MCA: It was a multi-racial effort that won independence

(The Star) – The country’s independence was forged through the close cooperation of leaders of the Alliance party and was not the sole effort of Umno, said MCA central committee member Lee Wei Kiat.

He pointed out that it was the leaders of MCA, Umno and MIC in the Alliance, which preceded Barisan Nasional before Merdeka, who were all influential in negotiating with the British for independence.

“MCA will not allow efforts from any party in trying to rewrite facts of history or denying the efforts of the other races in helping to fight for the country’s independence 52 years ago,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Lee was commenting on Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein’s statement at the party general assembly that the process of independence and later developments were forged by “Umno and our Malay Rulers and no one else”.

Lee said: “If we look back at history in 1954, Tunku Abdul Rahman led a three-man Alliance delegation comprising himself, Tun Abdul Razak and Tan Sri T.H. Tan from the MCA to England to hold talks with the colonial authority.”

He said that Tunku Abdul Rahman also led an Alliance delegation to London to hold independence talks with the British with MCA represented by Tun H.S. Lee and Tan.

Lee, who is MCA information and communications bureau chairman, said the negotiations led to mutual consent for a draft constitution.

“We hope that Hishammuddin’s remarks are not aimed at gaining political mileage for himself after winning the Umno vice-presidency on March 26,” Lee said.

He urged the minister to show that he was a leader of all Malaysians and not just an Umno leader.

“Any deviation in history will not only affect the country’s harmony currently enjoyed by the various races but also hinder the government’s efforts in fostering racial unity between different ethnic groups,” he said.

He said Malaysian children must understand clearly that all races had to be equally recognised for their efforts and contributions to the country’s development.