Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 24th September 2010:
Pakatan Rakyat will move urgent motion on the first day of Parliament when it reconvenes on Oct 11 if no satisfactory and commensurate action taken against two school principals who made racist slurs against students in schools
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has again rubbished Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” when he made the startling statement yesterday that he is completely powerless to act against the two school principals, one in Johore and the other in Kedah, who had made racist slurs against students in their schools.
The previous occasion when Muhyuiddin rubbished Najib’s “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” concept was when the Deputy Prime Minister declared that he is “Malay first, Malaysian second” – diametrically contrary to the 1Malaysia objective to create a Malaysia where every Malaysian would regard himself or herself as Malaysian first and race second.
Muhyiddin’s latest gaffe was made at the opening of the Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific regional seminar on the Criminalisation of Bribery in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, substituting for Najib who has left for New York to address the 65th United Nations General Assembly.
Malaysians wonder whether Muhyiddin would declare that he is “Malay first Malaysian second” or “Malaysian first Malay second” when his turn comes to address the UN General Assembly in his capacity as Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia!
Be that as it may, Muhyiddin’s statement that it is completely outside the jurisdiction of a Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister to deal with school principals who made racist slurs against their students in schools, making a total mockery of the Prime Minister’s 1Malaysia policy, has more than raised eyebrows from Malaysians as it raised troubling questions about whether Najib’s 1Malaysia policy represents serious government policy and the degree of Muhyiddin’s support and loyalty to the 1Malaysia policy.
Is it outside Muhyiddin’s power to condemn school principals for racist slurs against students in schools which are totally against the spirit and intent of 1Malaysia policy, making insulting, offensive and insensitive statements against the race and religion of students in a plural society?
If not, why the thunderous silence by Muhyiddin over the case of school principals making racist slurs against students in schools for more than six weeks?
No wonder one tweet response to Muhyiddin disclaimer is:
“wah, can act against a journalist and send her to ISA for reporting racist ceramah, cannot act against principal tsk tsk tsk”
The Prime Miinister had himself declared a policy of “Zero Tolerance for Racism” two weeks after the nation-wide uproar over the racist slurs by the two school principals but unfortunately the Najib administration is showing an enormous capacity for racism as 45 days have passed since the first incident of a school principal making racist slurs against students in schools without any sign of meaningful action being taken to effectively check the rise of racist bigotry and religious extremism in the 18 months of Najib premiership.
Let me serve notice that if no satisfactory action to honour Najib’s declaration of “Zero tolerance for racism” is taken, particularly in the public service with commensurate penalty meted out to the two school principals who made racist slurs, Pakatan Rakyat will move an urgent motion in the first day of Parliament when it reconvenes on Oct. 11 for the 2011 budget session to demand a full debate.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor