2010 National Day message by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 30th August 2010:
Quo Vadis Malaysia 18 months after Najib's 1Malaysia slogan?
This year’s Merdeka Month celebrations with the theme “1Malaysia transforms the nation” should give all Malaysians a new sense of pride and worth of being a Malaysian.
Instead, the cacophony of the racist rhetoric had never been more raucous, discordant and divisive in the first year of any previous Prime Minister in the nation’s 53-year history – reducing Najib’s 1Malaysia policy and slogan into tatters.
The 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap launched by the Prime Minister in January this year declared that “the goal of 1Malaysia is to make Malaysia more vibrant, more productive and more competitive – and ultimately a greater nation: a nation where, it is hoped, every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second and where the principles of 1Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society.”
This goal of 1Malaysia was rendered hollow and meaningless when the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin declared that he is Malay first and Malaysian second, and no Cabinet Minister dared to contradict him!
The 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap declared that Malaysia has “chosen a unique route – that of unity of diversity and inclusiveness, while ensuring fairness to all and remaining anchored in our Constitution” – which means that “we embrace our diversity of ethnicity, religions and beliefs and, by being inclusive, build mutual respect and acceptance into a social foundation of trust and cohesiveness”.
All it requires to expose the hollowness of this 1Malaysia declaration is to look at the media headlines in the past 24 hours, eg:
The 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap declared that 1Malaysia is “built upon the foundations of our Federal Constitution, various laws and policies, the Rukunegara, Vision 2020 and the National Mission”.
The past year saw Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the architect of Vision 2020, repudiating the Bangsa Malaysia concept he advocated when he proclaimed Vision 2020 and even the nine goals of Vision 2020, encompassing economic, political, social, spiritual, psychological and cultural dimensions of national growth when he equated meritocracy with racism.
A few days ago, Najib declared “zero tolerance for racism”. Without any supportive action against incessant racheting of the irresponsible rhetoric of race, this “zero tolerance for racism” is likely to go the infamous way of another similar slogan, “zero tolerance for corruption” with corruption worsening while the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) forfeits all public respect and confidence in its institutional independence, professionalism and integrity.
Quo Vadis Malaysia 18 months after Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor