By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 1987:
Call on UMNO to head the IGP’s advice and cancel the UMNO Rally on Nov. 1 so as not to inflame racial feelings.
DAP welcomes the call by the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, that to prevent “further aggravation” of the present situation in the country, there should be no more rallies, demonstrations or meetings “which are likely to be interpreted as being racial in character.”
I call on UMNO to heed the IGP’s advice and the UMNO Rally on Nov. 1 in Kuala Lumpur so as not to inflame racial feelings. The UMNO Youth Rally on Saturday and the UMNO Division Leaders’ Meeting at Putra World Trade Centre on Sunday had inflamed racial feelings, taking the country to the edge of a racial volcano as illustrated by the panic in the Federal capital and the country that riots had started over the Jalan Chow Kit shooting spree and the reaction in Penang at the attempted arson in Tanjung Tokong.
Let us have no more public rallies or meetings where the Malaysians of another ethnic community had to leave, although they were there as reporters or photographers, because the police could not guarantee their personal safety or security, as happened at the UMNO Youth Rally and the UMNO Divisional Leaders’ Meeting.
If UMNO insists on proceeding with its Nov. 1 rally, is it going to be a third UMNO public gathering where Chinese Malaysia reporters and photographers would have to stay away as the organizers and the police could not guarantee their personal safety and security?
DAP postpone its Johore campaign to protest against illegal Indonesian immigrants.
In response to the IGP’s call, the DAP will postpone its Johore campaign to protest against illegal Indonesia immigrants through various action, including demonstrations. Although the issue of the illegal Indonesian immigrants is not a racial issue, as Malaysians of all races are victims of the crimes committed by the illegal Indonesians, the campaign will be postponed until a new date is announced.
DAP has not held any public rallies for the past 10 years, and we have no plan to hold one in the immediate future, although we reserve the right to apply to the Police to hold public rallies as UMNO Youth held one last Saturday, and UMNO us to hold another one on November 1.
DAP is prepared to work with al political parties to cool down the racial temperatures in the country, whether from UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC or other. All responsible political leaders must be prepared to sit down at a round-table to ensure sanity prevails in the country, that we turn away form the edge of the racial volcano we have placed ourselves in, and co-operate to isolate irresponsible leaders from whatever party or race who want to precipitate racial tensions to serve their selfish personal political interest.
One perequisite to the defusing of the racial tensions in the country is for all political leaders to refrain from turning educational, economic or social issues into communal issues. Let all political parties and political leaders agree, for a start, that the issue of the promotion of non-Chinese educated teachers as assistant headmaster and senior assistants in Chinese primary schools is not a communal problem, justifying a confrontation of the Malays and Chinese, but strictly an educational problem concerning the character of Chinese primary schools which the Barisan Nasional government had pledged to preserve in its general elections manifesto.
I would like to urge the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, to show that he is a national leader who could work with the leaders of other political parties and communities. His statement on Monday that the Cabinet Committee would not make any decision on the eligibility for promotion or issue any directive contrary to that of the Promotion Board goes against the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba, himself. Ghaffar Baba said the Cabinet Committee will review the suitability of the teachers and transfer out those without the suitability.
The Malaysian public must know what are actually the terms of reference of the Cabinet Committee, in view of the conflicting statement by Ghaffar Baba and Anwar Ibrahim.
Call for immediate transfer out of non-Chinese educated teachers to resolve their dilemma between the Education Ministry and the objection of parents.
As Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim should resolve the dilemma faced by the non-Chinese educated teachers promoted to Chinese primary schools who had been sandwiched between the Education Ministry and the objections of the parents.
In actual fact, many of them applied fro promotion to national primary schools and the were surprised that they were being sent to Chinese primary schools.
In view of the controversy, there is no doubt that their effectiveness would be seriously undermined, and they would all want to be transferred out, and to be sent to national primary schools. I would urge the Education Ministry to look after the best interest of these teachers by transferring them out immediately to national primary schools, without loss of any position, status or salary.
DAP Central Executive Committee to review its decision to withdraw from the Chinese organisation/political parties Joint Action Committee.
Since the DAP’s withdraw from the Chinese Organisation/Political Parties Joint Action Committee last Thursday, 15.10.1987, there had been many calls from leaders Chinese Organisation and Political parties from all over the country to ask the DAP re-join the Joint Action Committee.
DAP Central Executive Committee will meet in Petaling Jaya tomorrow for its ordinary meeting, and I will raise this matter at the CEC meeting to consider calls for the DAP to rejoin the Joint Action Committee.
DAP withdraw from the Joint Action Committee not because we are in conflict or confrontation with any organisation or party or its leaders, but over a matter of principle as to whether the Joint Action Committee could take a decision which repudiated the resolution adopted in the Oct.11 Tien Hou Temple mass protest meeting.
I appreciate the reasons behind the various calls for the DAP to rejoin the Joint Action Committee, and for this reason, I will ask the CEC to review the DAP’s withdrawal at the CEC meeting tomorrow.