Thousand Mile Walk’ – which would be by way of relay, with each participant covering one, two or three miles depending on his or her capacity – to contact DAP Save Bukit China officials in their respective states or areas to register themselves. Every state would have a State Save Bukit China ‘Thousand Mile Walk’ Committee to plan and Walk.
Every inch of the 1,000 – mile route would be walked, or jogged, and the whole programme is expected to last one week, with the participants arriving in Kuala Lumpur for the 10,000 – People Save Bukit China Dinner on October 28 and reaching Bukit China in Malacca on Oct. 30, culminating in the 5,000 – People Save Bukit China Gathering at Pay Fong Chinese Independent Secondary School in Malacca on Oct. 30 night.