Thursday, November 29, 2007


SUPP elected Members and Ministers in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly should understand the importance of preserving one’s culture and the need to use the Mandarin language as Chinese formed the second largest population in this country. Even though the unpleasant Hokkien word, “Cheymei” was directed at our DAP Chairman, Wong Ho Leng, in the course of a debate by Member from Pelawan, YB Vincent Goh Chung Siong, DAP is not perturbed by such word, because, we in DAP as clarified by our DAP Chairman, are not “cheymei”. We are not blind to the needs and suffering of the people.

SUPP needs to understand that the issue of education that had been hovering over our heads was not a recent matter, but, had been inherited by us from our great forefathers soon after they landed in this soil over a hundred years ago. Likewise were the Indians, they also inherited this issue from their forefathers who came from India and Pakistan. Both our Chinese and Indian population together with the malays then grew in numbers and when Malaysia was formed, the forefathers of these three races, sat down together to draft the Federal Constitution. It is in this Federal Constitution that our forefathers wished that this country will forever be a peaceful country and that we as their descendants, will forever live harmoniously, with each race respecting each other.

SUPP leaders should follow us in the DAP and should no more ignore the spirit and importance of the Federal Constitution.


If SUPP read the Federal Constitution with magnifying glasses they will find for themselves that Article 12 allows the maintenance of educational institutions by public authority and also allows the provisions of funds out of a public authority from the purpose of education within or outside the Federation. Further, it is also clearly stated in Article 12, unless the generality in Article 8 applies, there should not be any discrimination against anyone in the field of education. Article 8 clearly speaks on non-discrimination against all persons.

Therefore, education is a responsibility of the government of the day and this burden should not be thrown to the community itself as to do so would be considered as discrimination against the particular community. Therefore, the government of the day under the Constitution has a legal, political and moral obligations to see the advancement of education of all races and the development of mother tongue languages and not for the education or mother tongue of one race alone. We in the DAP had in all these years been fighting hard to ensure that education and use of mother tongue languages of all races be maintained, protected and advanced and be provided for by this BN government and it is regretted that for 44 years since achieving independence and 37 years in the government, SUPP had done very little to achieve this.

SUPP also needs to be told that it is provided under Article 152 (1)(a) of the Federal Constitution that no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using or from teaching or learning other languages. Article 152(1)(a) if read together with Article 12 of the Federal Constitution, definitely goes also to the constitutional rights of the use, learning and teaching of own mother tongue language!

SUPP should also examine the operation of Article 152(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution which gives the government both the Federal and the State to preserve, and sustain the use and study of the language of any community, and this definitely includes the preservation, study and use of any Chinese dialects and the mandarin language. Therefore, if SUPP all these years had co-operated well with DAP, our Chinese and Indian communities could by now got the much needed annual government grants for Chinese and Indian education of mother tongues.

Now, who is “cheymei”, DAP or SUPP?

SUPP leaders could either be pretending to be blind, deaf and dumb when touching on the use the Mandarin language and Chinese education. We should do our utmost to promote the language and Chinese education so as in line with the concept of a multi-racial, multi-ethics and multi-religious society.
Being a multi-racial party, they should also supported the move made by DAP to have full-fledged dayak schools in the State at least up to primary 6 level.

SUPP should also take note nationwide, Chinese primary school fell from 1,288 in 1990 to 1,287 in the year 2005 although there was an increase of enrolment of students from 581,082 to 645,699 in the past 15 years. It is also regretted that SUPP was very helpless when the Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Noh Omar, told Parliament in September, 2007 that the Education Ministry had no plan to build any Chinese primary school under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. The Chinese community should blame this on SUPP!

If states like Sabah, Kelantan, Malacca, Penang, Perak, Kedah and Selangor could give annual grants in various forms to support Chinese-type schools and education, there is no reason why our Sarawak State government wishes not to give such much needed grant to the Chinese Community if SUPP had solicited these grants from the State government. SUPP should understand, Kelantan could even allocated 1000 acres of land in Lojing Highland to the management authority of the Chinese secondary schools in Kelantan.

Therefore, SUPP should also understand that there is nothing wrong for DAP to raise the issue of using the Mandarin language in the Dewan Undangan Negri sittings and SUPP should have supported this move, but, SUPP were too scared to be sacked from by the State BN and instead accused that DAP had wanted to raise racial issues. Being a multi-racial party, DAP has a heart for every Malaysian. DAP would not and never will create racial tension and disrupt racial harmony in the country.

SUPP also needs to understand that since Standing Order No. 5 of the Standing Orders of the Dewan Undangan Negeri also provide for the use of native languages in debates of the Dewan Undangan Negeri, then, there is no reason why Mandarin should not be proposed and allowed as a language for debates in the Dewan Undangan Negeri. There are presently about 16 out of 71 ADUNs who are Chinese and SUPP has the most numbers of Chinese representatives in the current Dewan and there should be nothing to have SUPP hold on not to fight for the right of the mandarin language to be used in the Dewan debate.

SUPP should understand that section 4 of the Standing Orders of the Council Negeri made by His Excellency the Governor in existence of powers conferred upon His Excellency by subsection (2) section 33 of the Sarawak (Constitution) Orders in Council, 1956 confers the right to a Honourable Member of the august House to address in any other language and interpretation be allowed when as directed by the Speaker.

However, it is regretted that the presence of SUPP in the government and in the DEWAN had not only diluted the use of the Mandarin language, which at once time been allowed, but, had caused it from being abolished! SUPP had been in the Dewan earlier that the DAP and should have stopped the standing order from being amended so as to keep in line with the wishes of our forefathers that drafted the Federal Constitution. For this, there is nothing wrong for Sarawak Chinese to put blame on SUPP.

SUPP needs to understand that the drafters of the Federal Constitution had allowed the use and learning of all languages, but, to treat Bahasa Malaysia as the national language was with the view to maintain multiracialism and equality in this country. SUPP should not be blind to know that the our forefathers as drafters of the Federal Constitution was with the foresight that if rights and race are not treated equally, there would one day be chaos and plunder in this country.

Both YB Tan Sri Dr. George Chan and YB Dato’ Wong Soon Koh’s speeches in the Dewan about their Party’s stand clearly showed that SUPP is against the use of the Mandarin language in the Dewan and this definitely was against the spirit of the Federal Constitution and against the wishes of our forefathers who wanted to perpetuate a peaceful society. SUPP would one day regret that the slow and systematic process of the BN government in which SUPP is a partner, to deny the rights of other races to practice their culture and language by its inequality policy may cause unrest and bloodshed.

SUPP leaders should wake up and understand that although both the Alliance and the BN governments led by UMNO which never failed to attain two-thirds majority in Parliament since independence which could, by this, allowed UMNO to easily amend the Federal Constitution to abolish the rights of other Malaysian races from learning other languages including mother languages of all races in the Country, but, did not do so was a clear indication that UMNO knew that such rights as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, if abolished, could then, turn this country in anarchy.

UMNO knew that it has to preserve this right in the Federal Constitution and only took the political approach to slowly but systematically deny this right of others by way of imposing various policies that had undermined the use and development of languages and cultures of other races in Malaysia. Therefore, why SUPP all these years had no guts to speak for the right of the Chinese people seeking the use of the Mandarin language and other Chinese dialects to be used in the Dewan debates at least?

SUPP needs to understand that there are many brilliant brains in SUPP, who could only speak mandarin and chinese dialects, but, not English or Bahasa Malaysia very well. SUPP leaders like Dr. George Chan and Soon Koh should not deny that there are among those within SUPP who could not speak Bahasa Malaysia or English, but, are equally good if not more brilliant than many English and Bahasa Malaysia speaking leaders within the Party. The policy stand taken by SUPP to deny the use of Mandarin in the Dewan and also in other official functions therefore went on to deny these Mandarin speaking comrades of theirs from being considered as election materials. These comrades of theirs could also help the people and the State of Sarawak to greater heights and prosperity.

To those comrades who just could command the mandarin language and other dialects, SUPP could only boast to keep them as kapitan, penghulu, pemanca and temenggong and there is no little wonder that small township area like Kenyalang Park, Kuching, has several kapitans, who operates from no office at all! This had brought shame to the community because without office to locate them, many if not most Chinese in the community do no know who these kapitans, penghulu, pemancha and temenggong were.

Is not this another “chemey” that deprived the people of Sarawak the benefit of more brilliant people to help run this State for the common good of all?
SUPP please think and work together for the common good of all Malaysians with Malaysian First Concept.

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