Will the Malaysian Examinations Council set a STPM General Paper question next year based on my book ‘Time Bombs in Malaysia’ or ‘The Dangerous Eighties’?

Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya Hqrs on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1985 at 12 noon

Will the Malaysian Examinations Council set a STPM General Paper question next year based on my book ‘Time Bombs in Malaysia’ or ‘The Dangerous Eighties’?

After my motion to adjourn the Dewan Rakyat on a matter of definite, urgent public importance to debate the use of an extract from the book by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, ‘The Malay Dilemma’, to set of the Malaysian Examinations Council defended the STPM question.

The MEC Spokesman, who was in Parliament because of my motion, told the Star that the question was set primarily to expose the students to controversial issues.

“In this particular case, we are also testing their ability to think critically and in a mature way”, he said, adding that in future, extracts from other controversial books might also be used in the General Paper.

The spokesman said the examiners had been told to be flexible when marking the answers, and gave and an assurance that the council would not penalize students for their forthright opinions.

I want to ask this unnamed MEC spokesman (who has suddenly become shy in identifying himself) whether he really believe that what he said is credible. He should answer the following questions:

Firstly, would the MEC USE MY BOOK ‘Time Bombs in Malaysia’ or ‘The Dangerous Eighties’ for extracts to set a STPM General Paper question next year?

Secondly, is there no other way to test ‘the ability to think critically and in a mature way’ apart from using extracts from the formerly banned book of Prime Minister, ‘The Malay Dilemma’ as a STPM general paper?

Thirdly, is it going to be the Education Ministry and the MEC’s policy to require STPM students, whether arts or science, to regard ‘The Malay Dilemma’ as required reading to absorb the assimilation theory and ideas contained therein from the STPM General Paper question this year?

Fourthly, will the Education Ministry and the MEC allow the STPM to discuss in their classes books like ‘Time Bombs in Malaysia’ and ‘The Dangerous Eighties’ in their General Paper classes, or they could only confine themselves to ‘The Malay Dilemma’ and in this case, merely to accept and not to reject Dr. Mahathir’s ideas?

Fifthly, how can the candidates and the public expect ‘flexible’ and fair marking of the STPM General Paper question on ‘The Malay Dilemma’ from examiners who are fully committed politically to the assimilation concepts and ideas of the book?

The Malaysian Examinations Council have betrayed the trust of Parliament and the people in conducting fair examinations by setting the STPM General Paper question based on the controversial and highly divisive book, ‘The Malay Dilemma’.

The MEC should not try to explain away the STPM General Paper question, but should own up to its fault and even negligence.

2. Warning to Malacca Chief Minister not to regard the victory of the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction as an opportunity to revive his ‘Bukit China’ plan

One of the first UMNO leaders to come over radio and television news to comment on MCA elections results yesterday was the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby cik, who must be elated that the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction which had supported his Bukit China plan had won a landslide victory in the MCA general elections.

I must warn the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, however, that he should not entertain any idea that the victory of the Tan Koon Swan MCA faction was an opportunity for him to revive his Bukit China plan, which originally was to demolish the most ancient Chinese cementry in Malaysia and to excavate the graves and dump the earth for land reclamation and build on a site a commercial complex.

Any attempt to revive the Bukit China plan would continue to face the united opposition of the Chinese community, and if the Tan Koon Swan faction stands in the way of the aspirations of the Chinese community as they did during the Bukit China campaign, they would be decisively repudiated by the people.

From the press reports, it is clear that the first item in the agenda of the new Tan-Ling MCA leadership was how to divide the spoils of office, beginning with the grabbing for the Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial posts. The new MCA leadership does not seem to be concerned in the least about the grave political, economic, educational, social, cultural, religious problems faced by the Malaysian Chinese community.

The Chinese community must perforce be realistic, and should not except anything at all from a group which was even prepared to go against the mainstream of Chinese aspiration in the Bukit China issue by giving support to the Malacca Chief Minister.

The MEC must make immediate amend in the STPM General Paper scandal this year by the following steps:

Give a firm assurance that in future, ‘The Malay Dilemma’ will never be used for extracts for setting any STPM General Paper question. (Or is some MEC examiners trying to curry favour with the Prime Minister by requiring every STPM student to buy a copy of ‘The Malay Dilemma’ every year?)

Cancel the STPM General Paper last week, for it put the non-Malay candidates under an unfair psychological and mental pressure and stress, and unfair disadvantage and the re-sating of the STPM General Paper. Non-Malay candidates are fully justified to fear that the marking of the STPM paper would be unfair because of the ‘Malay Dilemma’ question.

Conduct a full scale inquiry to identify the examiner or examiners responsible for setting the ‘Malay Dilemma’ General Paper question, and to remove them from the MEC altogether, for if they are so committed to the assimilation theories of ‘The Malay Dilemma’, they should resign from government service and enter into the political arena to disseminate such divisive views.

I regret that up till now, both the MCA and Gerakan leadership have been keeping silent on the DAP’s demand for the cancellation of last week’s STPM General Paper. I call on both the MCA and Gerakan leadership to declare their stand on the ‘Malay Dilemma’ STPM General Paper question, or they would be regarded as fully in support of the use of ‘The Malay Dilemma’ to disseminate the assimilation theories, concepts and ideas among students in schools.

No wonder, when my motion to discuss the STPM paper in Parliament as a matter of urgent, definite public importance, was rejected by the Speaker Tan Sri Zahir Ismail yesterday, the happiest persons were the MCA and Gerakan MPs.

DAP calls on the Ministry of Education to immediate confirm the 2,000 unconfirmed teachers in primary schools by waiving the requirement that they obtain a credit in Bahasa Malaysia

The Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, said that about 2,000 unconfirmed teachers will be given another year to obtain a credit in Bahasa Malaysia. These teachers in the C2 category (SPM holders) had been in service in primary schools for more than 10 years and had not been confirmed because they did not have a credit in the SPM Bahasa Malaysia.

In view of their long standing service, the DAP calls on the Education Ministry to waive the requirement to have a credit in Bahasa Malaysia SPM for these 2,000 teachers, and confirm them straightaway.

If the MCA leaders hsd to have a credit in Bahasa Malaysia in SPM before they could be appointed as Ministers, Deputy Ministers or Parliamentary Secretaries, I think there would not be a single MCA Minister, Deputy Minister or Parliamentary Secretary in the country.

It is surely not too much to ask the new MCA leadaership, with Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik as the Deputy MCA President, to solve the problem of the 2,000 unconfirmed teachers of over 10 years standing once and for all, by getting them a waiver in not requiring to have a credit in SPM Bahasa Malaysia to get confirmation and emplacement on the permanent government establishment.

The Tan-Ling MCA leadership has come under an immediate test: whether Ministerial pasts are more important or the fundamental rights of the Malaysian Chinese?

The new Tan-Ling MCA leadership, which won the MCA general elections with a landslide victory and a clean sweep, has been conspicuously silent about the great burning issues of the political, economic, educational, cultural, religious rights of the Malaysian Chinese since their victory.

The reason is very simple. The Tan-Ling MCA leadership is now obsessed and pre-occupied with how to lay their hands on the various Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial posts to reward their 22-month MCA power struggle. Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, Datuk Lee Kim Sai and Datuk Chan Siang Sun could not wait any longer to be made full Ministers – in particular Datuk Chan, who had become the country’s longest-serving Deputy Minister and would have no chance and hope to become Minister if not for the MCA power struggle.

There is now uncertainty whether the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, would agree to the request of the new MCA leadership that the four MCA Ministerial posts be filled by the Tan MCA faction, especially with the Prime Minister’s remark in Peking that “winners should not take all and neither should losers lose everything.”

There is possibility that the Prime Minister may decide either to keep his Cabinet intact until the next general elections, which is not far away, or appoint one or two Tan faction leaders to full Ministerial post. In such circumstances, the hopes of some in the Tan MCA faction would be dashed, and the ambition of Datuk Chan, for instance, to retire from politics as full Minister may never be realized.

Under these circumstances, where the Tan-Ling MCA leadership regard getting Ministerial and Deputy Ministerial posts for their faction as more important, it is clear they would not do anything or say anything which would undermine their chances of success – as in speaking up against the erosion of political, economic, educational, cultural, religious rights of the Malaysian Chinese over a whole front. This is why the new MCA leadership is so silent on the STPM General Paper question issue, the 51% public share issue being reserved to bumiputras guideline, the division of properties into ‘bumiputra’ and ‘non-bumiputra’ properties for purposes of assessment; or even the racist speech by the MP for Pasir Puteh,, Wan Najib Wan Mohamed, that Chinese who wish to protect their own culture should go back to China!

I am surprised that the Tan-Ling MCA leadership is showing their true political colours in a matter of days!

Call to Kota Bahru Chung Hwa Independent High School Board of Directors to explain why it rejected the offer of Wong Keng Giap and his brothers and sisters to donate land for the school

I have with me Mr. Wong King Giap of Kelantan. According to Mr. Wong, he was approached in June 1985 by one of the representatives of the Board of Directors of the Chung Hwa Independent High School, Kota Bahru, whether he was able to offer a portion of his land at Padang Pak Amat for the construction of a new school. Mr Wong, his brothers and sisters, together own about 600 acres of land at Padang Pak Amat, about 22 miles from Kota Bahru.

Mr. Wong said subsequently Datuk Wong Chor Wah, Datuk Tan Kok Sian together with a few other school Board members inspected his land and indicated that ten acres of his land would be sufficient for the new Chinese Secondary school complex.

After discussions and negotiations, Mr Wong said he agreed to

(i) donate 7.5 acres for the Chung Hwa Independent school complex;

(ii) a token sale of 2.5 acres for $125,000;

(iii) undertaking to construct at Wong’s expense a school hall to the value of $125,000 as a remembrance of his late father, Mr Wong Yeow Wye, who was formerly Kelantan Assemblyman and State Executive Councillor.

Wong’s offer was rejected by the Chung Hwa Board of Directors, which decided to buy eight acres of land in Kok Lanas at $60,000 per acre amounting to $480,000. According to a government valuation, the value of the eight acres of Kok Lanas land is $7,000 per acre, amounting to a total of $56,000.

Mr Wong, his brothers and sisters are rightly aggrieved that their offer of virtual full donation of 10 acres of land at Padang Pak Amat, which the Board has originally regarded as suitable site, had been rejected, and the public being required through donations to raise $480,000 for the Kok Lanas land.

The Board of Directors of Chung Hwa Independent School owes the Kelantan and Malaysian public, and in particular the Chinese community, a full explanation for its decision to reject the Padang Pak Amat 10 acres for virtually free, while buying 8 acres of Kok Lanas land for $480,000 when the government valuation was only $56,000.