MCA should  stop poisoning the minds of young graduates that it is unpatriotic, disloyal and anti-national to speak up for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik should ensure that the MCA should stop poisoning the minds of young graduates that it is unpatriotic, disloyal and anti-national to speak up for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

Recently, the MCA managed to get a group of graduates to form a self-styled The Patriotic Graduates Volunteers for the General Elections to help obtain voters' support for the Barisan Nasional in the coming general election.

It is good to see graduates taking an active interest in politics, whether in support of the ruling parties or the Opposition and I fully respect their decision as to which political party they want to support.

Political leaders, whether from the ruling parties or the Opposition, have a duty to ensure that they do not poison the minds of the young graduates as seems to be the case with The Patriotic Graduates Volunteers for the General Elections.

Are  Malaysians who disagree and oppose the Barisan Nasional policies and want to restore justice, freedom, democracy and good governance by supporting the Opposition  unpatriotic, anti-national and disloyal?

Whether as intellectuals or non-intellectuals, it is the right and responsibility of every Malaysian citizen with the approach of a general election to assess the performance of the Government and the Opposition parties but graduates who claim to be the "new conscience" of society are doing the county and themselves a great disservice when they indulge in irresponsible actions as labelling those whom they disagree as unpatriotic, anti-national or disloyal.

The Patriotic Graduates Volunteers for the General Elections owes a fulsome apology to their forefathers and all  Malaysian who had supported the Opposition since the first general election in 1959, Opposition leaders and members, many of whom had made great sacrifices because of their principles and beliefs in wanting a more just and better Malaysia, in insinuating that they had not been patriotic.

I feel sad that graduates who regard themselves as the "new conscience" of the Malaysian society  have no views or stand on manifest injustices in the country, whether it be the Lim Guan Eng case; the imprisonment of Canadian journalist Murray Hiebert and the crisis of confidence in the independence of the judiciary, the rule of law, freedom of expression and a free press; the trigger-happy police shooting-deaths whether the victim is Dr. Tai Eng Teck, eight-month pregnant woman N. Selvamalar or bank clerk Mohd Zailani Mohd Salleh; corruption, cryonism and nepotism; Anwar Ibrahimís "black eye" and his political persecution and victimisation; and a whole host of other wrongs in our society as a result of the political hegemony of the Barisan Nasional from unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority in the past 42 years.

My plea to Liong Sik is that MCA should stop poisoning the minds of the graduates and ensure that they can  distinguish between right and wrong, truth and falsehood so that they could take their proper place as leaders of tomorrow.

(13/10/99)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong