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A somber 49th National Day marred by irresponsible race politicking, relentless  undermining of the Merdeka �social contract� of a secular Malaysia and the worsening problem of corruption

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliament, Wednesday) : Malaysians will be celebrating a somber 49th National Day, marred by irresponsible UMNO Youth race politicking, relentless undermining of the Merdeka �social contract� of a secular Malaysia and the worsening problem of corruption.


The 43rd National Day  in 2000 was spoiled by the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who in his National Day message spoke more as UMNO President than Prime Minister for all Malaysians when he made baseless and outrageous allegations against   the Malaysian Chinese Organisations� Election Appeals Committee (Suqiu), viz:


     "Because it seems as if the government headed by the Malays has become weaker, the Chinese extremists who are displeased   with the cooperation among the various races in Malaysia are starting to hurt the feelings of the Malays by making all sorts of absurd demands".

  •    Suqiu's electoral appeal in the 1999 general elections did not differ much from those of "the communists in the past� for
  •   �fanning racial sentiments�; and
  •   "In terms of approach, Suqiu is the same as Al-Ma'unah, that is, by trying to hurt the feelings of certain people to ignite racial  sentiments."

The 49th National Day has been  marred some two weeks earlier by the power-behind-the-UMNO-political-throne who trotted out  the same canard, warning that Chinese Malaysians would exploit the current infighting within UMNO to advance the community�s interest, and citing Suqiu as example.


As a result, a Barisan Nasional component party leader has admitted that on the occasion of the 49th National Day, nation-building in  the country �had gone backwards, minus 10 Merdeka years�.

This is a development which would have been completely unthinkable when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became the fifth Prime Minister 34 months ago, with his pledge to be Prime Minister for all Malaysians and not just for one community, asking Malaysians to work with him and not for him.


Let us soberly  ponder these  weighty issues on the 49th National Day as there can be nothing more meaningful than to use the occasion to reaffirm our individual and national commitment to create a Malaysia for all Malaysians, where all her citizens can feel and be proud that they are Malaysians first, and  their ethnic and religious identities  in second and third places.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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