Media Conference Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 21st June 2009:
PR’s foremost task and greatest challenge – resolve PR’s first crisis of confidence by sending out clear message that PR parties committed to “new politics” representing all Malaysians and reject “old politics” of “divide-and-rule” and fear
Tomorrow, Pakatan Rakyat parties must resolve the first crisis of confidence faced by PR in 14 months after the political tsunami of the March 8 general elections by sending out a clear and unmistakable message to Malaysians that Pakatan Rakyat rejects the old Malaysian politics based on “divide-and-rule” and the fear factor by standing up solidly for “new politics” in representing the interests of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or territory.
Recently, UMNO strategists have been very successful in planting doubts among Malaysians who had created the political tsunami which saw Pakatan Rakyat winning five state governments and ended the Barisan Nasional two-thirds parliamentary majority and terminated Umno political hegemony in Malaysian politics whether they had made the right choice.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders’ foremost task and greatest challenge at the PR leadership council meeting tomorrow is to assure these architects of the 2008 political tsunami that they had not made the wrong choice, that PR is prepared to move forward to give meaning to the “new politics” of the future and to put the old politics of the past 52 years solidly behind us.
It is indeed shocking that in less than 100 days, the new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s slogan of “1Malaysia” is openly trampled upon by none other than the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who unabashedly announced two days ago that Umno will not impose any conditions for Umno-Pas unity government talks and is even prepared to “accept whatever terms set by PAS”, hoping to railroad such a meeting “in the next few days, anytime, no problem”.
What has happened to all the talk about Bangsa Malaysia and a united Malaysian nation, especially during the 50th Merdeka Anniversary two years ago?
What would be the reaction of Umno leaders if political parties in the country, embracing both those in government and opposition, call for national conferences and talks to promote “Chinese unity”, “Indian unity”, “Kadazan unity” or “Iban unity”?
The MCA’s response to Umno’s promotion of “Umno-Pas unity government talks” is that it could also hold talks with DAP on Chinese unity. DAP is not interested in holding talks with MCA on Chinese unity, as the DAP is a multi-racial Malaysian party though we can have talks with MCA on corruption, injustices in the “annual begging session” for Malaysian top-scorers to get Public Services Department (PSD) scholarships, the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, lack of judicial independence or even on Umno hegemony.
But would Umno allow this? I can still remember that in 1987, when MCA and Gerakan leaders met DAP leaders and Chinese educationists on the controversy over the sending of headmasters and senior assistants not conversant with Mandarin to Chinese primary schools, Umno reacted in rage and MCA and Gerakan leaders were severely punished! It even became justification for the notorious Operation Lalang mass Internal Security Act arrests, with over 100 people detained.
Malaysians are entitled to ask how Najib’s 1Malaysia call could be reconciled with “Malay unity” and Umno-Pas unity government talks.
After 52 years of nationhood, isn’t it time that everyone talk about Malaysian unity instead of Malay unity, Chinese unity, Indian unity, Kadazan unity or Iban unity?
When DAP was formed 43 years ago, we made it very clear right from the beginning our commitment to a Malaysian Malaysia, where all political parties should work towards Malaysian unity rather than Malay unity, Chinese unity, Indian unity, Kadazan unity or Iban unity.
When will Najib, Muhyiddin, UMNO and other Barisan Nasional leaders follow in the footsteps of DAP 43 years ago?
In the ongoing psy-war, Umno leaders accuse Pas leaders of being afraid of DAP and PKR leaders while MCA and Gerakan leaders accuse DAP of kow-towing to Pas leaders. This shows the utter hypocrisy and dishonesty of the political wiles of the leaders from Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC.
I call on Najib to come out strong and clear that his 1Malaysia stands for Malaysians unite and not Malays unite, Chinese unite, Indians, unite, Kadazans unite or Ibans unite. If Najib is not prepared to come out with such an equivocal stand, then his 1Malaysia concept is utterly meaningless.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor