Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 19th June 2009:
Muhyiddin the latest political leader to do the somersault to become the champion of “Umno-Pas unity government talks” and repudiate Najib’s 1Malaysia concept
Deputy Prime Minister and Umno Deputy President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is the latest political leader to perform the somersault – taking a diametrically opposite position from the one he had postured only a few days or even a few hours ago!
Speaking in Kuala Krai this morning, Muhyiddin said Umno wants talks on a unity government to be sped up and asks PAS leaders to forget past conflicts in the interest of the unity of Muslims in the country.
He said he wanted the talks to materialise because he feared that if the matter was allowed to drag on, it would create disunity among the Muslims.
He declared: “We will not impose any conditions and we accept whatever terms set by PAS. As far as I’m concerned, we have to be open.”
The Umno deputy president urged PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat to forget about the conflicts between PAS and Umno in the ‘70s, when both parties cooperated to form the Kelantan state government and the national government.
“As Muslims we are encouraged to forgive. That was in the past,” he said.
He even expressed the hope that the meeting between Umno and PAS could take place “in the next few days, anytime, no problem."
This is a fantastically speedy turnaround for Muhyiddin who had been adopting a very critical and even sceptical stance to the Umno-Pas unity government proposal.
From his first public stance in Sri Kembangan on June 9 wanting Pas to explain what it meant by a unity government; to the critical position in Langkawi on June 13 questioning the seriousness of Pas in proposing Umno-Pas unity government as “Until today, there is nothing concrete” and predicting that the proposal would not become a reality because of “differences within Pas itself and the other Opposition parties”, Muhyiddin has transformed himself to become the foremost champion for Umno-Pas unity government talks, abandoning all his earlier reservations and pre-conditions to propose the holding of immediate Umno-Pas unity government talks “in the next few days, anytime, no problem" on “whatever terms set by PAS”.
Pressing for such a Umno-Pas unity government meeting in the next few days, Muhyiddin said that initially the meeting should be between PAS and Umno only before the matter was discussed in a comprehensive manner with component parties of Barisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition alliance.
Many questions come to the surface. Is Muhyiddin speaking for the Prime Minister and Umno President Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and if so, why such a desperate hurry and even unholy haste?
Did Najib and Muhyiddin get the approval of the leaders of the other Barisan Nasional component parties, in particular MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, MIC President, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu that Umno to conduct such “Umno-Pas unity government talks” or is there just no necessity for such prior consultation as MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the other Barisan Nasional component parties are just pawns, digits and ciphers which just do not matter or count in the Barisan Nasional scheme of things?
Thinking Malaysians must be asking however how Umno’s support for “Umno-Pas” unity government talks reconcile with what Najib claims to be the underlying philosophy of his premiership –“1Malaysia” concept.
Surely, Najib does not expect Malaysians to take his talk on “1Malaysia” seriously when the first fruit of the Najib premiership is “Umno-Pas unity government talks”!
It would appear that it is none other than Muhyiddin who is making the strongest repudiation of the “1Malaysia” concept!
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor