Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Malacca DAP State Memorial meeting for Chinese educationist, Lim Lian Geok, held at DAP Malacca premises on Sunday, January 5, 1986
Congratulations to the new MCA Ministers and suggest that their first task to collectively propose at their first Cabinet meeting on Wednesday the rectification of the historic wrongs against Lim Lian Geok and Chinese education struggle
I congratulate the new MCA Ministers, and hope that they would dare to speak up in Cabinet to fight for the basic rights of the Malaysians Chinese, and also to redress the wrongs being borne by the Chinese community.
I would suggest that the new MCA Ministers should decide as their first task, the collective stand in their first Cabinet meeting on Wednesday on January 8, 1986, the rectification of the historic wrongs the government and nation had done to Chinese educationist, Lim Lian Geok, who passed over two weeks ago.
In 1961, the government started the process of removing the citizenship of Lim Lian Geok because he fearlessly fought for the constitutional place of Chinese education and language in Malaysia. At that time, the present Housing Minister, Datuk Chan Siang Sun, was already a MCA Member of Parliament, and was part of the MCA leadership which supported the Alliance government’s move to revoke Lim Lian Geok’s citizenship.
Chan Siang Sun has therefore a special personal responsibility to restore the rightful place of Lim Lian Geok in the national history of the people, as it is no use just paying one’s last respect before Lim Lian Geok when he passed away, when one is not prepared to make amends for one’s role in helping to revoke his citizenship and silence the great Chinese education fighter in Malaysian history.
The DAP is holding this series of memorial meetings for Lim Lian Geok because we want the public to understand that it is in the spirit, struggle and sacrifice of Lim Lian Geok ‘s lifework that must be the guiding model for present and future generations. The only way to perpetuate the memory of Lim Lian Geok is to continue his struggle, and not just set Lim Lian Geok up as a name to praise but ignore what he had sacrified for.
It is for this reason that the DAP insists that those who cherish the memory of Lim Lian Geok must prove their feelings by real action, and not by word of mouth.
I hope that new MCA leaders who have just have been appointed into the Cabinet would not disappoint the Chinese community, for the rectification of the historic wrongs of the Chinese community.
Lim Lian Geok should be accorded government and official recognition as a Malaysian nationalist, his citizenship restored, and his memoirs on his struggle for Chinese education allowed to be circulated by the lifting of its ban.
Let me tell Ling Liong Sik, Lee Kim Sai, Chan Siang Sum and of course Mak Hon Kam, that the entire Chinese community will be waiting to see whether at your first Cabinet meeting, you could all stand up for the historic rights and future of the entire Chinese community by restoring the rightful historic place of Lim Lian Geok in Malaysia.