Call on all Malaysians to make a personal reaffirmation on Malaysia Day 2015 that they are not just Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli but most important of all, they are Malaysians!

Nobody would have expected that Malaysia Day 2015 would turn out to be the most critical Malaysia Day in the nation’s history, with Malaysia at the crossroads – whether for Sabahans, Sarawakians or Malayans.

In recent years, there is growing alienation and disaffection among the people in Sabah and Sarawak causing even calls for secession from Malaysia to be raised because of over half-a-century of neglect and underdevelopment of Sabah and Sarawak.

But is there full and unreserved support for the idea, concept and vision of Malaysia by the people in Peninsular Malaysia?

May be not, from the insistence of those who want to hold a “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 16, although this highly-charged and provocative racist rally threatens not only racial peace and social harmony of the country, but undermines the very idea, integrity and vision of a Malaysian nation.

But the organisers of the Red Shirts Sept. 16 “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” are the modern-day hijackers, which is why the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was spot-on when he rubbished the notion that the red shirts rallying tomorrow are defending the Malays or that Bersih 4 was racist.

Mahathir said:

“Bersih 4 was not racist, all races were there.

“They (red shirts) want Bersih to be racist so they can defend the Malays.

“(But) They are not defending the Malays. There is no need (for the rally).”

But to mobilise Malays from all over the country to the Red Shirts Sept. 16 rally, the UMNO Kota Baru division chief who was former political secretary to the Prime Minister presided over the burning of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and my effigies, even setting up an altar complete with joss sticks and fruit offerings, inciting Malays with racist and provocative sentiments.

Mahathir is right when he said that the organisers of Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu rally in KL tomorrow are not defending the Malays.

I want to state very clearly that in my nearly 50 years in politics, I had never fought for Chinese, but for Malaysians embracing all Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans and Orang Asli whose home is Malaysia and no other country.

I would be the first to defend the right of the organisers of the Red Shirts rally to assemble peacefully as this is a fundamental human right which should be enjoyed by all Malaysians, like the organisers and participants of the Bersih 4 overnight rally.

But there can be no right for anyone to hold multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysia to ransom by organising a rally which from the start of its public announcement was designed to create racial distrust and animosity and to incite racial hatred, tension and conflict, as is the case with the Red Shirt Sept. 16 rally.

Former Cabinet Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz lamented yesterday that two days before the nation celebrates the 52nd Malaysia Day, there were more issues dividing the people than promoting unity. This is also the lament of all patriotic and peace-loving Malaysians.

Rafidah wondered where was the “Sehati Sejiwa” spirit as narrow and parochial interests continued to inflict pain and exasperation on the majority.

She asked: “What really are our common goals as the people of a nation? To what and where does our loyalty lie?”

I agree with Rafidah that it is clear that loyalty should be towards the nation and what Malaysia and its people stood for, and not towards any race, religion or individual.

I have had great political differences with Mahathir and Rafidah in the past, but on the big issues of right and wrong for the sake of the country, all Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region, gender, age, politics or the past, must be prepared to stand on a common platform to save Malaysia from petty, narrow, parochial and selfish interests.

The 52nd Malaysia Day tomorrow will serve as a mirror to show up who are the Malaysian patriots, knaves and traitors; which Federal or state leaders are more Malaysian than others.

There is no better way to mark the 52nd Malaysia Day tomorrow than for Malaysians throughout the country, whether in Sabah, Sarawak or Malaya to make a personal reaffirmation that they are not just Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli but most important of all, they are Malaysians!

It is not necessary to shout out this reaffirmation of our Malaysian “heart and soul”, as all that suffice is for every Malaysian tomorrow to make this reaffirmation as a Malaysian even in the quiet and solitude of their home or workplace, for from this reaffirmation a powerful force will arise that will save Malaysia from division, disunity and disaffection.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah