Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 16th September 2009:
There can be no meaningful 1Malaysia when Malaysia Day Sept. 16 is regarded as a Sabah and Sarawak event rather than as a national celebration
For the 46th year today, Malaysia Day is commemorated in national disunity rather than national unity.
This should not be the case as five months ago, when Datuk Seri Najib Razak become the sixth Prime Minister, he had proclaimed the new motto of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”.
Najib had the opportunity to right the wrongs of the past 45 years with the people of Sabah and Sarawak marginalized from the mainstream of national development although it was the support of the people of Sabah and Sarawak in the political tsunami of the March 8, 2009 general elections which had kept the Barisan Nasional Federal Government afloat.
In the general elections last year Barisan Nasional won 140 Parliamentary seats as against the Pakatan Rakyat’s 82, but 54 of the BN parliamentary seats came from Sabah and Sarawak (Sabah 24 and Sarawak 30).
Without these 54 parliamentary seats from Sabah and Sarawak, BN would be reduced to 86 seats out of 222 MPs in Parliament, evicting the BN from Putrajaya into the Opposition and Najib today would have been Parliamentary Opposition Leader instead of Prime Minister.
So long as Malaysia Day is regarded as a Sabah and Sarawak event rather than as a national celebration, there can be no meaningful 1Malaysia for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or territory.
The 52nd National Day on August 31 came and went under very subdued and even somber circumstances, not only because of the A (H1N1) pandemic but because of a recrudescence of communalism, chauvinism and religious intolerance in the country like the cow-head protest sacrilege in Shah Alam three days before National Day.
Everyone noticed the absence of national flags throughout the country whether on buildings or vehicles.
Najib’s 1Malaysia could not have a worse start with this year’s National Day and Malaysia Day.
There can be no meaningful 1Malaysia when Malaysia Day Sept. 16 is regarded as a Sabah and Sarawak event rather than as a national celebration.
Pakatan Rakyat has pledged to do what the Barisan Nasional has failed to do – to declare September 16 as a national public holiday.
This will mean that Malaysia will have two National Days – August 31st as Merdeka Day and September 16 as Malaysia Day.
Malaysia will then join the rank of countries like India and Pakistan which commemorate two National Days a year as national public holidays.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor