Proof of utter failure in Malaysian nation-building when the sixth Prime Minister asked last week: Whether UMNO President should be an ultra or pro-Malay only and must be Islamic or not?

It is proof of the utter failure in Malaysian nation-building when the sixth Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak asked at the UMNO General Assembly last Thursday: Whether UMNO President should be an ultra or pro-Malay only and must be Islamic or not?

Has Najib forgotten or abandoned his 1Malaysia signature policy which he proclaimed with such fanfare when he became Prime Minister in April 2009 that the goal of 1Malaysia is to create a nation where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first and race (whether Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban), religion (Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Sikh) or region as second.

Six years and eight months after becoming the Prime Minister with his signature policy of 1Malaysia, and after tens and even hundreds of million of ringgit spent on 1Malaysia promotional products, is Malaysia going forwards or backwards as far as Najib’s 1Malaysia policy is concerned?

That Najib is publicly asking the question whether he should be “an ultra or pro-Malay only” as UMNO President and Prime Minister is sad indication that he himself needs convincing as far as his 1Malaysia signature policy is concerned!

Najib’s UMNO/BN government is adrift and at sea, bereft of any direction or vision for Malaysia.

We seem to be seeing the spectacle of Najib’s government degenerating into a “tail wagging the dog” phenomenon, where small cogs in the wheels of government are controlling and setting the pace and direction of government, as for instance, a department like Biro Tata Negara (BTN) disregarding the 1Malaysia Policy and continuing to ensure that the “Ketuanan Melayu” ideology is the directing policy of the government regarding non-Malays as “orang tumpang” and not sons and daughters of the Malaysian soil.

If Malaysia is to succeed as a nation, taking our rightful place in the international community as a plural society which punches above our weight because of our political, economic, educational, socio-cultural and nation-building achievements, we must ensure that more and more Malaysians embrace the 1Malaysia concept and reject narrow and exclusive racial, religious and cultural interpretations of the Malaysian narrative.

What Malaysia needs are not Malay ultras, Chinese ultras, Indian ultras, Iban ultras or Kadazan ultras but Malaysian ultras!

Why should the Prime Minister of Malaysia be struggling with whether he should be a Malay ultra or not? Is he going to lead or to be led?

I have just read The Malaysian Insider on the Internet on the call by the former International Industry and Trade Minister, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz that with 2015 coming to a close, the people at all levels should resolve to be Malaysian first when they make their New Year resolutions.

I would endorse Rafidah’s call that in the final fortnight for the year 2015, everyone in the country must resolve to be better Malaysians, to respect and accept our diversities, and to place a high priority upon national interest.

Rafidah cannot be more right when she warned in her latest posting on her Facebook: “Should national interest be jeopardised, we as members of society will surely be affected and impacted, directly or indirectly,”

We must ensure that there is no repetition of incidents like the University Technology MARA (UiTM) organising an anti-Christianisation seminar at its Malacca campus for the second consecutive year – another example of the “tail wagging the dog” phenomenon.

This is because I cannot see how the Cabinet or the Ministry of Higher Education could endorse any public university organising any seminar which is anti any religion in the country, which is totally against the spirit and philosophy of Rukunegara, but when the central body has lost control, direction and vision, then it is open season for the “tail” to wag the body – and here, we have many such “tails” in Malaysia!

This is one of the five political and socio-economic scandals which had plagued the country this year – the lack of direction and vision for Malaysian nation-building, with the racist and provocative Sept. 16 “Red Shirts” rally in Kuala Lumpur as one of its worst manifestations.

The other four scandals are: (i) The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) adding to the hardships of low-income Malaysians, already sandwiched between rising costs of living and falling incomes; (ii) The scandal of the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal banking accounts; (iii) The RM50 billion 1MDB scandal; and (iv) The National Security Council Bill which usurped the powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Cabinet and the 13 State Governments.

Let these five political and socio-economic scandals in Malaysia in 2005 serve as a reminder to all Malaysians why there must be political change in Malaysia and that such change is only possible when Pakatan Harapan can replace the UMNO/BN coalition in Putrajaya and six states in Malaysia in the 14th General Election.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah