Malaysian Chinese should aspire and strive for ‘major liberalisation’ of national policies and not just ‘minor liberalisation’

1994 Chinese New Year Massage by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang issued on Wednesday, 8th February 1994

Malaysian Chinese should aspire and strive for ‘major liberalisation’ of national policies and not just ‘minor liberalisation’

In the new year of the dog, Malaysian Chinese should aspire and strive for ‘major liberalisation’ of national policies arid not just ‘minor liberalisation’.

The ‘minor liberalisations’ in Malaysia in certain economic and educational measures in the past few years are most welcome but they are not enough.

These ‘minor liberalisations’ were the direct result of the 1990 general election, where the Malaysian Chinese demonstrated that they were consistent and unswerving in their legitimate demands as Malaysian citizens for fair, just and democratic nation-building policies.

There is no doubt that if the ‘pendulum theory’ had worked in the 1990 general elections, i.e. the DAP had suffered a great electoral defeats as compared to the 1986 general elections, these ‘minor liberalisations’ would not have taken place at all.

The next general election, expected after mid-year, will decide whether there would be a further follow-through with ‘major liberalisation’ in the political, economic, educational, cultural, religious and other nation-building policies in the country.

The DAP is proud that after 25 years of our political struggle, we have succeeded in creating the conditions resulting in the ‘minor liberalisations’ of national policies. The greatest challenge for the DAP is whether we could consolidate our posi¬tion and maintain popular support to create the conditions necessary for ‘major liberalisations’ of national policies after the next general elections.

In the last 28 years, the DAP was in the forefront demanding a fundamental re-appraisal and review of nation-building policies so that every Malaysian, regardless of his race or religion, could enjoy an equal place under the Malaysian sun..

The ‘minor liberalisations’ we witnessed in the past three years should be an inspiration for the DAP that ‘major liberalisation’ of national policies are also achievable.

The Barisan National Government, for instance, had been forced to promise that the post of Sabah Chief Minister should be rotated among the three main communities in Sabah in an attempt to topple the PBS Government of Datuk Joseph Pairin.

Such a promise would be more credible if the Barisan Nasional government has instilled the same multi-racial spirit into all aspect of national and state policies in Malaysia under Barisan Nasional government control.

Let us hope, for a start, that we can ‘ witness the following six ‘medium liberalisation’ measures within the next 12 months:

 Government promise to rotate among the main communities the senior Cabinet posts of Finance, Home Affairs, Education, International Commerce, Defence and even the post of Deputy Prime Minister;

 The Appointment of a Malaysian Chinese as Malacca , Yang di Pertua if the Chief Minister is a Malay, as was promised during Independence;

 The appointment of Malaysian Chinese as Vice Chancellor in the local universities;

 The appointment of Malaysian Chinese in senior Government posts hitherto never held by a Malaysian Chinese – such as posts like Lord Presi¬dent, Attorney-General, Chief Secretary, Inspec¬tor-General of Police, Datuk Bandar Kuala Lumpur, etc.

 Fixed annual government grant of at least RM1 million to each of the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in recognition of their great contribution to national education as well as human resource development which had been a critical factor in Malaysia’s present economic development; and

 Review of national economic, education and cultural policies to remove any racial bias or discrimination which hinders the development of a Bangsa Malaysia which is the objective of Vision 2020.