Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong,, Lim Kit Siang, at Malacca DAP Two Thousand-People Dinner at Pay Fong Chinese Independent Secondary School Hall, Malacca on Saturday, 6th August 1994
MCA should formally propose, that Sim Moh Yee should be given this National Day in recognition to Chinese education and the role of Chinese education in nation building to give meaning to Anwar Ibrahim’s ‘We Are All One Family’
Malacca is a historic town not only because of its 600 years history, but because of the quality and greatness of the Malacca people who continue to make history in modern Malaysia.
Although Malacca is a small state, Malacca has always been in the forefront in the struggle for justice, freedom and equality in Malaysia.
Malacca has produced many great Malaysians. One famous son was Tun Tan Cheng Lock, the founder of MCA, who supported the establishment of Nanyang University when the idea was first bruited in the fifties.
I have no doubt that if Tun Tan Cheng Lock is still alive today, he would have adopted the issue of the revival of Nantah in Malaysia, probably proposing that it be re-established in Malacca, to mark the earliest settlement of ‘sons of the Yellow Emperor’ in the ‘Southern Seas’.
Unfortunately, there is no one in MCA today who have the guts, stamina and vision of Tun Tan cheng Lock.
Another great Malaysian Malacca has produced is Sim Moh Yee, who has dedicated his whole life to the cause of education in Malaysia through his commitment and dedication to defend, preserve and promote Chinese education, Chinese Independent Secondary Schools and Chinese primary schools in Malaysia.
For his commitment and his beliefs in a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysia, Sim Moh Yee was expelled from MCA. If Tun Tan Cheng Lock is alive today, he might also be expelled from MCA for espousing the cause of the revival of Nantah in Malacca!
We are now told that the Barisan Nasional Government is now more open and liberal after the 1990 general elections.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, for instance, is going round the country declaring in Mandarin that ‘We Are All One Family’.
Anwar even declared during the Sabah State General Elections in February that the Chinese Independent Secondary Schools are the ‘future assets of the country’ and announced Federal Government allocation of RM5 million for the nine Chinese Independent Secondary Schools for the next five years.
I have not discussed this proposal with Sim Moh Yee at that time, for the conferment of ‘Tan Sri’ on Sim Moh Yee is not a personal matter but concerns the recognition of the contribution xxxx Chinese education to the nation-building process in Malaysia.
If Sim Moh Yee is not qualified to be conferred a ‘Tan Sri’ then which other Chinese is qualified to be made a ‘Tan Sir’?
If MCA leaders do not regard Sim Moh Yee as qualified for the honour to be made a ‘Tan Sri’, how can they talk about a more open and liberal Barisan Nasional government?
If after his life-long contribution, commitment and sacrifices to the cause of nation-building and education in the field of Chinese education, the country is not prepared to accord the highest honour to Sim Moh Yee, how can Anwar Ibrahim convince Malaysians that Malaysia has reached a stage where “We Are All One Family”.
I therefore call on the MCA Ministers to formally propose at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that Sim Moh Yee should be conferred ‘Tan Sri’ on this National Day in recognition of his contribution to Chinese education and the important role of Chinese education in national building as well as to give meaning to Anwar Ibrahim’s declaration that ‘We Are All One Family’!
If the MCA Ministers require the full endorsement of the Chinese community before they dare to make such a formal proposal in Cabinet, I have no doubt that the Chinese community is prepared to give them such a mandate.
Malacca town has created political history in Malaysia in being the only parliamentary constituency in the country to provide unbroken support to the DAP in the last 25 years through six general elections
With Malacca so steeped in history, both of the past and the future, I feel very honoured to start my parliamentary life in Malacca.
I have served as MP for Malacca town for three terms, in 1969, 1974 and 1982, spanning 13 years or more than half of my 25 years as a Member of parliament.
Malacca town is a great constituency to represent, for the people of Malacca not only supports the DAP’s ideals for a Malaysian Malaysia, but are prepared to provide political leadership and example to the whole country in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
Malacca town has the distinction of creating Malaysian political history in being the only parliamentary constituency in the whole country to provide unbroken support to the DAP in the past 25 years through six general elections.
I thank the Malacca DAP and the people of Malacca for tonight’s 2000-people Dinner to commemorate the 25th anniversary of my being an elected Member of Parliament.
It is a tribute to the people of Malaysia, and in particular the people of Malacca who had elected me as their MP for three terms, that I could serve as an elected MP for 25 years.
My years as MP for Malacca town had been great years, although I started my parliamentary life in detention during my first Internal Security Act arrest in 1969, and ended my tenure as Malacca town MP preparing the ground for my second Internal Security Act detention in 1987.
I was the only MP in the 1969 general elections who, after election results were announced in the early hours of May 11, 1969, who held a victory procession followed by a thank-the-voters public rally at the Malacca Padang on May 12, 1969 before declaration of emergency on May 13, 1969.
When May 13 riots broke out in 1969, I was in Sabah helping Sabah Independent candidates contesting against the then Sabah Chief Minister, Tun Mustapha and USNO as the Sabah general elections were scheduled two weeks after Peninsular Malaysia.
I returned to Peninsular Malaysia on May 18, 1969 and was detained at the Subang International Airport and I never returned to my parliamentary constituency until 17 months later in October 1970 when I was released from detention.
My years as MP for Malacca town were full of excitement, challenges and even tension.
The August 1973, I called a press conference in Malacca to expose the Malacca Hospital ‘mass deaths’ scandal where 107 patients were killed because blood and saline poisoning because of the breakdown of the hospital’s autoclave, i.e. sterilization plant.
It was in Malacca on April 23, 1978 that I was arrested and charged with five counts under the Official Secrets Act which carried a total maximum of 31 years’ jail sentence on conviction.
But undoubtedly, the greatest challenge in my years as Malacca town MP was the ‘Save Bukit China campaign’ – which not only preserved the most ancient Chinese cementry hill in Malaysia to be the incontrovertible historic evidence of the contribution of the Chinese in the making of the present Malaysia, but was a major factor to check intolerant and extremist forces which had wanted to create a ‘one Language, One Culture, One Religion’ Malaysia.
It was this DAP Save Bukit China Campaign’ which resulted in my second detention under the ISA during Operation Lalang in 1987, for one of the primary allegations given by the Home Ministry for my detention in 1987 was my role in the Save Bukit China campaign.
I have no regrets for losing another 18 months of my personal liberty for my role in the Save Bukit China campaign, and I will have no hesitation in leading any campaign to defend the fundamental rights of Malaysians even if it means a third spell of ISA detention.
I want to thank Malaccans for their great encouragement and support when in 1986, I moved north to Penang to contest in the Tanjong parliamentary constituency and I can still remember the ceramah at this same Pay Fong Chinese Independent Secondary School Hall to bid my farewell as well as for Lim Guan Eng to make his maiden speech.
Without your understanding, encouragement and support, Guan Eng would not have been able to complete his maiden speech an this is testimony to the greatness of heart and spirit of the Malacca people in the long-term political struggle for all Malaysians to enjoy and equal place under the Malaysian sun.
Battle of Tanjong 3 in Penang the greatest challenge to usher in ‘Big Liberalisation’ to pave the way for the achievement of a Malaysian Malaysia
In the next general elections, the national focus will be on Penang, because of the DAP’s Tanjong 3 Battle. The battle for Tanjong 3 will be even more intense than the Battle of Tanjong 2 in the 1990 general elections.
DAP’s Tanjong 3 Battle will be the greatest challenge to the people of Penang to usher in ‘Big Liberalisation’ in nation-building policies in Malaysia from the ‘Little Liberalisation’ in certain economic and educational measures in the past three years to pave the way for the achievement of a Malaysian Malaysia.
Mahathir has led the entire Cabinet to Penang for a three-day programme two weeks ago in a special operation to save Dr. Koh Tsu Koon.
It will not be easy for the DAP to capture the Penang State Government but it is not impossible. I have already said that as far as I am concerned, there will be no Tanjong 4 and the DAP will be doing its utmost to make Tanjong 3 plan a success and the next Penang State Government a DAP one.