By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, November 24, 1991:
Kim Sai’s fourth clarification has confirmed that that the MCA’s latest policy stand is that there is constitutional guarantee only for the study of Chinese as a language, but not for Chinese primary schools using Chinese as a medium of instruction.
Yesterday, I exposed the massive ‘disinformation’ campaign of the MCA which mobilesed the entire MCA national, state and branch machinery to try to create an adverse public opinion against the DAP and me, using four propaganda lines.
The first MCA propaganda line is to spread the impression that the present controversy between the DAP and MCA on the MCA leadership’s greatest concession in its 42-year party history in declaring that there is no constitutional right, basis and guarantee for Chinese primary schools is a very small and insignificant issue.
The second MCA propaganda line is to mislead the people into believing that it was not a controversy over the constitutional status of Chinese primary schools, but a contest between the DAP and MCA as to who is ‘more qualified to talk about defending Chinese education’.
The third line is to turn the whole controversy into a personal issue, with the MCA headquarters orchestrating a nation-wide effort to character-assassinate me and my family.
The fourth line is to try to paint the picture that DAP leaders are like gangsters who do not reason, argue or debate.
If I had followed the example of MCA leaders, I would have laid down the condition that Liong Sik must make himself ‘fit’ before meeting me at the MCA Headquarters next Tuesday.
Today, we see the MCA ‘disinformation’ machinery using a fifth propaganda line – that the DAP leaders are not fit to discuss with the MCA the question of the MCA leadership’s greatest concession in its 42-year history on the ground that the DAP leaders had betrayed the cause of Chinese education in Malaysia.
If the DAP leaders had adopted the same attitude, then my letters to the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, proposing a meeting between both of use at the MCA Headquarters on Tuesday would have been differently worded.
I would have written to Liong Sik proposing the Tuesday meeting at MCA Headquarters subject to Liong Sik and the MCA leadership proving that they are fit to discuss the issues of Chinese education in view of the long MCA history and record of acting against the interest, rights and future of the Malaysian Chinese, whether in constitutional, political, economic, educational, cultural, social or cultural fields.
I could have sent a very long letter substantiating my charge. In education alone, the indictment wold cover many pages as to how the MCA leadership went against the entire Chinese society in supporting Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act; how after five years the solemn promise to repeal this section had not been fulfilled; how the MCA leadership again went against the entire Chinese society in spearheading opposition to the proposed Merdeka University; and now, the greatest concession in the 42-year MCA history in declaring that Chinese primary schools do not have no constitutional right, basis and guarantee.
I could have also pointed out in my letter to Liong Sikthat the MCA leaders must make themselves fit and qualified to discuss Chinese education issue with the DAP because the October 1990 general elections have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the MCA leadership had been rejected by the Chinese electorate; that the MCA could get only 20 per cent of the Chinese voters, with MCA Ministers and MPs elected purely because of UMNO’s Malay voters; and how the MCA leadership had openly confessed they do not know what the Chinese wanted to the extent that they have a engage professional consultants to conduct a survey!
DAP has nothing to hide, while MCA leaders have cupboard-full of skeletons which they dare not let the people see.
Why didn’t I resort to this tactics, which is now the fifth propaganda line of the MCA ‘disinformation’ campaign. The reason is very simple. The DAP has nothing to hide and is prepared to face anyone, including MCA leaders, any place any time.
The MCA leaders are different. They have cupboard-full of skeletons which they dare not let the people see.
In the last ten days, the Chinese community has seen how a simple but important question by the DAP as to why the MCA had made the greatest concession in its 42-year history has sent the entire MCA into a panic and disarray.
Although the MCA leaders alleged that I had ‘broken paragraph and distorted’ the stand of the MCA leadership and the Bukit Mertajam speech of MCA Deputy President, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, the fourth clarification of Lee Kim Sai in Kuala Lumpur two days ago had only proved me right.
From Kim Sai’s fourth clarification, it is clear that the MCA leadership’s new policy position now is that the Constitutional only guarantee the study of Chinese as a language, whether in schools, factories or homes, but does not guarantee Chinese as a medium of instruction and as a result, does not guarantee the existence of Chinese primary schools.
The Tuesday meeting at MCA Headquarters is more important to MCA leadership and Liong Sik than to DAP, for it is to give the MCA a last chance to retract its greatest concession in 42-year history.
Can Ling Liong Sik let the people know when the MCA leadership took this new policy stand that there is no constitutional right, basis, status and guarantee for Chinese primary schools, and why it had decided to take this new policy stand when the MCA, under Tun Tan Siew Sin, Lee San Choon, Neo Yee Pan and Tan Koon Swan, never adopted such a stand?
My meeting with Liong Sik at the MCA Hqrs on Tuesday at 11 am is more important to Liong Sik and the MCA leadership than to DAP and to me, for it is to give the MCA leadership a last chance to retract the greatest concession of the MCA in its 42-year history.
I hope therefore that Liong Sik will have the courage to meet me at the MCA Headquarters on Tuesday and also a Joint- DAP-MCA Declaration on the Constitutional right, status and guarantee for Chinese primary schools and establish a Joint MCA-DAP Committee to protect and defend the constitutional status of Chinese primary schools.