Recent “pendatang” furore not only proof of failure of Najib’s 1Malaysia policy but 57 years of UMNO/BN Malaysian nation-building

The recent “pendatang” furore is not only proof of failure of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia policy, but the 57 years of UMNO/BN Malaysian nation-building.

Apart from Sabah, which is a special case by itself, the overwhelming majority of Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, are local-born and 100% Malaysians – a figure which can be as high as over 95 per cent for Malaysians in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.

Whether the ancestors of Malays, Chinese or Indians are immigrants, there can be no cause or justification for any Malaysian to describe another Malaysians from different ethnicity as “pendatang”, especially when the term is loaded in a very derogatory, pejorative and even abusive sense.

This is in fact questioning the citizenship rights of Malaysians, which is entrenched as one of the four “sensitive” rights in the Malaysian Constitution in 197i, whereby it becomes an automatic sedition offence to call for the withdrawal of a Malaysian’s citizenship.

Since the 70s, there is a National Unity Department in the Prime Minister’s Department, but all the tens and even hundreds millions of ringgit of budget expenditures for over four decades for this department in the PM’s Office had been a total waste and loss when 57 years after Merdeka, extremists are hurling the “pendatang” label at ordinary, loyal and patriotic Malaysians in the latest upsurge of hate speech in the country.

The Prime Minister has reiterated his call for a Global Movement of Moderates in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, and Malaysia has just been elected to be a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

Calling loyal, patriotic Malaysians born, bred and who will die in Malaysia as “pendatang” must be condemned as a form of extremism which Najib had denounced in the United Nations and international forms since becoming Prime Minister.

I call on Najib and his Cabinet to seriously review the failure not only his 1Malaysia policy but UMNO/BN nation-building policies of the past 57 years since Merdeka, to the extent there there are now Malaysians who are so extremist and intolerant as to have no compunction or scruples to label other Malaysians who are equally local-born as “pendatangs”.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah