Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Malacca DAP Welcome Ceramah for the 27 Chinese educationists and human rights activist for their entry into the DAP held at Pay Fong Chinese Independent Secondary School hall on Monday, 3rd September 1990 at 8 p.m.
The boycott by MCA, Gerakan and SUPP of the Education Bill Seminar yesterday show that these parties are turning their back against the Chinese community and regard themselves as answerable only to UMNO and not to the Chinese voters
The boycott by the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP of the Education Bill Seminar held at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur yesterday represented a major policy shift by these three political parties. The seminar was jointly organised by the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Dong Jiao Zhong and Sin Chew Jit Poh.
In boycotting the Education Bill Seminar, the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP are turning their backs against the Chinese community and the people have a right to ask them whether they regard themselves as answerable only to UMNO and not to the Chinese voters.
The MCA, Gerakan and SUPP are all represented on the Cabinet Committee on the Education Bill 1990, but with their inside information and access to the contents of the Education Bill 1990, they are not prepared to take part in a seminar which is to help the Chinese community to understand the real motives and purposes of the 1990 Education Act.
UMNO Baru would never have done such a thing, and UMNO Ministers and leaders had taken part in many seminars and forums organised by Malay educational organisations to explain their stand on the Education Act 1990.
UMNO Ministers and leaders are always ready to explain to the Malay community its stand on the new Education Act. However, MCA, Gerakan and SUPP do not regard it as their duty to explain their stand and approach to the 1990 Education Act to the Chinese community, even when invited.
As far as they are concerned, the Chinese community and Chinese voters don’t count or exist.
In a sense, the MCA and Gerakan leaders are not wrong. After all, whether MCA and Gerakan leaders become Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MPs, State Executive Councillors and Assemblymen depends primarily on whether they could get the favours of top UMNO leadership and be allowed to contest in parliamentary or state seats where there are substantial Malay electorate to ensure their victory.
At present, the MCA and Gerakan leaders are not bothered about accounting to the Chinese community for their stand on the Education Bill 1990 and the implications of the various new provisions in the new education law.
What the MCA and Gerakan leaders are more concerned is to find safer sears to contest in the coming general elections – and to these MCA and Gerakan leaders, the seats become safer when the percentage of Malay voters become higher!
In the MCA top leadership, for instance, there is going to be a major seats swap so that the top MCA leaders like MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, and the Vice President, Chua Jui Meng, have ‘safer seats’ to contest in the next general elections.
The reasons given by the MCA and Gerakan for not sending representatives to the Education Bill Seminar is that they could not find ‘suitable’ spokesmen?
This excuse is most incredible. Have MCA and Gerakan reached a stage where they have no more ‘suitable leaders’ who could explain to the Chinese community about their parties’ respective stand on the Education Act 1990?
why have MCA leaders like its Secretary-General, Ting Chew Peh or the new political secretary to the MCA Deputy President, Chua Wei Yen, or Gerakan leaders like its Deputy President, Kerk Choo Ting or former Gerakan National Youth leader, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, suddenly become ‘unsuitable’ leaders to explain to the Chinese community about their stand on the Education Act 1990?
The boycott by the MCA and Gerakan of the seminar on the Education Bill yesterday is proof that they are hand-in-glove with the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, in a plot to deny the people the right to know and decide whether to support or reject the new Education Act in the next general elections.
His is why the DAP is reluctant to join the Consultative Council on the Education Act, for with the blatant manner in which Anwar Ibrahim had played politics and told lies about the Education Act Consultative Council, we are convinced that the Consultative Council is only a general elections ploy of the Barisan Nasional.
Parliament is expected to be dissolved any time this month. If after two or three meetings of the Education Act Consultative Council, Parliament is dissolved, what is the status and role of this Consultative Council?
Would the Barisan Nasional say that since there is a Consultative Council on the Education Act, the new 1990 Education Act should be raised, discussed or debated in the general elections? If his is the case, then the Barisan Nasional would have succeeded in suppressing the contents and issue of the Education Act 1990 in the next general elections. DAP does not want to be a party such a plot.