Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 3rd February 2010:
Nasir Safar outrage latest reason why parliamentary select committee on 1Malaysia GTP is vital and indispensable if Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan is not to become a bogus one, degenerating into a farce and a joke
The Nasir Safar outrage is the latest reason why a parliamentary select committee on 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap is vital and indispensable if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia slogan is not to become a bogus one, degenerating into a farce and a joke.
In a three-paragraph statement just before 8 pm last night, the Prime Minister’s Office said:
“The remarks allegedly made by Datuk Nasir Safar, Special Officer to the Prime Minister, in Melaka today does not in any way reflect the views of the Prime Minister.
“Datuk Nasir never intended to make any derogatory remarks. He spoke at length on the contributions made by all races in developing the country. Nevertheless, Nasir apologises for any offence caused.
"In light of this, Datuk Nasir will tender his resignation."
This is a most unsatisfactory statement. Why is the Prime Minister’s Office so protective and defensive about Nasir’s anti-national and anti-1Malaysia speech although Nasir will be resigning from his present post as Special Officer to the Prime Minister.
There can be no denial that Nasir made the following offensive, insensitive and anti-1Malaysia statements
It is adding insult to injury and rubbing salt into the wound for the Prime Minister’s Office to claim in its three-paragraph statement that Nasir “never intended to make any derogatory remarks” and only “spoke at length on the contributions made by all races in developing the country” as if Nasir’s remarks were not offensive and derogatory enough.
The officer in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for drafting this offensive and insensitive three-paragraph statement should be identified and be asked to resign for equal insensitivity and lacking the 1Malaysia spirit.
When Nasir and the Prime Minister’s Office statement claim that the derogatory remarks were “never intended”, they seem to be blaming those who feel hurt and offended for being overly sensitive!
Are Nasir and the Prime Minister’s Office denying that Nasir had made these insensitive, offensive and anti-1Malaysia statements – of all places, at a 1Malaysia forum organized by Information, Communications and Culture Ministry’s Special Affairs Department at the Malacca International Trade Centre officially opened by the Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam?
Then let the government play the recording, whether tape or video, of Nasir’s speech at the 1Malaysia seminar in Malacca, as nobody would believe that the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry which organized the programme had not recorded it.
Alternatively, let those who heard Nasir’s speech speak up. Nasir addressed some 2,000 people at the 1Malaysia seminar in Malacca – imagine the communal poison and anti-1Malaysia thinking he was disseminating in the guise of 1Malaysia.
This appears to be the most modern version of “Raising the Red Flag to Destroy the Red Flag” - “Raising 1Malaysia to destroy 1Malaysia”.
The Nasir Safar outrage cannot be taken lightly, for Nasir Safar is no ordinary person but a trusted long-time aide of Najib for two decades, who had been delegated to represent the Prime Minister in many functions – like the official launching of the “Sahabat 1Malaysia & UKM 1Malaysia, 1Inspirasi Aspiration Logo” in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia on 18th October 2009.
If a senior and long-trusted aide of the Prime Minister for two decades - tracing back to the time when Najib was in various Cabinet positions such as Education, Defence and Deputy Prime Minister - could make such offensive, insensitive and anti-1Malaysia, the question must be asked: how many in the top leadership of the Umno/Barisan Nasional government really believe in 1Malaysia?
This is why I had read the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap launched by Najib last Thursday with great cynicism, when I should feel happy that many of the things I had been saying about nation-building can be found in it.
For instance, for the first time, the government admitted in the 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap that New Economic Policy had created the grave problem of brain-drain – with an estimated two million “best and brightest” Malaysian emigrating abroad since the seventies to create a Malaysian Diaspora and undermining Malaysia’s international competitiveness.
For the first time, an official government document has admitted that in the past decades, Malaysia’s education for instance has fallen behind other countries – casting an adverse reflection on the record of previous Education Ministers, including Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and even Najib himself!
The GTP Roadmap describes the goal of 1Malaysia as building a nation “where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second” – a definition which I had been advocating but no Umno/BN Minister or leader had ever endorsed or conceded.
While I am glad to read this definition of 1Malaysia, of creating a Malaysian who regards himself or herself as a Malaysian first and a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban, Orang Asli or Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu as second, I also feel sad because of the conviction that the1Malaysia GTP Roadmap is not a mainstream Umno/BN document!
My reservations have been confirmed by the recent spate of events which demonstrate that the “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” slogan and vision are just good branding exercises but do not represent the mainstream thinking, commitment and policy of the Najib government – as illustrated by the Nasir Safar outrage yesterday and last Thursday’s Jakim forum for 800 civil servants with inflammatory, divisive and seditious speeches which was no less than an act of open insubordination and insurrection against the 1Malaysia concept.
Najib should state his stand, whether he supports the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on the 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap – which will be an important pointer whether the Prime Minister is serious in wanting about his 1Malaysia slogan and concept.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor