Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 18th February 2011:
Najib’s 1Malaysia is facing critical test when more and more warnings are made inside and outside the country that race and religious relations in Malaysia are at their worst since he became Prime Minister two years ago
Yesterday, political scientist Farish Noor told the forum on public governance by the Perdana Leadership Foundation and the National Professors’ Council that Malaysia is dangerously close to absolutely breaking down if racial politics is not kept in check.
Farish, who said that Malaysia's patterns of politics seem to reflect that of other countries which have suffered severe racial and religious discord, told the forum:
"I've spent more than 10 years studying dysfunctional countries and I believe we are going down the path of countries like Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
"I have seen enough race and religious riots to see that Malaysia is close to going down that path."
A week ago, former US ambassador to Malaysia John Malott warned that racial and religious tensions are higher today than when Datuk Seri Najib Razak took office in 2009 and even worse than at any time since 1969.
Najib’s 1Malaysia, which he promulgated as the signature theme of his premiership, is facing a critical test when more and more warnings are made inside and outside the country that racial and religious relations in Malaysia are at their worst since he became Prime Minister just short of two years ago.
Any independent, objective and dispassionate observer would agree with the analysis that despite all the massive publicity and propaganda about Najib’s 1Malaysia policy to create a more united, vibrant, productive and competitive Malaysia, race and religious relations have never been more jeopardised in the past two years because of the unrelenting stoking of communal poison and religious intolerance by quarters which seem to enjoy immunity and impunity for such criminal incitements.
What is worse, those most guilty of sowing and escalating racial distrust and religious disharmony emanate from the ruling circles, particularly from Umno ranks and Umno’s official media, particularly Utusan Malaysia.
Why is Najib indulging in the irresponsible and dangerous game of advocating an inclusive 1Malaysia on the one hand while allowing Umno leaders and mouthpieces to poison the wellsprings of 1Malaysia nation-building with incessant extremist, exclusivist, intolerant and incendiary race and religious baiting?
Is Najib the mastermind of such devious, hypocritical and hydra-headed 1Malaysia campaign or is he captive and helpless to check such irresponsible politics of race and religion from Umno ranks?
Furthermore, why are the other leaders of the other Barisan Nasional component parties silent, indifferent or utterly impotent in the face of such relentless escalation of hate politics of race and religion from Umno ranks and media, which make a total mockery of Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and policy?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor