by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 13th October 1987:
Advice to Dr. Lim Keng Yaik to be abide by the resolutions of Tien Hou Temple meeting on the Chinese primary schools promotion issue and not to break ranks to disrupt the unity achieved on the issue
Parti Gerakan President Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik said in Kota Kinabalu yesterday that the Chinese primary schools promotion issue had been blown out of proportion by the MCA and DAP. He said there should be no problem as the matter had been resolved during a Carbinet meeting four week ago.
As the three political parties, namely Gerakan, MCA and DAP, had reached an agreement to support the five resolutions adopted by the 3,000-people Chinese organisation Political Parties protest meeting at Tien Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, I shall refrain from criticizing or attacking Dr. Lim Keng Yaik for his astonishing Kota Kinabalu statement.
I would however advise Dr. Lim Keng Yaik to abide by the Resolutions adopted by the Oct. 11 Chinese Organisations/Political Parties Protest Meeting at Tien Hou Temple on the issue, as the Gerakan representatives gave full and unconditional support to the five
Dr. Lim should realize that his Kota Kinabalu statement virtually put the blame on the whole furore over the Chinese schools promotion issue on the MCA and DAP, and nobody else. Is this fair and right?
Furthermore, if Dr. Lim’s claim that the issue had been resolve four weeks ago is true, then the Oct. 11 protest meeting at Tien Hou Temple should never have basis of action for all organisations and the political parties which took part in the meeting to make it a historic success.
The DAP takes its participation and commitment at the Tien Hou Temple meeting of Oct. 11 on the Chinese primary schools promotion issue seriously, and we are prepared to actively make our contribution so that further progress could be built on the unity achieved on Sunday.
It is for this reason that in my speech yesterday in Parliament, during the emergency debate on the Chinese primary schools promotion issue, I refrained from criticizing or attacking the MCA or Gerakan during my 30-minute speech. There was not afford or whisper of criticism of MCA or Gerakan!
I was surprised, of course, that MCA Deputy President, Datuk Lee Kim Sai and Dr. Lim Keng Yaik should publicly declare beforehand that MCA and Gerakan would not support the DAP motion on the Chinese primary schools promotion issue, and would vote against the DAP motion.
In fact, there was no motion in the real sense of the word on the Chinese primary schools promotion issue before Parliament yesterday. What I did was to invoke Standing Order 18 which provided that an MP can seek leave to adjourn the House to suspend all pending parliamentary business to discuss a matter of urgent, definite public importance.
If the MP succeeds in doing so, as was the case yesterday, one hour of parliamentary time would be set aside at 5.30 p.m. for a debate on the issue, with no position being taken by the House. The whole purpose is to allow Parliament to address itself to a very urgent national issue, and in particular for the Government to know the concerns of MPs and the people on the matter.
There were suggestions earlier yesterday that I should not ask for a Parliamentary debate on a matter or urgent, definite public importance. If everybody agrees that the Chinese primary schools promotion issue is very important and urgent, especially with the impending three-day boycott of classes beginning on Thursday, MPs will be abdicating their responsibility if they do not seek the first opportunity to debate it!
The Oct. 11 protest meeting at Tien Hou Temple was aimed at forging unity of purpose and vision in the Chinese primary schools promotion issue, but in the last 48 hours, disunity has emerged over the issue itself.
There is one view that the problem of the promotion of non-Chinese educated as assistant headmaster and senior assistants of Chinese primary schools had been resolved four weeks ago. Another view is that it would be resolved soon, say by the end of the year. But the government itself has said nothing, except that such transfers and promotions would go on, although with ‘greater care’.
I would urge all political parties who took part in the Tien Hou Temple to put aside all these differences, and be solely guided by the Five Resolutions of the Oct. 11, 1987 meeting, which had the unconditional support of all the participating political parties.
DAP to send its MPs to the affected Chinese primary schools during the three-day school boycott not only to give support, but to be in the forefront of the protest, and urge MCA and Gerakan Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and MPs to do the same
DAP will send all its MPs to visit the affected Chinese primary schools during the three-day school boycott, not only to give support, but to be in the forefront of the protest.
As the MCA and Gerakan had also fully supported the Five Resolutions of the Tien Hou Temple on Oct. 11, which included the call for the three-day school boycott by the affected schools beginning on Thursday if the issue is not resolved by tomorrow, I would also suggest that MCA and Gerakan also prepare a roster for their Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, and MPs to visit all the affected Chinese primary schools to be in the vanguard of the three-day protest.
Propose a Three-Lim visit to all the affected Chinese primary schools in the three days of school boycott
As a gesture of solidarity, unity and serious commitment to the Five Resolutions of the Tien Hou Temple Protest meeting of Oct. 11, 1987, I am prepared to vesit all the affected Chinese primary schools in the three days of school boycott with Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik.