Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and assemblymen for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, after submitting a protest note to Banking Chairman and directors at the Penang Maybank State headquarters on Tuesday, Sept.30, 1986 at 12 noon.
DAP calls on Malayan banking to respect the cultural rights and sensitivities of the five million Malaysian Chinese and not be the first bank to close down a Chinese newspaper.
I have sent a protest to the Chairman and Directory of the Malayan Banking,Penang State headquarters, to require the Malayan Banking that it should respect the cultural rights and sensitivities of the five million Malaysian Chinese, and not be the first bank to close down a Chinese newspaper.
In my protest note, Malayan Banking that as a “premier banking institution, Malayan Banking must assume its responsibilities on a larger national sphere, including promoting and sustaining – rather than stifling and killing – cultural institutions in Malaysia”.
I urged Malayan Banking to immediately lift the closure of publication of Sing Pin Jih Pao, as the 47-year-old Sing Pin Jih Pao is not just an ordinary business concern, but a cultural institution of the Chinese community reflecting and spirit of the Malaysian Chinese – who are integral part of the Malaysian people and nation. As a result, Sing Pin Jih Pao is also a Malaysian cultural institution as well.
Call on all Chinese organizations, societies and associations to express their concern closure of Sing Pin Pao by sending protest cables to the bank.
In this connection, I also call on all Chinese societies, associations and organizations to make their protest known to Malayan Banking at its insensitive and high-handed closure of Sing Pin Jih Pao by sending protest cables, or even protest telephone calls, to Malayan Banking. In fact, individuals who are concerned at the Malayan Banking’s refused to should its responsibilities by seeking the easy way out to close down Sing Pin Jig Pao should also make their unhappiness and protect Malayan Banking by sending protest cables to the bank.
Closely the development of the sing Pin Jih Pao issue, and unless Malayan Banking assume its larger responsibilities for the cultural development of the people and nation, the DAP may consider organizing nation-wide protest campaign at the insensitivity of the Malayan Banking Board Chairman and Directors.
I’m sure the Malayan Banking have many debtors who the debt of Sing Pin Jih Pao, but who have not been put into receivership. Why should Malayan Banking be so with Sing pin Jih Pao, which is concerned with the of the cultural spirit of Malaysians as a whole, and the five million Malaysian Chinese in particular?
My protest note to the Malayan Banking Chairman and Directors is as follows:
DEMOCRATIC ACTION PARTY
PROTEST NOTE TO CHAIRMAN AND DIRECTORS OF MALAYAN BANKING FOR ARBITRARY AND INSENSITIVE CLOSURE OF 47-YEAR-OLD CHINESE CULTURAL INSTITUTION, SING PIN JIH PAO
Chairman and Directors,
MALAYAN BANKING BHD,
This is to protest in the strongest possible terms against the arbitrary and insensitive closure of the 47-year-old Sing Pin Jih Pao on Sunday, Sept.28, 1986 by Malayan Banking Bhd for a $1.7 million debt.
Malayan banking should be aware of its obligations in a multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society like Malaysia, and should be an example to respect the rights and sensitivities of all groups and cultures in Malaysia, which is the only basis for the building of a stable, harmonious and prosperous society in our country.
The 47-year-old Sing Pin Jih Pao is not just an ordinary business concern, but a cultural institution of the Chinese community reflecting and spirit of the Malaysian Chinese – who are integral part of the Malaysian people and nation. This makes the Sing Pin Jih Pao a Malaysian cultural institution as well.
Before the Malayan Banking took the drastic, arbitrary and insensitive action to close down Sing Pin Jih Pao, it should have exhausted all available avenues to enable the daily to continue operation and publication, as by consulting with the over 300 employees in Sing Pin Jih Pao and the Chinese community, to work out a salvage plan.
I urge you as a Chairman and Directors of Malayan Banking to respect the rights, aspirations and sensitivities of all cultural groups in Malaysia, by immediately taking steps to restore publication of Sing Pin Jih pao.
Your receivers, Cooper and Lybrands, are to announce tomorrow, Oct.1 1986, whether to cease or continue publication of the Sing Pin Jih Pao.
I would urge you to show that you are conscious of your wider responsibilities to the cultural development in Malaysia, and not be the first bank to cause the closure of a Chinese newspaper, which will be a black day for the Chinese community as well as the Malaysian nation.
Malayan Banking should allow the immediate publication of Sing Pin Jih Pao, and take the lead to work out a rescue for the orderly publication of Sing Pin Jih Pao.
As a premier banking institution in Malaysia, Malayan Banking must assume its responsibilities on a larger national sphere, including promoting and sustaining, rather than stifling and killing, cultural, institutions in Malaysia.
Dated 30th September 1986.
(Lim Kit Siang)