By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 9th March 1990:
NECC should close down if the Government is not prepared to give full backing to the appointment of four non-Malay faculty deans in the University of Malaya
The UMNO Baru MP FOR Marang, Haji Abdul Rahman Bakar, has created nation-wide uneasiness and concer amont he non-Malays as a result of his attempt to become a Malay hero by raising a controversy over his apposition to the appointment of four non-Malay faculty deans in the University of Malaya.
All the non-Malays cannot but ask whether in the 199s, they will continue to be denied of their tight to be given a proper and just place under the Malaysian sun.
As a result, this issue is no more an issue of the appointments in the University of Malaya, but as to the direction of the nation-building policies in the 1990s.
The National Economic Consultative Council was established to recommend and propose nation-building policies for the 1990s, and the MCA and Gerakan have been proclaiming that they will insist on a new policy of merit coupled with needs to replace the quota system for the 1990s.
However, if the appointment of four non-Malay deans in the University of Malaya can be turned into a racial issue, and merit is completely disregarded, then the policy directions in the 1990s is very clear.
This is why I said in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that the University of Malaya appointments issue has become an acid test as to whether Malaysia is going to adopt a more liberal and enlightened policy in the 1990s to mobilize and harness the abilities and potential of all Malaysians, regardless of race, so that all Malaysians can contribute to the progress and prosperity of the nation, based on merit and needs, or whether there will continue to be Malaysians who are denied the right to a proper and just place under the Malaysian sun.
The MCA and Gerakan Ministers must realise the grave long term implications and meaning of the University of Malaya appointments controversy, for if the MCA and Gerakan Ministers cannot pass this acid test on this issue, then the National Economic Consultative Council might as well close down, for then all the MCA and Gerakan claim about a system of merit coupled with needs in the 1990s are nothing but empty talk.