Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Chia Thye Poh: "The people will never forget who closed down Nantah"

Chia Thye Poh: 
"The people will never forget who closed down Nantah"

(Picture above: Chia Thye Poh  received  the "Lim Lian Geok Spirit Award" from Dr. Toh Kin Woon (3rd from the left ), President of LLG Cultural Development Centre, witnessed by: Lu Ting Yu (1st from the left), Consultant of Hong Lou Si Guan, which is also the nomination unit, Mr. Hu Wan Duo (2nd from the right), President of Merdeka University Bhd, and  Tan Kai Hee (1st from the right), well-known businessman and ex-politician who is also an enthusiast in culture. Picture below: Chia Thye Poh was invited to give a speech at the “Lim Lian Geok Spirit Award” ceremony.)



Below is the full text of Chia Thye Poh speech:


Honourable Chairman, Dear Friends:

First, I would like to thank the LLG Cultural Development Centre for giving me the Lim Lian Geok Spirit Award this year.

In my life, I benefited a lot from mother-tongue education and Nanyang University, but have given back very little. Compared to those who have tirelessly worked for the mother-tongue education and Nantah, my contribution is indeed nothing. So, the honour of this award should go to all of them.

A university is not an ivory tower. Modern facilities alone do not constitute a good university. What matters is its spirit, its capacity in bringing up graduates that empathize with the people and work for the progress of mankind and world peace.

Not long ago, I came across an article about the National Southwest Associated University of China during the Resistance War against Japanese Invasion. In those difficult years, the lodgings for teaching staff were partitioned only by cloth-curtains, classes were conducted in thatched cottages, and students had to queue up for a seat in the library. Yet, the Southwest Associated University brought up not only courageous fighters against the Japanese aggressors, but also talented professionals including Yang Zhenning and Li Zhengdao, who later won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

The establishment of Nanyang University was, as described by Mr. Tan Lark Sye, the crystalization of the wish and courage of ‘over 3 million Chinese’ in Southeast Asia. This can be seen from the support and donation given to Nantah from all walks of life including millionaires, labourers, taxi and pedicab drivers, hawkers and artistes, etc. On the inauguration day of the university, tens of thousands of people thronged to the campus. The whole Jurong Road was a long queue of vehicles, and the motorcade of Singapore Governor Sir William Goode was delayed for more than two hours before reaching the inauguration ceremony.

The purpose of establishing Nantah was to serve the society of Southeast Asia, irrespective of races. It promoted inter-cultural exchanges. Besides donating huge sum of money to Nantah, Mr. Tan Lark Sye also donated to University of Malaya and other institutes in Southeast Asia. In Nantah, there were Department of Chinese Language, Department of Modern Languages, and also Department of Malay Language. However, while Nantah was working hard to develop itself, it suffered blow after blow of attacks from the Singapore Lee Kuan Yew Administration. Mr. Tan Lark Sye, who had fought for the citizenship of Singaporeans during the colonial era, was himself deprived of citizenship by the Lee Kuan Yew Administration. In 1980, Nantah was closed. At that time, I was still in prison. One day, an official from the Singapore Home Affairs Ministry came to interrogate me. He wanted my opinion on the merger of Nantah with Singapore University. I gave a cold answer: ‘The people will never forget who closed down Nantah.’ After that, I refused to say anything more. He was unable to pursue the matter further, and the interrogation was called off.

Just as Mr. Lim Lian Geok had said, his body might be destroyed, yet his spirit would survive and flourish. Today, Nantah no longer exists, but it will always live in the heart of the people. The Spirit of Nantah has already spread and can never be stamped out. It will always inspire us to overcome all difficulties and march on.

Thank you.


Picture above: A group photo – Chia Thye Poh with Nantah alumni 


Picture above: A group photo - Chia Thye Poh with democratic individuals and leading figures of political parties

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通告 Notification

人民之友对下届大选意见书
英巫文译稿将在此陆续贴出

作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在上个月对即将来临的第14届全国大选投票,发表了一篇以华文书写的意见书,题为:投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!。

这篇意见书的英文译稿,将在近期内在本部落格贴出。马来文译稿将在下个月内贴出。敬请关注!

我们希望,我们在意见书内所表达的对下届大选的立场和观点,能够准确而又广泛地传播到我国各民族、各阶层的人民群众中接受考验,并接受各党派在这次全国大选斗争和今后实践的检验。


The English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about next election will be published here consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, Sahabat Rakyat had released a Chinese-written statement of views with regard to the voting in the upcoming 14th General Election, entitled “Vote for candidates who are against State Islamisation: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent the return to power of Mahathir’s faction!”

The English rendition of this statement will be published in our blog in the near future whereas the Malay rendition will be published next month (November). Please stay tuned!

We hope that our position and views pertaining to the next General Election expressed in the statement will be accurately and widely disseminated and also examined by the popular masses of various ethnicities and social strata through their involvement in the struggle of the next General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.


Akan datang: Penerbitan penterjemahan pendapat Sahabat Rakyat mengenai pilihan raya ke-14 dalam Bahasa Inggeris dan Bahasa Melayu

Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan masyarakat yang berpendirian teguh tentang prinsip "bebas dan berautonomi" dan “sentiasa berdampingan dengan rakyat jelata”, Sahabat Rakyat telah menerbitkan kenyataan tentang pandangan kami terhadap Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang akan datang yang bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali memerintah! "

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut akan diterbitkan dalam blog kita dalam waktu terdekat manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu akan diterbitkan pada bulan hadapan.

Kami berharap pendirian dan pandangan kami berkenaan pilihan raya kali ini yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan tersebut dapat disebarkan dengan tepat dan meluas untuk diuji dalam kalangan rakyat semua bangsa semua strata sosial melalui penglibatan mereka dalam amalan pelbagai parti politik dalam pertempuran pilihan raya umum kali ini mahupun masa depan.

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