Hindus Happy Deepavali.
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya ,
Next year sees the start of the Ninth Malaysia Plan and the mid-point of the
30-year Vision 2020 to create a Bangsa Malaysia in a fully-developed
Are we reaching both goals?
The answers are a double negative – highlighted by the marginalization of
the Malaysian Indians into the new underclass in the national
politico-socio-economic-corporate landscape, and compounded by the
parliamentary scandal last week where Malaysian Indians were insulted with
the derogatory term “keling” in the highest legislative chamber and
political forum of the land.
If Malaysia, celebrating our half-century of
nationhood in 2007, has made substantial progress in the creation of a
Bangsa Malaysia, there should not only be a progressive and tangible
cessation in racial discrimination and polarization but a greater consensus
that any derogation against any Malaysian community, whether in word or
deed, is equally derogatory and offensive to all other communities and the
nation of overarching Malaysian citizenship.
Unfortunately, the recent parliamentary scandal
precipitated by the recalcitrant and unrepentant Barisan Nasional MP for
Jerai had been regarded as a problem merely of the Indian community and the
Opposition, when it should be regarded as a problem for all communities,
whether Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban and all political parties,
whether Barisan Nasional parties individually and collectively or the
Half-a-century after independent nationhood in 1957,
we are still very distant from the goal of the Malaysianisation of the
Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans in the country, or there would
be no recurrence of the parliamentary scandal over the derogatory term
“keling” in 1998 by the same MP last week.
It behoves all Malaysians, while celebrating or
partaking in the celebration of Deepavali, to ponder how to accelerate the
process of Malaysianisation of all citizens until it is not just the
Indians, but the Chinese, Malays, Kadazans and Ibans who will also find the
term “keling” derogatory not only to the Malaysian Indians but to all
Wishing all Hindus in Malaysia a Happy
* Lim Kit Siang,
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission