by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, September 27,1994:
MCA and Gerakan leaders should make clear whether Chinese primary schools could be ‘converted’ into national primary schools and the private colleges operating twinning programmes closed if the Chinese do not support MCA and Gerakan candidates in next general elections.
It is most surprising that there has been no reaction by MCA and Gerakan leaders to the statement by an UMNO leader in Malacca two days ago that “if the Government’s present free, moderate and liberal policies still cannot secure the acceptance and support of the Chinese community, UMNO will review such policies”.
This statement has underlined three points about the government’s ‘Little Liberalisation’ in the past three years:
* Firstly, that the ‘Little Liberalisation’ had nothing to do with MCA or Gerakan, but the ‘minor achievements’ of the long-standing political struggle of the people with the DAP in the past three decades for a more just, equal and liberal Malaysia;
* Secondly, that there is nothing ‘permanent’ or ‘eternal’ about the ‘Little Liberalisation’, as they could be withdrawn and the clock put backwards into the nation-building policies of the seventies and eighties in Malaysia, when there was a serious attempt, to build a ‘One Language, One Culture’ Malaysia; and
* Thirdly, that while the people accept and support the ‘Little Liberalisations’’ of the past three years, they must not be content with such minor liberalisations but must use the opportunity of the next general elections to demand the transformation of the ‘Little Liberalisation’ into ‘Big Liberalisation’ of all aspects of nation-building in Malaysia.
Malaysians have a right to demand the MCA and Gerakan leaders declare their stand on two points:
* Firstly, whether they support the statement that “if the Government’s present, free, moderate and liberal policies still cannot secure the accept¬ance and support of the Chinese community, UMNO will review such policies”?
* Secondly, what are the government policies and measures which would be ‘reviewed’ by UMNO if the Chinese do not support MCA and Gerakan candidates in the next, general elections?
Does such a ‘review’ imply that if the Chinese do not support MCA and Gerakan candidates in the next general elections, Chinese primary schools could be ‘converted’ into national primary schools. Chinese Independent Secondary Schools could face the prospect of deregistration, the private colleges operating twinning programmes could be closed and the lion dance banned or restricted as happened in the seventies and eighties?
MCA and Gerakan leader’s should get the UMNO leaders to come out with a clear-cut position – as to whether the government’s ‘Little Liberalisation’ is temporary and dependent on whether the Chinese voters support the MCA and Gerakan candidates in the next general elections.
If this is the UMNO position, then there should be no politics of intimidation but let UMNO state it clearly and forthrightly, so that the Chinese in Malaysia as well as all Malaysians can decide, whether it is acceptable or not.