Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the opening ceremony of the DAPSY concert in aid of Dong Zhiao Zhong education centre held at Tien Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 6th June 1993 at 7 p.m.
DAP proposes the establishment of a Cabinet Committee to re-evaluate the position of Chinese language in Malaysia in Keeping with Vision 2020 and its growing and increasing international importance
DAPSY must be commended for organizing such a bold venture tonight, and I also wish to commend and thank the stars and performers led by Kwan Teck Hui, the donors and sponsors, for making the concert a great success to raise funds for the Dong Zhiao Zhong education centre.
Chinese education and Chinese culture in Malaysia must be regarded as an integral part of the Malaysian education and Malaysian culture or Vision 2020 of a Bangsa Malaysia and a “united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny” which would be “living in harmony and full and fair partnership” would never come to fruition.
For this reason, DAP calls for the establishment of a Cabinet Committee to re-evaluate the position of Chinese language in Malaysia in keeping with Vision 2020.
There is another reason for the re-evaluation of Chinese language in Malaysia – its growing and increasing international importance as China becomes the fastest-growing economy with a population of 1.2 billion and it has been forecast that within a generation or so, it could have the largest economy in the world.
Malaysia is expected to be the fifth largest investor in China, with investments doubling to RM 2.57 billion this year – as compared to its ranking in the 10th place last year.
DAP calls on government to make annual and unconditional dollar-to-dollar grants to Chinese Independent Secondary Schools and Dong Zhiao Zhong education centre
Among the questions and issues which such a Cabinet Committee to re-evaluate the position of the Chinese language in Malaysia should take into account are the following:
1. Full government recognition of the role played by Chinese education in Malaysia in nation-building and human resource development in the last 36 years since Merdeka;
2. In recognition of this contribution, government should make annual dollar-to-dollar grant to match public donations to Chinese Independent Secondary Schools and also for construction of the Dong Zhiao Zhong education centre – completely without any conditions attached;
3. Approval to allow Chinese Independence Secondary Schools to organize pre-university courses and twinning programmes with foreign universities;
4. Recognition of the Unified Examinations System of the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools;
5. Recognition of the Taiwan and Nantah university degrees and qualifications;
6. Allow Malaysian students to pursue higher studies in China;
7. Amend the Universities and University Colleges Act to remove the ban on the establishment of private universities;
8. Reform of the national education system, from primary, secondary to university level to reflect the re-evaluation of the Chinese language in Malaysia;
9. Review and further amendments to the proposed Education Bill, not only to repeal Clauses 21 (2) and 26A of the 1961 Education Act, but also the final objective to do away with Chinese education in Malaysia;
10. Posthumous restoration of citizenship to Lim Lian Geok and recognition of his great contribution not only to Chinese education, but also to Malaysian education and nation-building.
Just as the re-evaluation of the English language in Malaysia was undertaken from a broad national interest, the re-evaluation of the Chinese language in Malaysia should be made from higher interests of attaining the Vision 2020 goal of creating a Bangsa Malaysia and achieving a fully developed nation.