by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Wednesday, 20.11.1985:
DAP protest cable to Education Minister for the use of Bahasa Malaysia as medium of instruction in 3M teaching seminar for Chinese primary school teachers and subjects
I have sent a cable to the Education Minister, Datuk Abdullah Badawi, to protest in the strongest terms possible against the use of Bahasa Malaysia as medium of instruction in 3M teaching seminar in Malacca for Chinese primary school teachers and subjects.
In preparation for the second state of the 3M primary school curriculum for Std. Four next year, Malacca teachers from the different language medium primary schools are being given a 10-day 3M teaching seminar. However, the teachers from the national, Chinese and Tamil primary schools are ‘integrated’ so that they all receive the same lecture in Bahasa Malaysia. The 3M lecture texts are also in Bahasa Malaysia.
As a result, Chinese primary school teachers have to undergo the 3M teaching seminar for the various subjects, like moral education, alam manusia, maths, physical education, arts and crafts, in Bahasa Malaysia.
An important principle has been undermined here. Apart from the wuestion as to whether the Chinese primary school teachers can fully follow and comprehend the 3M lectures in the various subjects in Bahasa Malaysia, the principle of the integrity of Chinese primary schools’ character must require all 3M teaching courses for Chinese primary school teachers to be conducted solely in the Chinese language, the medium of instruction.
Otherwise, this is just another form of alteration of the character of the Chinese primary schools, starting from the teacher level. Here I fully agree with the Chairman of the Federation of Chinese School Teachers’ Unions, Mr. Sim Moh Yee, that his is ‘intergrated’ teacher-training or teacher-preparation course which can only lead to the change of character of Chinese primary schools.
In my cable to the Education Minister, I had asked him to immediately direct the 3M teaching seminar in Malacca to use Chinese as a medium of instruction as well as for 3M texts as far as Chinese primary school teachers are concerned.
This incident again reinforces the DAP’s stand that the 18 Chinese primary schools selected for the so-called ‘programme for the Integration of students for unity in place of ‘Integrated School’ name, should reject the programme until the entire range of problems facing the Chinese primary schools the last 24 years since the 1961 Education Act had been resolved completely and satisfactorily once and for all. Otherwise, Chinese primary schools will have to fight an endless battle of ‘guerrilla warfare’ to protect itself from the relentless attempt to erode the character of Chinese primary schools by one thousand and one ways.
I hope that the Tung/Chiau Chung, in the long term interest of the solution once and for all of getting effective and iron-clad guarantees of the eternal preservation of Chinese primary schools, will agree that the 18 Chinese primary schools selected for the ‘Programme for the Integration of students for unity’ should not accept the programmed until all problems related to the future of Chinese primary schools had been trashed out satisfactorily
Call on MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Ministers and MPs to resign as they do not even have the courage to protect the self-respect and dignity of their communities in Parliament when it came under attack
I have never been more ashamed of the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Ministers and MPs than yesterday when they showed that they did not even have the courage to stand up in Parliament to protect the self-respect and dignity of their communities when it came under attack.
What the UMNO MP for Pasir Puteh, Wan Mohd. Najib Wan Mohamed, said on Nov. 14 in Parliament cannot be allowed to go unchallenged, for it constitutes and insult to the right of the Chinese and Indian communities to preserve and promote their respective cultures and customs. Wan Najib had said in Parliament:
“Kalau kita hendak jaga adab kita, kalau kita ini orang Cina, pergilah ke negeri China. Kalau kita orang India, hendak jaga adapt kita, pergilah ke India. Jangan kita hidup dalam masyarakat majmuk seperti ini”
I am sure that if the right of the Malays to preserve and promote their culture and customs had been attacted in this manner, every UMNO and PAS MP, every Malay organization, would be making their voice heard loud and clear.
I am very shocked that the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Ministers and MPs not only did not help me yesterday to deplore Wan Najib’s racist statement to restore the self-respect and dignity of the cultures, customs and communities he attacked, they encouraged and egged on the UMNO MPs to block and sabotage my effort. After my motion was rejected, one MCA MP went up to a leading UMNO Parliamentarian responsible for throwing out my motion to congratulate him for a fine job!
MCA is now divided into three factions, and every faction claims to be the real champion of the Chinese interest, self-respect and dignity. But in Parliament yesterday, they have all failed the test, in particular the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction which is expected to sweep the MCA elections on Nov. 24. Tan Koon Swan, Lee Kim Sai, Ling Liong Sik, Chan Siang Sun were conspicuously absent!
I want to ask the leaders of the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction what principle they have got if they dare not stand up in Parliament to condemn Wan Najib’s racist speech attacking the right of Malaysian Chinese and Indians to preserve and promote their respective cultures and customs?
The same applies to the Gerakan Ministers and Members of Parliament. When are they going to stop saying one thing outside Parliament but doing the exact opposite inside Parliament?
I demand that the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP Ministers and MPs explain why they encouraged and supported Wan Najib in his extremist attack on the rights of the Malaysian Chinese and Indians to preserve and promote their cultures and customs.
All Malaysians, including organizations, associations and other civic bodies, should take a serious view of such extremist statements by Wan Najib and make their condemnation known not to Wan Najib but also to others so that Parliament would not be used for the utterance of extremist and ultra sentiments which could undermine the harmony, peace and tolerance essential in a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and tolerance essential in a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation like Malaysia.