Second Open Letter to Najib and Cabinet – Are BN leaders prepared to work with PR leaders to ensure that there could not be another repetition of May 13 riots in Malaysia?

For the second time this year, I am taking full advantage of the Age of Information Technology which enables the instant communication of information with information travelling at the speed of light to pen this Second Open Letter this year to the Prime Minister and all Cabinet Ministers just before their third Cabinet meeting of the New Year of 2014.

Members of the Cabinet who have not read or not informed of this Second Open Letter before the Ministers meet for their third Cabinet meeting later this morning clearly belong to the dinosaur epoch and are not fit to be in the Cabinet – and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have a very strong reason to get rid of these dead-wood and half-past six Ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle.

In my first Open Letter to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet before their first Cabinet meeting on 8th January 2014, I urged the first Cabinet meeting to send our a clear and unmistakable message to end the national drift and loss of leadership and direction to create an united, harmonious, just, and competitive and great Malaysian nation.

I zeroed in on the nation’s quintuplet of crisis which warranted priority and immediate attention by the Cabinet, viz:

  • Firstly, the crisis of nation-building and national unity because of the worst racial and religious polarization in the nation’s history – making a mockery of Bangsa Malaysia in Vision 2020 as well as Najib’s signature policy of 1Malaysia;
  • Secondly, the deepening economic crisis caused by avalanche of price hikes culminating in the introduction of the GST at six per cent in April 2015;
  • Thirdly, the crisis on the corruption front with no signs that there will be a serious campaign to fight “grand corruption” and end the colossal waste, extravagance and misuse of public funds.
  • Fourthly, the crisis of deteriorating national educational standards to the extent that both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have studiously avoided talking about Malaysia’s poor performance in 2011 TIMSS and 2012 PISA; and
  • Fifthly, the crisis of security and safety of citizens, investors and tourists as the police has not yet understood the meaning of “democratic policing” and is still guided by the colonial mentality with “regime-protection” as the top police priority, when it should be to keep citizens, investors and tourists free and safe.

Two weeks have elapsed since my first Open Letter to the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Unfortunately, the leaderless, headless, clueless and rudderless drift of the Najib government had continued in its aimless direction in the past two weeks, with no resolution in sight for the quintuplet of five crisis.

In many aspects, the national situation has got worse in the past fortnight.

For instance, the Cabinet has yet to reaffirm the 10-Point solution endorsed by the Cabinet in April 2011 to resolve the Bible controversy, with the Cabinet divided on the 10-Point Solution as the Deputy Prime Minister and other Cabinet Ministers seem to have broken ranks from the 10-Point Solution.

And for the last 10 days, Najib and the Cabinet had been devastated by the “kangkung tsunami” reducing their authority and credibility to smithereens, being the butt of “kangkung” jokes, videos, satire, comedies, sketches, spawning products like Kangkung Fried Chicken, Burger Kangkung, McKangkung and even crossing international boundaries to become embarrassing “kangkung-rate” international news in BBC, Channel New Asia, Singapore Straits Times, Jakarta Post, etc.

The “kangkung” craze has also gone viral on the Internet, with three videos attracting over 1.2 million hits on YouTube alone: the “kangkung remix feat, Najib” by Yuri Wong crossing 735,000 hits, the “Ucapan Najib ‘kangkung’ hangat di alam maya” video in second place with over 410,000 hits while the Effing Show #99 “Let Them Eat Kangkung” seems set to be the hottest item of the “popteevee” series, with over 125,000 hits in five days.

What is most deplorable is the “May 13” threat coming out of the closet during this period seeking to incite and racialise an issue which has nothing to do with race but is about the unhappiness of all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans about the government’s arrogance and indifference to the people’s sufferings as a result of the price hikes.

An example of this irresponsible and dangerous incitement of racial and religious hatred, tension and conflict are the Penang UMNO demos on Saturday and Sunday over the earlier “kangkung” flash mob by PKR Assemblyman for Machang Bubuk Lee Khai Loon where kangkung was stuffed into the mouth of a cardboard cutout of the Prime Minister.

Penang UMNO and their allies distorted the “kangkung flash mob” protest against the Prime Minister as an attack on the Malay Prime Minister by the Chinese – which is a perversion of the truth.

As the PAS Deputy President, Mohamad Sabu has said: “I’m a Malay and I don’t feel insulted.”

It is the height of irresponsibility and even criminality in plural Malaysia to distort an issue about price hikes which affect all Malaysians into a racial issue of the Chinese disrespecting the Malays.

There are however Malaysians who feel that certain boundaries should not be crossed in any protests, like the offices of the Prime Minister, the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, the Chief Minister or Mentri Besar which should continue to receive due and proper respect if political discourse and disputation are to kept within civilized bounds – a view held by Malaysians regardless of race or religion.

When I suggested that Lee should consider apologizing for the “flash mob” incident for disrespect to the office of Prime Minister, I never for one moment suggested apology to samseng (thugs) as I fully agree that no one should bow down to threats or any form of violence.

I have been asked whether those who showed disrespect to the former Bersih co-ordinator Ambiga Sreenivasan for the disgusting “butt dance” or to the Penang Chief Minister for the equally abominable shit cake and funeral incidents. Yes they should, but it is not for me to say so publicly but for those responsible for these deplorable unMalaysian actions.

As Lee has decided on his course of action, let us move on.

What the Cabinet this morning should be concerned about is the systematic campaign by a group of irresponsible and reckless elements to incite racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension to create another May 13 situation to destabilize the country, as happened over the past weekend.

Is the Cabinet today prepared to take a firm stand to put a stop to the continued incitement of racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension as well as to all the saber-rattling to create another May 13 situation?

Or to be specific, are Barisan Nasional leaders prepared to work with Pakatan Rakyat leaders by having a Leaders’ Summit to ensure that there could not be another May 13 incident in Malaysia as well as to reach a consensus on the quintuplet of national crisis facing the country to restore national and international confidence in the country?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah