Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the opening of DAP Sibu Parliamentary Constituency Action Centre in Sibu on Tuesday, 1st June 1993 at 9 p.m.
DAP calls on the Prime Minister to fully normalize relations between Malaysia and China by signing educational and cultural agreements between the two countries during his forthcoming visit to China
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, should fully normalize relations between Malaysia and China by signing educational and cultural agreements between the two countries during his forthcoming visit to China.
Although Malaysia and China established diplomatic relations in 1974, the two countries have yet to fully normalize relations in all spheres.
It is understandable why Malaysia has taken such a long time to fully normalize relations with China, which two decades ago, was kept strictly on the government-to-government level without extending to people-to-people contacts.
Recently, there has been further and considerable normalization of relations between the two countries especially with the pursuit of open-market economy by the Chinese government.
The time has therefore come for the bilateral relations between Malaysia and China in his forthcoming visit to China to pave the way for greater and closer educational and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
Malaysia should treat China on the same basis as other countries, and as Malaysian students are allowed to go to other countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Japan, Ireland and Taiwan to pursue higher studies, the Prime Minister should announce that the government maintains an equally open attitude to Malaysian students who wish to pursue higher studies in China.
The only reason that the Malaysian Government could disapprove of Malaysian students going to China to pursue higher studies is if it still doubts the loyalty of the Malaysian Chinese to Malaysia.
The loyalty of Malaysian Chinese to Malaysia is second to none among all Malaysians
If the Government still doubts the loyalty of Malaysian Chinese to Malaysia, then Dr. Mahathir might as well abandon his Vision 2020, as this Vision of Malaysia becoming a fully developed nation could only be achieved if the country succeeds in creating a Bangsa Malaysian out of the diverse races, religions and cultures in the country.
If today, 36 years after independent nationhood, the loyalty of the Malaysian Chinese are still being doubted, then it is pointless talking about Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia.
Malaysian Chinese, whether in Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia, have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that their one and only loyalty is to Malaysia and not to any other country.
The cultural roots of Malaysian Chinese are undoubtedly in China, just as the cultural roots of the Malays and Indians are to be found in Indonesia and India but they are fully committed to the Malaysian nation and their loyalty to Malaysia is second to none among Malaysian citizens.
The second Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Razak, returned to Celebes in search of his roots during his term of office but no one doubted his loyalty to Malaysia. Similarly, no one should question the loyalty of the Malaysian Chinese because of their cultural roots.
Malaysian Chinese in fact can feel proud that they have made a great and irreplaceable contribution to the nation’s economic growth and development, and they could claim without fear of contradiction that without their contribution, Malaysia would never have attained its economic position today.
No one should therefore raise or doubts the loyalty of the Malaysian Chinese, or any other community to Malaysia, if Malaysia is to march forward towards a united nationhood.
No reason why Cabinet would not recognize Taiwan university degrees and qualifications if MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers unite on this issue
The problems, grievances and aspirations of the Malaysian Chinese must not be regarded as communal problems but an integral part of Malaysian problems.
The recognition of Taiwan university degrees and qualifications, for instance, should not be regarded as a Chinese problem but must be approached strictly from the standpoint of academic standards and merit.
It is clearly ridiculous and unacceptable that the Malaysian Government could accord recognition to medical degrees from countries like Indonesia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran but medical degrees from Taiwan universities which has won international acclaim are not recognized.
There is no reason why the Cabinet would not recognize Taiwan (and Nantah) university degrees and qualifications if the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers unite on this issue in the Cabinet.
Unfortunately, the MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers have been most indifferent to the resolution of this long-standing problem, which had only reinforced the view in certain top=level government circles that this is an issue of the Chinese community and not of the Malaysian nation.
Unless the Malaysian Government can present a strong case to justify its refusal to review and accord recognition to Taiwan (and Nantha0 degrees and universities, as for instance in proving that they have low academic standards, it should resolve this issue without an more delay and give to the 30,000 Malaysians who are Taiwan graduates the recognition that they so richly deserve.