Media Conference Statement by Lim Kit Siang at Perak DAP Headquarters on Monday, 13th April 2009:
First task of the Najib Cabinet at its first meeting on Wednesday is to define clearly the meaning of the Najib’s “1Malaysia” slogan to ensure that it is a motto of unity and not of division
The interview given by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in Mingguan Malaysia yesterday “Kuasa penentu Melayu hilang jika terus berpecah” may be appropriate coming from the Umno Deputy President but clearly unsuitable, most shocking and even offensive coming from the Deputy Prime Minister of a plural Malaysia after more than half-a-century of nation-building and national unity efforts.
The following Q & A is one good example:
Muhyiddin’s interview has been carried in the Chinese newspapers today, with headlines like “Muhyiddin – Chinese ungrateful to BN” (Sin Chew); “Chinese fooled Barisan Nasional. Muhyiddin – Get benefits but do not vote in support” (Nanyang); “BN feels tricked. Muhyiddin - Satisfy Chinese demands still no support” (China Press)
It is most shocking that 52 years after national independence, the No. 2 in the federal government of a multi-racial nation could come out with such retrogressive and most unacceptable views about Malaysian democracy and nation building.
Firstly, Muhyiddin has confirmed that the Barisan Nasional is guilty of money politics in elections, using public funds especially in the form of development projects as baits to get support from the voters.
This explains Muhyiddin’s complaint about the Chinese being “ungrateful” and the BN being “duped” by the Chinese in getting various “benefits” without reciprocating by giving votes to the Barisan Nasional in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections.
The simple response to such a reactionary view is that the voters are only getting what belong to them as of right as Malaysian citizens when Barisan Nasional went around to distribute “instant noodle” development projects, and there is no question of the voters having to feel “grateful” to the Barisan Nasional as the monies do not come from the private pockets of the Barisan Nasional leaders but the public coffers of the government.
The voters of Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau did not “dupe” the Barisan Nasional; if any, it is the Umno and Barisan Nasional which had duped the voters for 52 years!
Secondly, Muhyiddin was being very mischievous in claiming that the Chinese and even Indians in Malaysia want to be “kingmakers” in Malaysia at the expense of the Malays in the new political landscape.
Is this what Najib meant by his “1Malaysia” slogan?
Are the views propounded by Muhyiddin represent the position of Senator Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, who has been appointed the Minister not only for KPIs (key performance index) for Ministers but also for Najib’s slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”? What are the position of the MCA,MIC and non-Umno Ministers in the new Najib Cabinet?
The Chinese and Indians are not and do not want to be the political kingmakers in Malaysia. Such a concept is most irresponsible and even dangerous and should not be encouraged.
What we want to see is the full, free and fair functioning of the system of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia where the kingmakers will be the Malaysian voters – Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli and all other Malaysians.
Thirdly, it is clear from Muhyiddin’s interview that he is still propounding the concept of Ketuanan Melayu (a camouflage for Ketuanan Umnoputras) when after 52 years since Merdeka, the time has come for Ketuanan rakyat Malaysia!
It is also clear that the Umno leadership has not learnt the lessons from the March 8 political tsunami last year as well as the four by-elections of Permatang Pauh, Kuala Terengganu, Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections in the past eight months that Umno and Barisan Nasional have become politically irrelevant and that Malaysians, regardless of race or religion want to be kingmakers to effect a major political change in the next general elections.
Muhyiddin’s retrogressive interview has raised the question as to what is the real meaning of Najib’s “1Malaysia”.
If it rejects DAP’s Malaysian Malaysia, Gerakan’s Malaysian Malaysia, even the Bangsa Malysia concept of Vision 2020, what does Najib’s “1Malaysia” really mean?
The first task of the Najib Cabinet at its first meeting on Wednesday is to define clearly the meaning of the Najib’s “1Malaysia” slogan to ensure that it is a motto of unity and not of division.
The first task of Tsu Koon as the Minister for “1Malaysia” is to ask Muhyiddin to make a public apology for a most divisive interview which has given “1Malaysia” a bad name!
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor