Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 24. 26th September 1973
The Power of Jack's Library
The Power of Jack's Library
"Just how much freedom does the Malaysian Embassy allow Malaysian students. Chinese and Malay...?" This was the question directed to Mr Jack De Silva on the radio programme "Checkpoint" on September 11 The following is the exact extract of Mr De Silva's answer to the question.
"I encourage them to read widely of their interest in politics. I have a better library on for example Ho Chi Minh's work. General Giap's work in my house. I invited students, some students had already come. A few thought it was a trap because they had been scared by the revolutionary left-wing communist propagandists of Victoria University; and they came, and I ask you Mr Chan if you are interested in North Vietnam's Workers Party publication, come to my house, it is better than anything you've got at Victoria University. I encourage you to do that if you are interested."
I am here to witness the truth of Mr De Silva's statement. I was one of those Malaysian students invited, and later became a regular customer of Jack's private library, unknowing at that time it was a trap due to my ignorance. I used to call him Jack, believe me or not! He has a marvelous collection of revolutionary literature on Ho Chi Minh's work and General Giap's work, really better than Victoria University's library.
Being misguided at home about communist philosophy on account of the complete ban on progressive books under the fascist government, I shall thank Jack for the encouragement and opportunity for my first contact with communist ideology in his library. I was engulfed in the wealth of Ho Chi Minh's revolutionary ideology and theories mainly in Jack's library. I started there — not to understand the origin, causes and role of communism in Asia. I am deeply inspired and convinced what Ho Chi Minh said, "that the history of all societies up till the present day, has been but the history of class struggle. These struggles can take either the form of political struggles or the form of armed struggle — the armed struggle being only the continuation of the practical struggle."
This is well-suited for a society like Malaysia, which remains divided into classes. We can distinguish two kinds of politics as defined by Ho Chi Minh, "The politics of the classes and nations of exploiters and oppressors and that of the exploited and oppressed classes and nations. Hence two kinds of wars, of states and armies diametrically opposed to each other, and the one revolutionary, popular and just, and the other counter-revolutionary, anti-popular and unjust." How convincing is the fact revealed by Ho Chi Minh.
Back to the subversive business I shall admit that I have been subverted by Jack in a beneficial way that baptizes me with new thought; despite the fact that it was a trap set up by Jack so as to fish up revolutionary Malaysians. Anyhow, I will stride on with my belief adopted from Jack's library to serve those oppressed, even though I might have been black listed by him. It is a dismay to Jack that he has lifted up a prodigious stance to pound on his own toe; providing facilities to train up revolutionaries, finally opposing him. This is what the stupid reactionaries always do.
His statement on radio was contradicting his futile, delusive claims to the press that Malaysian students were being subverted by a foreign power (Jack means China). He had publicly admitted subversion of Malaysian students and that the foreign power is Mr Jack De Silva himself!
His virulent claim to dishonour the fine Eastern Cultural Concert as subversive and his contempt of New Zealand liberty is intolerable. It should arouse our Malaysian and New Zealand brothers and sisters indignation. A wolf in sheep skin has ex posed itself. What shall we do? Let him escape? No! We shall unite ail the righteous, broad-minded Malaysians and New Zealanders in the strongest front to offer this wolf a severe onslaught, a lesson to teach the blabber not to be so indulgent in interferring in New Zealand students' activities.