Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the Sabah DAP
forum “Malaysia – Towards A New Era” at Kian Kok Middle School Hall,
Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday, 16th September 2008:
No national-level celebration of
Malaysia Day 2008 – PM and Cabinet apology warranted
The first item of business in the Cabinet
meeting tomorrow should be an apology from the Prime Minister and the
Cabinet for no national-level celebration of Malaysia Day 2008 today,
September 16, to commemorate the day 45 years ago when Malaysia was
If Pakatan Rakyat could celebrate May Day with a 20,000-people rally at
the Kelana Jaya Stadium last night, when the Pakatan Rakyat is still the
Opposition at the national level, there can be no acceptable reason why
unlike in previous years, the Barisan Nasional federal government has
failed to organise nation-wide celebration on September 16 today as
Malaysia Day this year.
There is no more eloquent reminder to Malaysians, particularly the
people of Sabah and Sarawak, than the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s failure to
hold nation-wide celebrations for Malaysia Day this year, that Sabah and
Sarawak have yet to be fully accepted and recognised as an integral part
of Malaysian nation-building and developmental process.
After the March 8 “political tsunami”, it belatedly dawned on the Prime
Minister as well as on Barisan Nasional politicians in Sabah and Sarawak
that the BN MPs in the two states occupy a strategic “kingmaker” role
determining the survival of Umno hegemony and Barisan Nasional federal
The Barisan Nasional suffered a severe thrashing in the March 8 general
election, winning 140 seats against the Pakatan Rakyat’s 82. However, 54
of these BN parliamentary seats come from Sabah and Sarawak – Sabah 24
and Sarawak 30.
Without these 54 BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak, BN would be reduced to
86 seats out of 222 MPs in Parliament, evicting the BN from Putrajaya
and into the Opposition.
But what is the use of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi and his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Razak flying almost every week
from the federal capital to Sabah and Sarawak when this unprecedented
strategic “kingmaker” role of BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak dawned after
the March 8 “political tsunami”, promising new billion-ringgit
development allocations and plum offices to Sabah and Sarawak
politicians, if the federal government is not prepared to accord proper
respect and recognition to September 16 every year as Malaysia Day!
Now, Abdullah and Najib are too busy to come to Sabah and Sarawak to
celebrate Malaysia Day with Sabahans and Sarawakians!
The Barisan Nasional has stubbornly refused to declare Malaysia Day on
September 16 as a national public holiday.
Pakatan Rakyat will do what the Barisan Nasional has failed to do – and
September 16 next year will be a national public holiday if a Pakatan
Rakyat government is installed in Putrajaya at the national level.
This will mean that Malaysia will have two National Days – August 31st
as Merdeka Day and September 16 as Malaysia Day.
Malaysia will then join the rank of countries like India and Pakistan
which commemorate two National Days a year as national public holidays.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor