By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, November 23, 1991:
Kit Siang writs second latter to Liong Sik proposing the formation of Joint MCA-DAP Committee to defend, protect and uphold the constitutional right, basis and guarantee for Chinese primary schools when they meet at MCA Headquarter on Tuesday.
I have today faxed a second letter to the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, conforming that I will be proposing that the MCA and the DAP sign a Joing Declaration on the constitutional right, basis and guarantee for Chinese primary schools when we meet at the MCA Headquarters next Tuesday.
The proposed MCA-DAP Joint Declaration on the Constitutional status of Chinese primary schools will also commit both the MCA and the DAP to oppose any person, political party or pressure which seek to question, undermine or challenge the constitutional right, basis and guarantee for the existence and development of the Chinese primary schools.
The DAP will also propose in the Joint DAP-MCA Declaration the establishment of a six-man Joint Committee with three representatives each from the MCA and the DAP to defend, protect and uphold the constitutional right, basis and guarantee for Chinese primary schools.
This is a historic opportunity for the MCA and the DAP to come together for the first time on an issue of fundamental importance to the Chinese community. As far as the DAP is concerned, we are prepared to co-operate with the MCA any time if this is in the best interest of the Malaysian people and the Malaysian Chinese.
It is most regrettable that there are MCA leaders who are trying to sabotage efforts to defend, protect and uphold the constitutional status of Chinese primary schools.
I know Liong Sik is under great pressure, particularly by some ‘mainstream’ MCA leaders, not to agree to a meeting with me next Tuesday, and who also oppose the signing of a MCA-DAP Joint Declaration on the constitutional right, basis and guarantee for Chinese primary schools.
As MCA President, however, Liong Sik must make the final decision on the Tuesday meeting at the MCA Headquarters and the proposed MCA-DAP Joint Declaration on the constitutional right, basis and guarantee for Chinese primary schools, and this is why my letters were sent to him personally and directly.
MCA leaders resorting to four propaganda approaches to manufacture public opinion adverse to DAP by resorting a simple but very important issue.
It is obvious from the statement from the various levels of MCA leadership in the past week that they are doing their utmost to manufacture public opinion adverse to the DAP, by distorting a simple but very important issue.
I must say the MCA campaign has been quite successful, for even some non-party opinion-makers are echoing some of these MCA lines.
So far, the MCA campaign to manufacture adverse public opinion against the DAP is based on four line of approach:
The first line of MCA propaganda is to sat that the issue is a very small and infinitesimal one. I am not surprised that MCA leaders should try to dismiss their greatest concession in the 42-year party history as a minor issue, but I cannot understand how anyone who is concerned about the future of Chinese primary schools could publicly state that it is inconsequential for the MCA, which claims to represent the Chinese in the Barisan Nasional Government, to make a concession on the constitutional status of Chinese primary schools.
The second line of MCA propaganda is that the whole controversy is not over the constitutional status of mother tongue education, but a contest between the MCA and DAP as to who is ‘more qualified to defend Chinese Education’.
This is not the issue at all. The DAP is not competing with MCA on who is ‘more qualified to defend Chinese Education’ but to expose the greatest concession of MCA in its 42-year history and to get the MCA leadership to retract such a concession.
MCA’s third line of approach is to try to trivialize the issue by turning a grave constitutional question into a personal one. This explained the orchestrated attack on me in the past week by MCA national, state and branch leaders throughout the country who resort to abuses, half-truths and lies, trying to character-assassinate not only myself but also my family.
There is no need for me to justify my record to the MCA leaders, for my political record is an open one, which had been presented to the judgment of the voters not in one general elections, but in six general elections over a period of 21 years. It is the MCA leaders themselves who dare not subject their political record to the judgment of the people by running away to rural constituencies to win on UMNO’s Malay votes.
The present issue however is not over my record, or the record of Liong Sik or even Kim Sai, but why the MCA leadership has made the greatest concession in the 42-year MCA history.
The forth line of MCA propaganda attack is to paint the picture that I am some sort of a gangster as I had declared that I would ‘gate-crash’ the MCA Headquarters next Tuesday.
It is the MCA leaders who use the words ‘gate-crash’ the MCA Hq which I had never used.
It is the MCA leaders who use the words ‘gate-crash’ the MCA Headquarters. I had never said that I would ‘gate-crash’ the MCA Headquarters.
This is a classic case where the MCA leaders invented their own vocapulary of ‘gatecrash’ the MCA Headquarters, claiming that I had said it, and mounted a propaganda exercise to manufacture public opinion against me for saying something I never said! This show the utter bankruptcy of those in charge of publicity and propaganda in the MCA national leadership where they have to concoct lies.
I had in fact been polite, courteous and civil as to send a letter to Liong Sik on 19th November, 1991 which read: