By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 8th October 1991:
Is Fong Chan Onn’s call to MARA to open wide its door to all races a serious proposal or again just meant for Chinese newspapers only to deceive the Chinese community
Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Fong Chan Onn, said in a Chinese press today that MARA should open wide its door to all races, following the call by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, that Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) College should review and change its philosophy of exclusivity and to open it door to non-Chinese students.
I am glad that the MCA national leaders had at last woken up to the anomaly and injustice of MARA practicing a philosophy of exclusivity, although it was after DAP leaders had pointed this out to them in their instant reaction to Dr. Mahathir’s speech at the TAR College convocation last Saturday.
This is the typical trait of the MCA leaders who are always last to know, last to be conscious. Be that as it may, it is better that MCA leaders learn late, than never learning at all!
However, the important question that arises in the public mind is whether Dr. Fong Chan Onn’s call to open wide its doors to students of all races is a serious statement by a Deputy Education Minister, or whether it is a mere political gimmick by a MCA leader meant solely for the Chinese newspapers for consumption by the Chinese community only.
In other words, is Fong Chan Onn doing another Chan Kong Choy, who as MCA Youth leader issued a statement on Sunday blaming the government’s refusal to accord recognition to all the diplomas and courses of TAR as the chief cause why non-Chinese students do not want to study in TAR College – but which was released only to Chinese newspapers and never given to the Malay and English language newspapers, not even to the MCA-owned English daily, the Star! Chan Kong Choy made the statement not for UMNO leaders, or the person who really matters, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, but just for consumption for the Chinese community.
If Dr. Fong is acting like Chan Kong Choy and is making the statement calling on MARA to open its door to all races just to please the Chinese community, then it is not only pointless and purposeless but is no different from deceiving the Chinese community as to what the MCA is doing inside the Cabinet and Government.
It is very significant that the MCA English paper, the Star, had not carried any call by Dr. Fong to MARA to open wide its doors to students of all races!
Fong Chan Onn should give a report in the budget session of Parliament of what steps he had taken to get MARA to open its door to students of all races and the progress achieved
Dr. Fong should explain whether, apart from making a statement in the Chinese press, he proposes to take any action in government to get MARA to open its doors to students from all races.
Will he make a formal visit to MARA and during his visit, give a speech to the entire MARA Board, staff and students to stress the importance of MARA reviewing and changing its philosophy of exclusivity and to open its doors to students from all races so that the country’s vision 2020 to make Malaysia a fully developed nation could be achieved?
Will he initiate action in the Ministry of Education for the Education Ministry to take a Ministry decision the MARA should open its doors to students of all races?
Finally, will he ask the four MCA Ministers to give him support by jointly asking Cabinet to approve such a new philosophy for MARA to open wide its doors to students of all races?
Or is Dr. Fong going to do nothing, except to talk about it for the consumption of the Chinese community – out of the hearing of UMN leaders and MARA?
I expect Dr. Fong to give a report in the forthcoming budget session of Parliament of the actions he had taken and the progress made to get MARA to open it doors to students to all races.
I would be very disappointed if Dr. Fong has been corrupted by the double-faced politics of MCA and is saying one thing for the Chinese community, but doing the complete opposite inside the Government.