By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, October 17, 1987:
Anwar Ibrahim’s statement that the Chinese primary schools promotion issue could not be resolved by Dec. 31 shows that the assurances of MCA and Gerakan Ministers to Chinese Organisations/Political Parties Joint Action Committed to cancel schools boycott is empty and hollow.
Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim’s statement at Subang airport last night that he did not think the Chinese schools promotion issue could be resolved by Dec.31 this year has shown how empty and hollow were the assurances Joint Action Committee to get the three-day schools boycott postponed.
In fact, the question of the review of the suitability of the non-Chinese educated teachers promoted as assistant headmaster and senior assistants to Chinese primary schools by the five-man Ministerial Committee should not have arisen.
What the Cabinet should have done is to declare that it honours the Barisan Nasional general elections manifesto to preserve the character of Chinese primary schools, and will respect and uphold the principle that for Chinese primary schools, only the Chinese-educated teachers will be promoted to senior administrative posts.
Without such a principle accepted by the government, even if by the end of the year, all the affected non-Chinese educated teachers subject of the present controversy are transferred out, there would be future repetition of such transfer and promotions.
This matter must therefore be resolved once and for al. for this reason, action taken by the parents of pupils in affected Chinese primary schools in the four states, and in particular in Penang, should be given the greatest respect by the Government.
The parent made their protest in a peaceful, orderly manner by withdrawing their pupils from schools, and in the case of Penang State some 40,000 pupils were involved, without disturbing or provoking the peace, insulting or hurting the feelings, sensitivities, self-respect of other communities.
The protesting parents of pupils of affected Chinese primary schools conducted their three-day school boycott fully respecting the rights, sensitivities and self-respect of other communities, for this is an issue which is not communal but educational, and fully realising that the preservation and maintenance of inter-racial relations and harmony is essential to the well-being of the nation and all Malaysians.
We hope that this example will be followed by all others who want to protest, by ensuring that it is not turned into any communal confrontation or conflict.
When tens of thousand of pupils of the affected Chinese primary schools went on a three-day schools boycott, there was no sense of racial tension for everyone knows that it is not directed against any community, but no get the government to redress a grievance and honour its general elections pledge on the character of Chinese primary schools. But there is great tension when UMNO Youth wants to hold a public rally, because it is perceived as an act of racial confrontation.
DAP MPs and SAs to meet in parliament House tomorrow to discuss the swiftly deteriorating national condition and to propose a formula to restore national confidence and promote economic recovery.
DAP MPs and Assemblymen wil meet in Parliament House tomorrow for one-day conference and will discuss the swiftly deteriorating national condition and propose a formula to restore national confidence and promote economic recovery.
All Malaysian must be concerned that the country has been going from one crisis to another in the last 14 months since the 1986 general elections.
The one-day DAP MPs and State Assemblymen conference will also review the past 14 months of national development, including the performance of DAP MPs and Assemblymen.