DAP to move motion in Parliament for a Parliamentary Committee to review 30 years of nation-building efforts and to new basis for Malaysian nation-building in the 1990s

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Penang DAP State Committee meeting held at Penang DAP Hqrs at Kinta Lane, Penang on Thursday 11.6.1987 at 8 p.m

DAP to move motion in Parliament for a Parliamentary Committee to review 30 years of nation-building efforts and to new basis for Malaysian nation-building in the 1990s

The DAP will move a motion in the coming two-week Parliament, which begins on June 29, for the establishment of a Parliamentary Committee to review the 30 years of Malaysian, nation-building and to make recommendations to ensure greater national unity in the 1990s.

My motion, which I gave notice yesterday, reads:

“That the Dewan Rakyat, on the occasion of the 30th national anniversary, RESOLVES to establish a Parliamentary Committee to conduct nation-wide hearings and to receive representations on the results of three decades of nation-building, with special bearing on the effects of the New Economic Policy, the National Education Policy, the National Cullture Policy, Islamisation and other major national policies on national unity, and to report to Parliament with recommendations which could be the basis for nation-building efforts for the 1990s.”

In less than three months, Malaysia will be completing her third decade of independent nationhood. Malaysians should use this occasion to reflect on the progress we have achieved to build a united Malaysian nation and people out of our diverse races, the present obstacles and challenges in the 1990s confronting Malaysian nation-building.

Malaysians will agree that Malaysian face a very great problem in nation-building, as there are not only diverse races, religions, languages and customs in the country, territorially – in particular between Peninsular Malaysia on the one hand and Sabah and Sarawak on the other – the differences must be bridged.

Malaysian must be mature enough to ask themselves and seek answers the questions whether thirty years after Merdeka in 1957, we are more polarised – whether in racial, religious or territorial terms.

The 30th anniversary of any nation is an important landmark which should be most usefully spent in a national soul-searching of our past, present and future.

Unfortunately, the protracted crisis of confidence of the government leadership seemed to have resulted in loss of national direction and purpose. This is why on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the nation, there is hardly any national debate, discussion or concern as to what we had achieved, where we are going, and what the future has in store for us.

The DAP’s proposal of a Parliamentary Committee to study the problem of nation-building and national unity, and to make new recommendations for carrying them out in the 1990s, is to provide an opportunity for all thinking and committed Malaysians to make a contribution to plan and determine Malaysia’s national destiny. Such an inquiry and study is above party politics, and should be undertaken fully in the spirit as Malaysians which transcend party, racial, religious or other sectarian considerations.

If we as a people and as a nation are not prepared to take stock of our 30 years of nation-hood, identify the mistakes, pitfalls and dangers; and mark out new directions our nation-building efforts should take, then something is very wrong with us as a people and nation. I hope the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, and the Cabinet Ministers will give due consideration to this notion, by at least ensuring that there would be parliamentary time for a full-scale debate and discussion in Parliament, I will write to Dr. Mahathir to ask the government to specially allocate time for debate.