Why didn’t Dr Lim Keng Yaik decline visiting China as a member of the Prime Minister’s mission if he is genuinely concerned about Malay ‘fears’ of ‘excessively strong reaction’ of Malaysian Chinese to Malaysia-China relations

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Malacca State DAP Committee meeting held at Malacca DAP premises in Malacca on Wednesday, 4th December 1985 at 8 p.m.

Why didn’t Dr Lim Keng Yaik decline visiting China as a member of the Prime Minister’s mission if he is genuinely concerned about Malay ‘fears’ of ‘excessively strong reaction’ of Malaysian Chinese to Malaysia-China relations.

If the speech by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri D. Mahathir Mohamed, praising Shi Huangti for his contribution in uniting China ranks as the most controversial statement during the Prime Minister’s China visit, the Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yait must take the credit for making the most peculiar speech after the China visit.

On Sunday, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik said at the official opening of the Wanita Gerakan seminar in Kuala Lumpur that the ‘excessively strong reaction’ of the Malaysian Chinese society to China’s open-door economic policy had created ‘fears’ among the non-Chinese, in particular the Malays. Dr Lim was member fo the Prime Minister’s delegation to China.

Many people have asked Dr Lim meant by his statement, and what was his motive and intention.

I am not very sure what Dr Lim meant by his statement, although his motive and intention is very clear.

By his statement, is Dr Lim suggesting to the Malaysian Chinese not to react too ‘excessively strongly’ to the opportunities of trade and economic ties with China, on the ground that this would upset the non-Chinese in particular the Malays? Is he suggesting that there would be legitimate and justified ground for the government and some other quarters to doubt the loyalty of Malaysian Chinese if they show interest in taking up the opportunities for Malaysia-China trade and economic relations? Is the Barisan government then right in refusing to grant citizenship to the 300,000 stateless?

By this logic, that ‘an over strong’ reaction of Malaysian Chinese to Malaysia-China relations would upset the non-Chinese and in particular the Malays, then before the Prime Minister’s mission to China on Nov. 20, Dr Lim should have made a public statement advising the Malaysian Chinese political leaders and traders not to go on the visit on the Prime Minister’s mission on the ground that the ‘over strong’ reaction of Malaysian Chinese to visit China would also upset the non-Chinese, in particular the Malays. He should himself declined to go to China on the Prime Minister’s mission, to set an example by the topmost Gerakan leader of the right conduct to be followed by others.

He did not, and yet, he returned from the China to make a most cryptic statement which would appear to blame the Malaysian Chinese and to give justification for the revival of doubt about the loyalty of the Malaysian Chinese.

Although I am not very sure about Dr Lim Keng Yaik’s meaning, his motive and intention is very clear. In fact, he himself revealed it the next day, when at a Gerakan Youth function in Ipoh, he said that MCA would face another crisis within a month, leading to the disintegration of MCA, and that Gerakan would replace MCA and take its place in the Barisan Nasional.

It is clear that Dr Lim’s speech at Wanita Gerakan is a preparation for the role he envisaged for the Gerakan which he spoke about at the Gerakan Youth function.

It is significant that Dr Lim Keng Yaik had nothing to say about the basic and fundamental issues confronting the Malaysian Chinese, whether in the political, economic, educational, cultural or religious sphere, but he is only obsessed with when MCA would collapse and
Gerakan could replace MCA in the Barisan Nasional, as the second junior partner of UMNO! For this purpose, the Gerakan and Dr Lim would give UMNO every support for its policies.

So, when the Malaysian Examinations Council used an extract from Dr Mahathir ‘The Malay Dilemma’ for an STPM General Paper question to disseminate the book’s assimilation ideas, Dr Lim Keng Yaik had no objections.

When the Ministry of Trade and Industry altered the rules mid-stream in the MAS share public issue, to increase the quota reserved for bumiputras from 30% to 51%, Dr Lim was not in the least upset. When this 51% bumiputra quota was increased to 70% in the latest public shares issues of Mechmar Bestobell Bhd., Dr Lim did not lose any sleep.

And when a local government authority categorised properties into ‘bumiputera properties’ and ‘non-bumiputera properties’ for purposes of assessment, Dr Lim again had no views.

And when the illegal Indonesian immigrants came in their tens and hundreds of thousands to take away the jobs of Malaysians, and to commit crimes of murder, rape and armed robbery, Dr Lim had never been concerned to ensure that the Cabinet takes a firm stand against the influx.

Dr Lim may be right when he said that the Gerakan is now fully ready to take over MCA’s role in the Barisan Nasional – a role which Dr Lim had previously condemned but which has now become his only ambition to fulfill!

The acquittal and reinstatement of Fabian Ver as Philippines Armed Forces Chief of Staff has further destroyed the legitimacy of President Marcos’ rule.

The acquittal of Fabian Ver of involvement in the murder of Filipino Opposition Leader, Benigo Aquino, and his reinstatement within hours as the Philippines Armed Force Chief of Staff has further destroyed the legitimacy of President Marcos’ rule.

The political crisis of democracy and legitimacy of government in the Philippine has been deepened by the Fabian Ver acquittal and reinstatement, which have grave consequences on the Philippines political future, threatening not only Philippines stability but also the geo-political conditions in ASEAN and in the Asia-Pacific.

As a member nation of ASEAN, the Malaysian Government should extend the concern of Malaysians at the further erosion of legitimacy of the Philippines political system, and its concern that the Presidential elections fixed for February 9 should be held under international supervision to satisfy the world that it would be fair, honest and could not be rigged as had happened in the past.

As Malaysia has a stake in the continued stability of the ASEAN region, which could only be based on the stability of each member nation, the Malaysian government should consider sending a observer mission for the Philippines Presidential elections, which would serve the purpose of communicating to President Marcos Malaysia’s disquiet about the direction of Philippines politics.