Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 28th June 2012:
No more damning admission of double failures – Mahathir’s Bangsa Malaysia in Vision 2020 and Najib’s 1Malaysia policy
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad today chalked up a new record of sorts when his speech at a forum on business and politics could not be a more damning admission of double failures – firstly of his concept of Bangsa Malaysia in his Vision 2020 announced 21 years ago in 1991 and the current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia policy proclaimed just more than three years ago.
In Vision 2020, Mahathir envisioned having only one “Bangsa Malaysia” in 2020 with the people “ethnically and territorially integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership” while Najib’s 1Malaysia envisaged a Malaysian nation where every Malaysian regards himself or herself as Malaysian first and his or her race, religion, region or socio-economic status second.
Both visions and objectives have been smashed into smithereens when Mahathir said that the next general elections, the second last to be held before the expiry of the 30-year Vision 2020, will centre on race as “Malaysia has become more racial than ever”.
“In this country, we are very racist, even more than before. The next election is going to be about race. Who gives what, who gets what based on race.”
Ever since the political tsunami of the 2008 general election, UMNO leaders and strategists have increasingly become more and more blatant and unscrupulous in playing the race and religious cards to try to wrest back political power, making a total mockery of the Vision 2020 concept of “Bangsa Malaysia” and Najib’s 1Malaysia objective.
This is why Najib’s dismissal of “pendatang” slur against non-Malays because they emanate from “one or two lunatics” is completely unacceptable, as they are the poisonous result of decades of racist brain-washing by UMNO leaders and key government agencies like Biro Tata Negara (BTN) which were totally at variance with concepts like Bangsa Malaysia and 1Malaysia.
In contrast, it is the Pakatan Rakyat parties of PKR, PAS and DAP in the past four years which are pioneering the Malaysian patriotic movement to unite Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, class, region, age or gender into one overarching national consciousness and identity.
One good example is the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 which brought out hundreds of thousands of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, class, region, age or gender to support a common national and patriotic cause for a clean election and a clean Malaysia.
Although it was marred by incidents of violence and brutality, which is deplorable and which is why Malaysians want a meaningful inquiry to find out who were the culprits, Bersih 3.0 nonetheless stands out as the best example and expression of Bangsa Malaysia and even 1Malaysia in the 54-year history of Malaysia.
Irresponsible UMNO leaders and strategists would want to put the clock back by placing race and religion as the dominant issues in the next general elections, totally eclipsing the great issues of good governance, economic justice, democracy, human rights and national unity.
Patriotic Malaysians must not allow these irresponsible UMNO leaders and strategists to succeed.
Patriotic Malaysians in the next general elections must prove Mahathir wrong as they not prepared to be the playthings of the politics of race and religion of UMNO leaders and strategists as they want a new Malaysia where all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or class could fully develop their human potentials in unity and harmony and restore Malaysia’s competitiveness, greatness and rightful place in the international community.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor