by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Wednesday, 23.4.1986:
Anwar is trying to make Chinese newspapers the ‘scapegoat’ for his seditious threat to raise the citizenship issue, and challenge him to publicly play back the tape-recording of his Kepong speech
UMNO Youth Leader, Anwar Ibrahim, is now blaming the Chinese newspapers for distorting his Kepong speech to the UMNO Youth division delegates’ meeting, and accused the Chinese press of being unfair to him.
This is again most unfair and unworthy of Anwar Ibrahim, for instead of admitting and apologizing for his seditious warning to the non-Malay communities about raising the citizenship issue if they continued to create issues from national policies, he is trying to make the Chinese newspapers into a scapegoat, blaming them for distorting him, suggesting that the Chinese newspapers are most irresponsible of all the newspapers in the country.
As a result of Anwar’s claim that he had been wronged by the Chinese newspapers, had checked Monday’s newspapers and found that Anwar’s speech was actually a Bernama story, and that the report in an English press using the Bernama story was no different from the reports in the Chinese newspapers.
The Chinese newspapers had not added any extra word or sentence that was not in the Bername report. If anyone had destroyed Anwar’s speech, then the blame must go to Bernama, the government’s official news agency. Why didn’t Anwar blame Bernama, instead of putting the blame on Chinese newspapers?
It is not the Chinese newspapers who had wronged Anwar, but Anwar who had wronged the Chinese newspapers – and by suggesting that the Chinese newspapers were irresponsible, Anwar was being very mischievous, for it would give the impression that the Chinese newspapers are ‘chauvinistic’ in wanting to find excuses to paint UMNO leaders in the worst possible light! The next suggestion would be that certain controls should be placed on Chinese newspapers – whether governmental or proprietorial control.
Anwar should not only apologise to the non-Malay communities for his seditious threat to raise the citizenship issue last Sunday, but should also apologise to the Chinese newspapers for trying to make them into a ‘scapegoat’ for his seditious speech.
I challenge Anwar Ibrahim to publicly play back the tape-recording of his speech when opening the UMNO Youth Kepong division delegates’ meeting where he made the seditious threat. I do not think any Bernama reporter would dare to report the seditious threat unless Anwar had actually delivered it.
If Anwar now wants to clarify and backtrack from his Kepong speech, then let Anwar publicly declare that UMNO and UMNO Youth fully respect and honour the citizenship status of the non-Malay communities, and will not under any circumstances raise the citizenship issue. Let Anwar made this open and public commitment to prove the sincerity of his clarification.
Let him also announce his full respect of the democratic right of every Malaysian to question the whole gamut of the Barisan Nasional’s nation-building policies, whether it be National Education Policy, National Cultural Policy, New Economic Policy, etc. except for the four entrenched sensitive issues in the Constitution.
Rahim’s explanation on Bukit China completely unsatisfactory
The explanation by the Malacca Chief Minister, Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, why the government could not end the Bukit China quit rent issue once and for all by publicly renouncing all state government’s quit rent claims for the future in unsatisfactory, and shows the total lack of sincerity of the Malacca State Government on the matter.
It is clear that the Malacca Chief Minister still wants to keep the ‘Bukit China issue’ alive, especially in UMNO areas. If the Chief Minister wants to renounce all State Government’s quit rent claims to Bukit China, in respect of the cultural of the cultural, historic and religious significance of Bukit China, there are many ways to go about it. The problem is not how to do it, but whether the Malacca State Government has the sincerity in wanting to do it. If the Malacca Chief Minister does not know about it, I can teach him a few ways.
If MCA cannot get Section 21(2) of 1961 Education Act repealed, it can forget about its claim to be an effective partner in Government
The Deputy Education Minister, Ng Cheng Kiat, has reiterated in Ipoh that the MCA is unable to get the Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act repealed, but only its amendment.
This is completely unacceptable. What the Chinese community had been demanding or the last 25 years is the repeal of Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act, that it will now abandon its objective of eventually having schools using only one language as the medium of instruction.
The MCA Ministers have failed to give any satisfactory reason why the Chinese community should accept a mere amendment and not a repeal, if the Barisan Nasional Government has no intention to convert Chinese primary schools into national primary schools.
The refusal of the Barisan Nasional government to repeal Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act is the best evidence that the government is not prepared to commit itself to the policy objective of the ‘perpetual existence, development and expansion’ of Chinese primary schools in Malaysia.
As Deputy Education Minister, Ng Cheng Kiat, should spend his energy and time to get MCA Ministers to convince UMNO Ministers that Section 21(2) convincing the Chinese community to accept an amendment instead of a repeal of the 1961 Education Act. Ng Cheng Kiat has become the spokesman of UMNO rather than the spokesman of the Chinese community. This is the tragedy of MCA leaders!