Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP MPs and Assemblymen conference held at Parliament House on Sunday, Oct. 18, 1987 at 10 am.
Is UMNO Youth trying to create a May 13, 1969 mood that Anwar Ibrahim talked about before National Day.
Before National Day, Anwar Ibrahim, the UMNO National Vice Preseident and Education Minister, said there was May 13, 1969 mood in the country. I did not agree, although racial polarisation was getting from bad to worse.
However, with the UMNO Youth rally in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, we must ask UMNO Youth whether it is trying to create a May 13, 1969 mood that Anwar Ibrahim talked about before National Day.
At yesterday’s UMNO Youth Rally, the Chinese reporters and photographers of various language media were asked to leave the Rally grounds by the police on the ground that the police could not guarantee their personal safety and security. What type of a UMNO Youth Rally is this?
When the Chinese organisations and political parties held at the Tien Hou Temple mass protest meeting last Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, Malay reporters and photographers of various mass media were present to report on the proceedings, and nobody thought of asking the other Malays who were present to leave, because there was no question that their safety and security would be in any danger.
The Tien Hou Temple mass protest meeting was not over a racial issue, but an educational issue – namely the promotion of non-Chinese educated teachers as assistant headmaster and senior assistant of Chinese primary schools.
Why should the Chinese reporters and photographers of various media be asked to leave UMNO Youth Rally, unless the Rally was to create racial tensions and to try to lead to a racial confrontation? Why then did the Police issue a permit for such a rally?
It is most ironical that when the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, was speaking at the Vancouver Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference denouncing the racial apartheid policies of South Africa, Malaysia was also attracting world news attention for her racial tensions create by UNMO Youth Rally and the extremist pronouncement of UMNO Youth leaders.
For the good of the nation, I would urge the top UMNO leaders to show that they are still in control over their party, and could keep in rein the extremists in UMNO Youth. We know that some UMNO Youth leaders are fighting a ‘life-and-death’ political battle, but they should not drag the country into a ‘life-and-death’ struggle as well by their irresponsible speeches and demands.
To Lodge Complaint against Utusan Malaysia and Utusan Melayu for tendentious, vicious and racial twist to its reports and editorials against the DAP.
It is most irresponsible of political leaders in UMNO and UMNO Youth in trying to turn the Chinese primary schools promotion issue into a communal issue, when I had many a time stressed that I will welcome a Malay or Indian with the requisite Chinese-educated qualifications promoted as headmaster of Chinese primary schools.
What is equally reprehensible is that two mass newspapers, Utusan Malaysia and Utusan Melayu, carried tendentious and vicious reports and editorials which give a racial twist against the DAP on the issue of the Chinese primary schools promotion issue.
I am not surprised by unfair reporting and editorial comment in Utusan Melayu and Utusan Malaysia as for as the DAP is concerned, but we cannot permit them to carry biased and tendentious reports and editorials against the DAP on this issue to incite racial feelings and hatred against the DAP, or to create racial illwill and hostility between the Malays and the Chinese.
Three years ago, the major newspapers, including the Utusan Melayu and Utusan Malaysia, joined with other newspapers to form the Organisation of Newspaper Editor (ONE), to act as a body to which the people could complain should they find that a newspaper had acted unfairly in its reports and editorials. It was announced at that time the ONE will function along the lines of the Press Council in British, Japan, India and several other countries.
I propose to lodge a complaint against the Utusan Melayu and Utusan Malaysia for its biased and tendentious reports and editorials against the DAP, calculated to incite Malay feelings against the DAP and the arouse racial illwill and hostility between the Malays and the Chinese.
I hope the ONE will prove that it operate as independently, effectively and responsibly as the Press Councils in other countries.
MCA and Gerakan Ministers should get Cabinet to clarify and announce the terms of reference or the live-man Cabinet Committee, or pull out of the Cabinet Committee altogether.
From the Subang airport speech of Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, the entire five-man Cabinet Committee to set up last Wednesday appears to be a big waste of time.
There have been some press statement by Chinese organistion and political party leaders that Anwar was not respecting the Cabinet in making his remarks at the Subang Airport. Is this the case, or are we deceiving ourselves.
Did Anwar Ibrahim contradict Ghaffar Baba? I don’t think so. Ghaffar Baba, in announcing the Cabinet Committee, said the five Ministers will review the suitability of the non-Chinese educated teachers promoted as assistant headmaster and senior assistants to Chinese primary schools. He did not say that all the non-Chinese-educated teachers are not suitable for such promotion.
What Anwar said at the airport was that it was proper, legal and valid for the Ministry to promote the non-Chinese educated as senior assistant and assistant headmaster of Chinese primary schools, and that the directive on promotions would not be withdrawn, and in any event, he could not see how the problem could be resolved by Dec.31 this year.
What Ghaffar Baba and Anwar Ibrahim both try to say seem to be that there is no problem, but if the setting up of a Cabinet Committee will help MCA and Gerakan, so be it!
This is most unsatisfactory. I suggest that the MCA and Gerakan Minister should get Cabinet at its meeting on Wednesday to clarify and announce the terms of reference of the five-man Cabinet Committee, or pull out of the Cabinet Committee altogether. The Cabinet should decide and openly announce that the Cabinet Committee’s terms of reference is to review all the promoted teachers sent to Chinese primary schools as to whether they are “suitable” by possessing Chinese-educated qualifications, and that those who do not have these Chinese-educated qualifications would be transferred out by Dec. 31!
DAP calls for a Summit Meeting of al Political Party Leaders to halt the deteriorating national condition.
For the past 14 months since the last general elections, the country has been lurching from one crisis to another, whether political, educational, economic or nation-building.
Economic recovery should be the central concern for all Malaysians, but nobody is concerned about it. The Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, is to present his 1988 budget in Parliament in five days time, on Friday, 23, Oct. 1987, but nobody is bothered.
In previous years, the two or three weeks before Budget Day would see national attention focussed on the national economy and finances, but not this time. Why? This is a sign of the bad state of the national health.
DAP calls for all political leaders to come together in a closed-door Summit Meeting to discuss and halt the deteriorating national condition. DAP is prepared to co-operate to help restoring local and international confidence in Malaysia, although we are an opposition party. The initiative, however, must come from the governing parties and in particular, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.
DAP to table 16 amendments in the committee stage of the National Trust Fund Bill in Parliament tomorrow.
DAP will table 16 amendments to the 15-clause National Trust Fund Bill in Parliament during the committee stage tomorrow. Dr. Chen Man Hin (Seremban) has tabled three amendments, Lee Lam Thye (Bukit Bintang) one amendments, Lim Guan Eng (Kota Melaka) one amendments, and I have put in all amendments.
The national Trust Fund Bill is a major bill, which could have great socio-economic, poitical and government repercussions for the future, for it could easily within a few years be in control of billions of dollars of public funds. The strictest scrutiny, control and public accountability must be written into the National Trust Fund Act to ensure that even greater financial scandals than had happened in the past will not occur in future by way of the National Trust Fund Act.