Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the inaugural meeting of the DAP Thousand Save Bukit China Ceramah Committee held in Seremban on Sunday, 18.11.1984 at 5 p.m.
DAP calls on Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, to announce on Tuesday’s Malacca State Assembly the withdrawal of any government forcible plan to develop Bukit China
All eyes are now on the forthcoming Malacca State Assembly meeting which begins on Tuesday, Nov.30, 1984, as Malaysians want to know whether the Malacca State Government is prepared to heed and respect the wishes of the people against any forcible government development of Bukit China which deprives Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and the Chinese community their traditional ownership right over the ancient cemetry hill.
In response to the Cheng Hoon Teng’s invitation, 553 organisations had made representations making clear their opposition to the Malacca State Government’s plan to level and develop Bukit China, whether bu acquisition, forfeiture or by any other means. In the
DAP’s mass signature campaign to ‘Save Bukit China’, 300,000 Malaysians of all races, religious and walk of life, had also endorsed the signature memorandum calling for the full respect of the ownership right of the Chinese community and Cheng Hoon Teng over Bukit China.
I call on the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, to respect the views of the people, as well as to show that he has the interests of national unity at heart, by announcing at the forthcoming Malacca State Assembly the withdrawal of the State
Government’s plan to forcibly withdraw Bukit China. Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik should retract and withdraw his Bukit China speech in the Malacca Assembly on July 23 where he made his ‘optionless’ three proposals for the development of Bukit China. He should also announce the withdrawal of the two development plans for Bukit China which he announced at a press conference on Sept.12, 1984. He should go further and apologise to the Malacca people for making the announcement on the second development plan, when Tan Koon Swan said early this month thai it was only for preliminary study and not a formal plan of development.
The people are waiting not only for the Malacca Chief Minister’s performance in the forthcoming Malacca State Assembly, but also of the Assemblymen from both the MCA factions.
Lim Soo Kiang and Ng Peng Huay, belonging to the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction, must now prove to the Chinese community that Tan Koon Swan’s statement that his faction had withdrawal all previous support for the Malacca Chief Minister’s Bukit China development plan is not merely a ‘tactical political retreat’ in a view of overwhelming public pressure while maintining collusion with the Malacca Chief Minister behind the scene. If Tan Koon Swan is telling the truth that the Malacca Chief Minister had done a dishonest and dishonourable thing by announcing the second development plan when it had never been formally presented as such, then Lim Soo Kiang and Ng Peng Huay should demand an unconditional apology from the Chief Minister. Ng Peng Huay who had denounced the Cheng Hoon Teng trustees as ‘pengkhianat bangsa’ should not only formally apologise to the Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees in the forthcoming Malacca Assembly, but should have the courage to denounce the Malacca Chief Minister for being a ‘state and national disgrace’.
As for the Neo Yee Pan MCA faction in the Assembly, Tee Cheng York, Ng Kim Fong and Gan Boon Leong, the people want to know whether their Bukit China stand is merely for counter-attacking the Tan Koon Swan faction, but not pursued at State and National government levels against the UMNO. If this is the case, then the Neo Yee Pan MCA faction is guilty of utter hypocrisy. The Neo Yee Pan MCA faction in the Malacca Assembly must be prepared to declare their stand on Bukit China openly and unequivocally, giving support to the DAP Assemblymen, Yong Wee Yoke and Lai Keun Ban, to end the Bukit China issue formally in the Assembly next week.