By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Friday, 7th August 1987:
Call on the Senate of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia to identify and punish the extremist and chauvinist under-graduates who used threats to force the cancellation of the Martial Art, Lion and Dragon Dance Night in UKM last Sunday
At the University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) convocation ceremony last Friday, the UKM Chancellor, the Yang di Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan, said that racial polarization in institutions of higher learning should be checked as it can affect the nation’s peace and prosperity.
The Yang di Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan said that racial polarization was not evident among primary and secondary students but it surfaced only when the students continued their studies in the universities.
He said: “This is cause for concern because in a multi-racial country like Malaysia, such polarization will not ensure peace and prosperity among the community.” The Ruler hopped that UKM was promoting integration among students of various races.
The Yang di Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan’s advice and warning could not have been more timely in the UKM, for three days later, an incident happened in the UKM campus which has caused the most serious racial polarization in the UKM student population in its entire 17-year history.
On Sunday, as part of the UKM Convocation Ceremony celebrations, the Chinese students in UKM organised a Martial Art, Lion and Dragon Dance night, after putting months of effort to make it a success. Some 2,000 tickets were also sold to members of the public.
However, the Martial Art, Lion and Dragon Dance Night to beheld at Dewan Tuin Razak, UKM on Sunday, had to be cancelled at the last minute, because of threats and blackmail by a group of extremist and chauvinist UKM students, who accused the cultural performances as ‘immigrant culture’, and that the Chinese students in UKM was taking further advantage – ‘asking for a foot after getting an inch’ – after a Pesta Tanglong was held at the UKM by the Chinese students during the August mooncake festival last year!
The dragon dance was to be performed by 55 secondary students from Klang, but when they arrived at the UKM campus last Sunday evening, they were subjected to threats and had to be kept under protection by the UKM security personnel for about two hours before they left the campus. Members of the public who had bought tickets for the occasion were disappointed when they turned up that night.
It would appear that a group of extremist and chauvinist students in UKM are prepared to resort to gangster tactics of threats and blackmail just to get their way to sabotage the Martial Art, Lion and Dragon Dance Night on Sunday. I do not know what type of graduates the UKM is producing, but clearly this group of extremist and chauvinist students who used gangster tactics sabotage the Martial Art, Lion and Dragon Dance Night are not fit to be our universities.
The Martial Arts, Lion and Dragon Dance Night is part of the five-day 15th Convocation Ceremony, which has the approval of the UKM authorities, the UKM Senate must take the most serious view of the presence in the UKM this group of extremist, chauvinistic and gasterish students, who should to identified and severely punished. Our universities should be producing the Malaysian leaders of tomorrow, and not be breeding gangsters who are also extremist and chauvinists.
The Martial Arts, Lion and Dragon Dance Night incident has marred the reputation of UKM to the people in the surrounding areas of the Bangi campus, and this damage must be rectified immediately. The Penang State Assembly has a representative who sits on the UKM Senate, and the Penang State Government should instruct its representative to raise this issue and demand the punishment of the culprits. I am very disappointed that no MCA Minister or Deputy Minister has dared t take a public stand on this issue. More and more Malaysians are wondering whether having a MCA Daputy Education Minister who is so impotent and ineffective is a plus or minus Chinese community.