Speech (Part 2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP Tanjong 3 dinner at Sungai Merak, Nibong Tebal on Saturday, July 23, 1994 at 7 p.m.
Koh Tsu Koon has not only utterly failed, but has completely abandoned his 1982 pledge to ‘Attack into the Barisan to Rectify the Barisan’ on Chinese education issues
Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon has not only utterly failed, but completely abandoned, his 1982 pledge to ‘Attack into the Barisan to Rectify the Barisan’ on Chinese education issues
This is very clear when the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, after the Cabinet meeting in Penang on Wednesday, was asked by a reporter on claims that 11,000 Malays in Penang had joined the DAP.
Mahathir said that the DAP was chauvinistic because it raised Chinese education issues.
I find this comment most shocking, for it means that Dr. Koh Tsu Koon had completely failed and abandoned his 1982 pledge to ‘Attack into the Barisan to Rectify the Barisan ‘ on Chinese education issues.
Even if after 12 years of ‘Attack into the Barisan to Rectify the Barisan’, Tsu Koon and the other Chinese educationists like Dr. Kang Chin Seng, cannot get Manathir, UMNO and Barisan Nasional leadership to fully accept and recognize the great role played by Chinese education in Malaysian nation-building, they should have succeeded in convincing and ‘rectifying’ the Barisan Nasional government’s attitude to stop regarding Chinese education issues as ‘chauvinistic issues’.
Mahathir’s remark is particularly significant because I came at the end of a three-day special Mahathir programme in Penang, involving the visit o the entire Cabinet, to shore up Tsu Koon’s election chances in the next general elections.
During the three-day Mahathir visit to Penang, Tsu Koon must have told the Prime Minister about DAP’s Battle of Tanjong 3,including the motion by the Penang DAP State Assemblymen in the Penang Assembly that the Penang State Government should give regular annual allocations to the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools in Penang, as well as DAP demands that the state government give more meaningful financial assistance to the Chinese primary schools.
For Mahathir to make such a remark, Tsu Koon must have complained to Mahathir that the DAP was being very ‘chauvinistic’ by raising these Chinese education issues, as otherwise, Mahathir would not make such a remark at the end of his three-day visit to Penang.
Tsu Koon should make a clear statement whether he had complained to Mahathir during the Prime Minister’s three-day visit that the DAP was being ‘chauvinistic’ in raising Chinese education issues in Penang, including in the Penang State Assembly.
I also challenge Tsu Koon to declare publicly whether he fully agree with Mahathir who said the DAP was being chauvinistic in raising Chinese education issues, and if so, what are these Chinese education issues which the DAP had raised which Tsu Koon finds ‘chauvinistic’.
It is very sad that a person who pledged to ‘Attack into the Barisan to Rectify the Barisan’ on Chinese education issues has made a complete somersault and now regards the raising of Chinese education issues as ‘chauvinistic’ and ‘unMalaysian’.
If Tsu Koon wants to abandon his 1982 ‘Attack into the Barisan to Rectify the Barisan’ on Chinese education issues, he is entitled to do so, but he must at least give public notice that he is repudiating his 1982 pledge to make this his life-long political commitment. Otherwise, Tsu Koon would have misled the people and the country with false promises and pledges.