DATUK Yap Pian Hon sensed something amiss when he noticed strangers inside a coffeeshop next to his home.
He had had a long day at MCA headquarters and just arrived at his Serdang home.
“It was past 10pm on Oct 27. I told my wife that the situation was very tense and there was news of people being arrested,” he recalled.
Police officers came to his house at 1am and took Yap, who was the MCA Youth chief then, to the Kajang police station.
Yap, 44 at the time, was also Serdang assemblyman and a Selangor executive councillor.
After he was detained and cut off from the world, Yap would walk around inside his cell, counting the steps in his head to reassure himself that he was still alive.
He also spoke of the long hours of interrogation.
“They asked me who wrote my speeches and who were the people behind me.
“I told them I did everything myself.
“They said I was a communist.” Yap said he had insisted that the move by the Government to deploy some 100 non-Chinese-educated teachers to be senior assistants and principals in Chinese schools would change the character of the schools and this was against MCA’s political principles.
“MCA cannot allow this to happen, even now,” he said, pointing out that what MCA stands for is in line with Barisan Nasional’s commitment to the multilingual principle.
The protest against the move took off next to Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 11, 1987, he said, adding that similar protests were held in other parts of the country as well.