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Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 28th September 2010: 

Cabinet tomorrow should dissolve BTN and institute action against BTN deputy director Hamin Husin to prove that Najib’s call for the triumph of moderation over extremism is not only meant for international consumption in UN but also at home

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday made the sterling call in the United Nations, saying it was time for moderates to reclaim the agenda for peace and pragmatism.

In his maiden speech at the UN, the prime minister said there was a need to marginalise the extremists, and the “global movement of the moderates” of all faiths was needed to work together to make this a success.

Najib said these extremists had held the world hostage with their bigotry and bias, adding that “we must choose moderation over extremism.”

“We must, and I repeat, we must urgently reclaim the centre and the moral high ground that has been usurped from us.

“We must choose negotiations over confrontation. We must choose to work together and not against each other. And we must give this effort utmost priority, for time is not on our side.”

Malaysians fully endorse the Prime Minister’s call in the United Nations that moderates must win over extremists, except that Najib would have set a new record for Malaysian Prime Ministers addressing the United Nations in the past 53 years – evoking the least credibility and greatest cynicism among the Malaysian public although Malaysians fully agree with the sentiments expressed.

This is because Malaysians are seeing an almost daily breakdown of authority, credibility and legitimacy of Najib as Prime Minister, coming not from the national Opposition, the Pakatan Rakyat or the civil society, but from within his own camp in Umno and the government bureaucracy with its contingent of Big and Little Napoleons.

On the day that Najib took to the world stage to decry the deplorable phenomenon where the mainstream “inadvertently allowed the ugly voices of the periphery to drown out the many voices of reason and common sense”, another instance of such extremism upping the ante in the escalation of the rhetoric of racial bigotry and religious in Malaysia which has become a common feature under Najib’s premiership in the past 18 months was being enacted.

At a Puteri Umno closed-door session in Kuala Lumpur, the National Civics Bureau (BTN) Deputy Director Hamim Husin breathed fire and brimstone to fan the rhetoric of race and religion, not only proclaimed that the rights of the Malays was to rule the country, but cast racial epithets at the Chinese and Indian communities in the country.

In contemptuously referring to the Indian community as “si botol” and the Chinese community as “si mata sepet”, the BTN deputy director has not only compounded and exceeded the offence caused by the two school principals which had produced national outrage that the government had failed to take any disciplinary action for 46 days, Hamin has confirmed that such anti-1Malaysia thinking pervades and permeates large strata of the Big and Little Napoleons in the civil service and why no action had been taken against the two principals so far.

The Cabinet is meeting tomorrow. It must act or be exposed for its irrelevance or impotence.

I call on the Cabinet tomorrow to dissolve BTN – which clearly is no more Biro Tatanegara but Biro Tentang Negara – and institute action against BTN deputy director Hamin Husin to prove that Najib’s call for the triumph of moderation over extremism is not only meant for international consumption in UN but also at home.

Borrowing Najib’s analogy in UN yesterday, the real issue in Malaysia is not between Malays and non-Malays or Muslims and non-Muslims but between the moderates and extremists of all races and religions in the tasks of creating an united, vibrant, competitive and prosperous Malaysian nation.

Would the Cabinet dare to rise up to the challenge tomorrow and answer this national call?

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



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