By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, November 14, 1991:
Second Question to Ling Liong Sik on the MCA’s greatest concession in its 42-year history in renouncing the constitutional basis and guarantee for existence of Chinese primary schools –what is UMNO’s quid pro quo?
The entire Malaysia nation and the Chinese community must take a very serious view of the MCA’s greatest concession in its 42-year history in renouncing the constitutional basis, foundation and guarantee for existence and continuation for Chinese primary schools.
The policy announcement made by the Deputy President, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, in Bukit Mertajam on Tuesday was not made lightly, but was argued with great seriousness which showed that it had been extensively debated in the highest MCA policy-making body before the MCA national leadership decided to make this great constitutional concession that the existence of the Chinese primary schools does not have constitutional basis, foundation and guarantee.
Thus Lee Kin Sai said in Bukit Mertajam that “ensuring that the over a thousand Chinese primary schools can continue to use Chinese as a medium of instruction is not because of the Constitutional stipulated that each community could have free use and study of its mother tongue, but because of the provision of the Barisan Nasional government under the Education Act.”
Lee Kim Sai further said: “The Chinese community should understand that the constitution guarantees the free study and use of mother tongue but this does not mean that Mandarin must be the medium of instruction in Chinese primary schools.”
He further stated that “Chinese primary schools can have Mandarin as the major medium of instruction is because of the provisions of the law made by the Barisan Nasional government comprising MCA, Gerakan, MIC and UMNO.”
Yesterday I asked the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, to explain what moral and political right does the MCA national leadership possess to make such an unprecedented concession as to renounce the constitutional right, basis and guarantee for the existence and continuation of the Chinese primary schools especially as the MCA only won about 20 per cent of the Malaysian Chinese voters in the general elections last year.
Today I want to ask Ling Liong Sik a second question about the MCA leadership’s unprecedented concession renounce the constitutional basis and guarantee for Chinese primary schools in Malaysia.
I am prepared to meet Ling Liong Sik at MCA Headquarters to hear his answers to my second questions
I wan to ask Liong Sik what is UMNO’s quid pro quo for MCA’s greatest concession in its 42-year party history in renouncing the constitutional basis and guarantee for the existence and continuation of Chinese primary schools?
Or is this just a one-way traffic with MCA leaders conceding away established and even constitutional rights and guarantees, one after another without any quid pro quo in return?
I am prepared to meet Ling Liong Sik and the MCA national leadership at the MCA Headquarters to hear their answers to my two questions on the MCA’s greatest concession in its 42-year history:
What moral and political right has the CMA national leadership to renounce the constitutional basis and guarantee of Chinese primary schools;
What is the quid pro quo of UMNO for MCA’s making the greatest concession in its 42-year party history in renouncing a constitutional right which every Malaysian Chinese holds precious and dear with regard to mother-tongue education and the eternal preservation of Chinese primary schools.