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Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 23rd August 2010: 

There is a sickness in the country which is total mockery and negation of Najib's 1Malaysia policy

With eight days to go before the National Day proper on August 31 and 24 days before Malaysia Day on Sept. 16, Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region should be celebrating a new sense of pride and unity as Malaysians after 18 months of the 1Malaysia slogan and policy proclaimed by Datuk Seri Najib Razak after he became the sixth Prime Minister in April last year.

But every 24 hours is demonstrating the opposite.

There is a sickness in the country as illustrated by several headlines in a matter of a few hours by online media Malaysian Insider yesterday, viz:

  • "Perkasa, MPM want Soi Lek arrested under ISA"

  • "Pakatan wants to 'destroy' constitutional monarchy, claim Malay groups" (a lie)

  • "Ibrahim Ali follows Tee, tells those who disagree to get out"

  • "Malay groups want vernacular schools abolished"

Before Najib's proclamation of 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now, it is a comparative rarity for lies, falsehoods and extremist incitement of issues of race and religion to dominate public and political discourse.

But what had been rare is happening with disconcerting frequency as the four Malaysian Insider headlines within three hours yesterday.

Utusan Malaysia illustrates this sickness in the country with its front-page headlines and reports in the past week like:

  • "Elak perang besar - Harussani enggan dedah pihak terlibat wujudkan 'perlembagaan bau'";

  • "Benar, 'perang besar' boleh berlaku di Malaysia"

  • "Nama Guan Eng ganti Agong"

Clear cases of sedition are now seen to be committed with impunity, like calls for the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools which had been decided by the courts.

On the other hand, there is agitation and escalation of irresponsible rhetoric to classify legitimate and rational public discussion and debate as sedition and if such agitation is allowed, even Najib himself could be charged for sedition for unveiling the New Economic Policy on March 30 which called for an affirmative action programmes "to consider all ethnic groups fairly and equally as long as they are in the low income 40% of households" and to be "be based on market-friendly and market-based criteria together taking into consideration the needs and merits of the applicants".

This sickness in the country is a total mockery and complete negation of Najib's 1Malaysia to give Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region a new sense of pride and unity as Malaysians.

It will render the Merdeka Month celebrations of "1Malaysia Transforming the National" totally hollow and empty.

The Prime Minister must provide the leadership and set the example to ensure that good sense, reason and rationality is fully restored to public and political discourses and his 1Malaysia policy does not degenerate into a Malaysian sickness which all Malaysians deplore.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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