Message by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, for the official launching of the DAP ‘One Person-One Dollar’ campaign to protest against the $2 million Bukit China quit rent demand of Malacca State Government for Federal Territory held at Pudu DAP Branch on Friday, Dec. 7, 1984 at 10 am
Bukit China is a test case whether the Barisan Nasional government respects the cultural and religious sensitivities of all races in Malaysia
During his official visit to Selangor earlier this week, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, said that if UMNO loses the support of Chinese, Indians and other non-Malays, the government could not possibly continue.
Similarly, the Prime Minister must accept the principle that any government policy or measure, whether at Federal or State level which does not have the support of all races must be abandoned. The Bukit China case is test as to whether the Barisan Nasional government respects the cultural and religious sensitivities of all races in Malaysia.
Because of the $2 million Bukit China quit rent ultimatum and demand of the Malacca State Government, wanting Cheng Hoon Teng trustees to pay the sum within a month or face forfeiture of the ancient cemetry hill, many Chinese are again asking whether Bukit China could be saved.
The question all Malaysians, in particular the five million Malaysian Chinese must put is not whether the Malacca Chief Minister would deprive the Malaysian Chinese community of their ancient religious, cultural and historic rights over Bukit China, but whether they would allow the Malacca Chief Minister to deprive them of these rights.
In other words, the decision lies not so much in the hands of the Malacca Chief Minister, as in the hands of the Malaysian Chinese themselves.
I do not think that the Federal Government would permit the Malacca Chief Minister, for his own political ambitions, to deprive the ancient ownership right of the Malaysian Chinese to Bukit China, if the Malaysian are united and firm in their defence of Bukit China. The national leaders would find it not worthwhile to force an issue on Bukit China and jeopardise the inter-racial harmony and goodwill in Malaysia. Of course, if the Malaysian Chinese are prepared to listen to ‘false’ leaders to express support to the Malacca Chief Minister with regard to his Bukit China development plans, then the Malacca Chief Minister would not overlook such advantage, nor would the national leaders intervene.
The future of Bukit China, therefore, lies in the hands of the people, in particular the Malaysian Chinese, and not in the hands of the Malacca Chief Minister.
The $1 one person protest campaign against the $2 million Bukit China quit rent ultimatum of the Malacca State Government, which we are launching in the Federal Territory as well as nationally at the Pudu DAP Branch this morning, is aimed at educating every Malaysian of their citizenship rights. We want every Malaysian to realise that as citizens of this country, they have the right to stand up and tell the national or State government that it could not trample on the people’s rights and aspirations.
If the one dollar one person protest campaign against the $2 million Bukit China quit rent demand succeeds in making more Malaysians aware of their rights and their responsibilities, and that to become first-class citizens they must have first-class citizen’s thinking, action and aspirations, then we would have taken an important step not only to save Bukit China, but also to save our political, economic, educational, cultural and religious rights and those of our future generations.
There is no time limit at present for the one dollar-one person protest campaign at the $2 million Bukit China quit rent ultimatum. It will be an on-going campaign, until the position of the $2 million quit rent ultimatum becomes clearer. But the final point I want to make is that by launching the one person-one dollar campaign, we are not conceding or admitting that the Malacca State Government has the right to ask for $2 million. We in the DAP will never concede that the Malacca Chief Minister has such a right to demand $2 million.