1985 Chinese New Year Message by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang
Call on Malaysians to make a Chinese New Year Resolution to keep alive the Save Bukit China Spirit to Save their Rights.
Chinese New Year must not be an occasion for Malaysian Chinese to celebrate by eating and drinking more than usual; it must be an occasion for a review of the past to prepare for the future.
Malaysian Chinese should reaffirm their Malaysian identity and commitment by courageously participating in the political decision-making process of the country, instead of regarding themselves as mere observers who have no place in the mainstream of Malaysian politics.
During the Bukit China struggle last year, the Save Bukit China Campaign was attacked by those who claimed that it was folly to try to oppose the UMNO government’s decision to develop Bukit China, and these political leaders, who claim to represent the five million Malaysian Chinese, even sought to undermine the spirit, solidarity and strength of the people by asking who possessed political and military power in Malaysia!
The Bukit China struggle has shown that provided the people are prepared to take a firm stand on their political, economic, educational, cultural and religious rights, their aspirations must be respected by a system of government which professes to derive its power from the people through elections.
There are many Malaysians who complain no end in coffee shops or private conversations, but who have psychologically been brain washed or ‘poisoned’ by the politics of surrender to accept that nothing could be done to undo the injustices and inequalities in Malaysia.
One of the objectives of the Save Bukit China campaign is to restore confidence in Malaysians that we can still be masters of our own destiny, that if we lose: control of the national direction of events, we ourselves a must bear a major portion of the blame because of our abdication of responsibility to ourselves and to our children and children’s children.
If we look back at the national events of the last 34 months since the April 1982 general elections when the MCA achieved a great ‘political breakthrough’ for the Malaysian Chinese, and the Gerakan increased its Parliamentary representation as a result of the ‘Attack into the BN To rectify BN’ strategy of certain Tung/Chiau Chung officials, we find an endless stream of erosion of the political, economic, educational, cultural, religious rights and status of the people.
There had been the One Language, One Culture Policy; the National Culture Policy of Assimilation; the Islamisation process; the Bukit China issue; the problem with signboards, lion dance and recently the Mandarin oranges scandal; the unchecked influx of illegal lndonesian immigrants; the BMP scandal; rampant corruption and political immorality; etc.
The root cause of these series of erosion of the people’s rights is the political failure and abdication of those entrusted with political responsibility by the people to take a firm stand on principle; and the political failure and abdication of the people in allowing such breach of political trust to take place without holding the MPs, Ministers, Assemblyman and State Executive Councillors concerned to account.
The Save Bukit China struggle shows that once the people are aware of their rights, and are prepared to discharge their responsibility to protect these rights, their voice must not only be heard, but be, ‘ heeded.
Let us in this Chinese New Year make a New Year Resolution to keep alive the Save Bukit China spirit to Save our Political, Economic, Educationnal, Cultural and Religious Rights, or otherwise in the Chinese New Years of the future, there is nothing left but to eat and drink.