Chinese New Year Message by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, issued on Sunday, 2nd February 1992:
Malaysian Chinese can look forward to the challenges of the 1990s with confidence and optimism if they can stand firm by their rights and the principles of democratic, freedom, equality and justice
This is the thirty-fourth Chinese New Year celebrated by Malaysian Chinese since the country achieved independence in 1957.
Malaysian Chinese can look forward to the challenges of the 1990s and the 21st century with confidence and optimism if they can stand firm by their rights and the principles of democracy, freedom, equality and justice.
All Malaysians, and not just the Chinese, should draw the following four conclusion as Malaysia approaches its 35th year of nationhood on National Day on August 31 on the role, place and contribution of the Malaysian Chinese to the nation-building process:
Firstly, Malaysia’s present development status today would not have been possible if not for the great contributions of the Malaysian Chinese to the development process, not only in the economic and financial spheres, but also in the educational field particularly in the area of Chinese education.
Secondly, Malaysia could have gone even further ahead in economic and development terms than today, and could have become the first Little Dragon ahead of Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, if the political leadership had been able to mobilise and harness the resources, talents, skills and capital of the Malaysian Chinese in the past two decades.
Thirdly, the abysmally poor political leadership provided by the Chinese component parties in the Barisan Nasional government to ensure that government policies are open, just and enlightened to ensure the full mobilisation of the great potentials of the Malaysian Chinese community for the development of the country, instead of the debilitating and deleterious capital flight and brain drain in the previous two decades.
Fourthly, that if Malaysia is to achieve her full promise, as well as the Vision of 2020 of becoming a fully developed nation in all sense of the word, whether in the economic, political, cultural or social sphere, then the role and contribution of the Chinese must be recognised as of paramount importance – just as the role and contribution of the Malays, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans and others are also of paramount importance.
The lessons of the nation-building experience of the past two decades must be tat the dimunition of the role of any community or individual, where they could not play their full part in participating in the political, economic, educational, cultural and social development of the country, must lead to the dimunition and loss of the progress which could have been achieved by the country as a whole.
The strategy for the nation’s development and progress in the 1990s and the 21st century must be one which makes every Malaysian, regardless of race, liberated in mind and spirit and to feel that he could fully participate in the development process of the country because he is a full, equal and integral part of Malaysian identity, personality and nationhood.
One test as to whether we have achieved these pre-conditions for full development progress for Malaysia is whether those who rejected Barisan Nasional in the October 1990 general elections – whether it be the 48 per cent electorate of all races or 80 per cent of the Chinese electorate – feel and are satisfied that their legitimate grievances, discontents and aspirations are given full respect and recognition.
Let the Malaysian Chinese in this Chinese New Year dedicate themselves to the principles of democracy, freedom, equality and justice for these are the only paths that can take Malaysia towards national greatness.