Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the 25th DAP Anniversary Dinner organised by the Selangor State DAP at the Hokkien Huay Kuan in Klang on Wednesday, 15th January 1992 at 8 p.m.
Call on Chinese Halls to make a policy statement at its first meeting tomorrow to reject the philosophy and attitude behind Lim Geok Chan’s statement on “What is left for Malaysian Chinese to be sold out”
In the past few months, there is considerable talk of the ‘new big climate’ which should affect the thinking, approach and the politics of the Malaysian Chinese.
This ‘new big climate’ is the basis and reason the MCA, the Gerakan and certain Chinese community and organisation leaders are using in order to justify what they called the era of ‘politics of consultation’ in the 1990s.
From their speech , it would appear that these political and community leaders had heard or known about the ‘politics of consultation’, and that they had just discovered the ‘politics of consultation’ in the year 1991!
Who is the father of the discovery of the ‘politics of consultation’ in Malaysia? Is it the MCA President, Datuk Dr.Ling Liong Sik, or the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr.Lim Keng Yaik or the Chairman of the Federation of Chinese Assembly Halls in Malaysia, Lim Geok Chan?
Malaysians should ask those who now promote the ‘politics of consultation’ as the cure-all for all the political, economic, education, social and cultural ills of the Malaysian Chinese to explain what politics had the MCA and Gerakan practised in the past 35 years when they were in the Barisan Nasional and previously the Alliance since Merdeka in 1957?
The ‘consultationists’ wants Malaysians to believe that the people has only the choice between the politics of consultation or the politics of confrontation, and that the politics of confrontation had proved to be complete failures in 1970s and 1980s.
These ‘consultationists’ should explain whether the MCA and Gerakan were practising the politics of on confrontation in the Barisan Nasional Government in the 1970s and 1980s which they have judged to decades of failures?
Of not for the presence, sacrifice and struggle of DAP, Lim Geok Chan would be right for the MCA and Gerakan ‘politics of consultation’ would have resulted in a situation today where “there is nothing left for the Chinese to be sold out”
I am sure nobody would deny more vehemently than Liong Sik and Keng Yaik that MCA and Gerakan had practised the politics of confrontation in the 1970s and 1980s, as they would claim that they had all along been the prctitioners of the ‘politics of consultation’-long before Lim Geok Chan discovered the term of the ‘the politics of consultation’.
Mr.Lim Geok Chan, after he was elected Chairman of the Federation of Chinese Assembly Halls in Malaysia, made a most remarkable and revealing statement, when he rhetorically asked “what was there left for the Chinese in Malaysia to be sold out”..
If Lim Geok Chan is right that 35 years after Merdeka, there is ‘nothing left for the Chinese in Malaysia to be sold out’, this must mean that the Chinese in Malaysia lost all their political, economic, education, cultural, social, religious and citizenship rights.
If this is so, then it can only prove the total failure of MCA and Gerakan ‘politics of consultation’ practised in the past 35 years in Malaysian politics.
It would however be most unfair for Lim Geok Chan to condemn MCA and Gerakan as having totally sold out the rights of the Malaysian Chinese in 1970s and 1980s as to have reached a position today where he could state that ‘the Chinese have nothing left to be sold out’.
There is not doubt that, left to themselves, the MCA and Gerakan might have done just this, but the preence, sacrifice and struggle of the dAP had checked the process of erosion of the legitimate rights of the Malaysian Chinese.
We have lost many rights, political economic, educational, cultural, social and citizenship-but we still have considerable rights which we must cherish and defend.
One of our rights was to the cultural right to the 200-year old Johore Bahru ancient temple wall until December 29, 1991, which was lost in a 3 a.m. demolition, precisely as a result of the MCA, Gerakan and Chinese Halls ‘politics of consultation’.
The MCA and Gerakan ‘politics of consultation’ would have caused the Malaysian Chinese and the nation to lose the cultural heritage of the Malacca Bukit China in 1984, but this was saved by the nation-wide Save Bukit China campaign launched by the DAP.
From the recent nation-wide debate, it is clear that the MCA, Gerakan and Chinese Halls ‘politics of consultation’ is one which is not based on the relationship of equality and mutual respect, but the ‘consultation’ that takes place between unequal parties-like between a cat and a mouse, or between a master and a slave.
I am very concerned by the entire philosophy espoused by the Chairman of the Federation of Chinese Assemblyalls when he challenged as to ‘what was left for the Chinese in Malaysia to be sold out’.
If ‘there is nothing left for the Chinese in Malaysia to be sold out’, then there is nothing left for any ‘politics of consultation’ except for businessmen to get opportunities to make money!
Malaysian Chinese must get rid of the attitude of ‘What is there left for the Chinese to sell-out’ if Malaysian Chinese are to enjoy equal and rightful place under Vision 2020
I would describe such an attitude as the most negative and destructive attitude to have appeared in the Malaysian Chinese community in the past 35 years since Merdeka, for it would destroy all the effortes, sacrifices and struggles not only of the DAP, but all who had believed, fought and sacrified for a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysia, like the late Lim Lian Geok, Sim Moh Yu, Loot Ting-yu and a legion of others.
Malaysian Chinese must get rid of the attitude of ‘What is there left for the Chinese to sell-out’ if there left for the Chinese to be sold out if the Malaysian Chinese are to enjoy equal and rightful place under Vision 2020.
I understand that the Malaysian Chinese Halls is having its first meeting tomorrow, and I call on it to make a clear-cut statement of policy to reject the philosophy and attitude behind Lim Geok Chan’s statement of ‘What is there left for the Chinese to sell-out’.
DAP does not want to get involved in the internal affairs of the Chinese Halls or Chinese organisations, but this is a matter which transcends individual organisations, for it such philosophy and attitude is allowed to spread unchallenged, it will story not only the political work of the DAP but the hopes of future generations of Malaysian Chinese.