Kit Siang writes – as a Form III pupil in 1957


Rummaging through some old boxes, the veteran opposition politician Lim Kit Siang came across an editorial which he wrote for his Form Three class magazine Light (Vol 2, November 1957) in Batu Pahat High School.

During the past few years, the spirit of Malayan nationalism was aroused to such an extent that Malaya was granted Independence and a new nation was born.

This grand and memorable achievement of Independence was only made possible through the united efforts of the various communities in the country.

Now Malaya has become a young nation and she is taking her rightful place and her part of responsibility in this strife-full world. She must accept and overcome all challenges and, one day, be counted among the greatest of the great. However, the great men of today who hold the steering-wheel of the country cannot be with us always.

We, the youths of today, are the leaders of tomorrow, who will take the helm and navigate the Ship of State to Utopia or Doom. We must now prepare ourselves to ‘serve to lead’. Let us not while away our time in meaningless pastimes and waste away precious moments. Say not that time is abundant, for,

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though strong and brave,
Still, like muffled drums are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

The role of youth in Independent Malaya is now more pressing and difficult for the inexperienced shoulders of the youth of this generation. We will be the first true independent shoulders to bear this responsibility. Let us then work with greater zeal and will, that our standard be not flying at half-mast, so that the whole world may say that the youths of Malaya, our youths, have not been wasted.

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However, to accomplish this in this new nation with a cosmopolitan population, we must bear in mind that co-operation between the different races is of paramount importance. It is only in the classrooms, where we are all working on a common basis, that we are imbued with the spirit of tolerance, co-operation and loyalty. Nowhere else is it tested more firmly, and, so let us ‘live and let live’ in friendly fraternity and harmony.

“Looking back, I have largely lived by the spirit of this schoolboy editorial 54 years ago,” muses Kit Siang on the occasion of his 70th birthday.

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  1. I am impressed by the practical idealism in Kit Siang’s writings at such a tender age. Yes, back then the tension between the different races were at a much lower level compared to today. If the country were allowed to progress without the machinations of the bigoted UMNO Malays, all the races would have developed to a much higher level today and without any of the artificial, stifling affirmative actions so beloved by the likes of UMNO and their paramount champion Mahathir, the most opportunistic pseudo-Malay if ever there was one. Instead, the Malays were held back in the name of ‘protection’ and ‘leveling the field’ leaving in its wake, a weakened people with a deeply rooted entitlement mentality. It is only those Malays whose parents were sufficiently exposed to British teachings, standards and expectations who seem to be holding up better but alas, with eroding educational standards in this country, the numbers can only diminish. Our only hope to live up to Kit Siang’s Form 3 challenge and be counted among the greatest of the great is to kick out UMNO/BN and every single trace of its corruption in our country and its government.

  2. I was one of Kit Siang’s classmates from primary to secondary and proud to say that I have a friend who is a true Malaysian, not like many of the other corrupt politicians. What he thought as a 16 yr old on ‘ racial harmony ” could have been achieved today if he had been given the chance.

  3. malaysia is ruled by tyrants n hypocrites since 1981. these leaders managed to fool malaysians through the use of the press with gutter journalists, remember these slogans- CLEAN < EFFICIENT n TRUSTWORTHY. yes malaysians are now cleaned of their money. corruption is so rampant n billions are lost . malaysians who supported BN are now regretting that life is now tough n costs of living is high, little business opportunities n no future for malaysians.

  4. When you compare the noble thoughts of Lim Kit siang; even at this young age; and that of the current Mahathir, Mahathir is truly a pigmy and Kit Siang a giant. This “pigmy” only talks only about his race being threatened and how they must continue to dominate the other races politically otherwise, he fears, his race will be overwhelmed by others. He made his people so race-centric that the Deputy Prime Minister calls himself a Malay first and a Malaysia second. It would be just liken to Obama calling himself a Black first and an American second. Can you imagine that?.


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