Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 1st February 2010:
Cabinet must condemn and take action against Jakim’s insubordination and open insurrection against Najib’s 1Malaysia concept in organizing a fire-and-brimstone forum for 800 civil servants last Thursday with threat of another May 13 incident
In his opening speech for the International Conference on Religion, Law and Governance in South-East Asia on Saturday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the tremendous force of religion must be harnessed to advance social and national unity.
He said: “A sign of our times is that religious and spiritual values take on renewed importance for human fulfillment. This is most relevant for stability and peace in fostering new openness between religions.” (Star 31.1.10)
Yesterday, Najib called on Malaysians to stand united against crude attempts to disrupt harmony in the country including the recent spate of incidents on houses of worship. (NST 1.2.10)
It must be a matter of grave concern that while Najib is preaching the tremendous power of religion to advance social and national unity, calling on Malaysians to stand united as a people, another government agency is guilty of a very crude attempt to disrupt harmony in the country virtually mounting an insurrection against Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and vision and challenging the authority of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
In Parliament last November and December, the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) which had been given a budget of more than RM600 million since 2,000, was exposed as a government agency which had been guilty of anti-national activities, creating more racists than Malaysian nationalists with its divisive, racist and seditious brain-washing by pumping communal poison and inciting racial hatred and animosity in the guise of “national civics courses”.
Now, another powerful government agency has reared its ugly head to openly challenge Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and policy and the authority of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
It is indeed most shocking that on the same day that Najib was launching the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Thursday, JAKIM (Islamic Development Department) of the Prime Minister’s Department was organizing a forum for 800 civil servants which was tantamount to an insurrection against Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and vision.
At this Jakim forum, speakers including civil servants like Zamihan Mat Zin from the Institut Latihan Islam Malaysia, Mohd Aizam Masod from Jakim’s research department and Mahammad Nasir Disa, deputy chief of Syariah Research Department of the Attorney-General’s office made speeches which were completely inimical and detrimental to Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and spirit, turning the forum into an inflammatory and incendiary gathering going against all notions of a 1Malaysia objective and vision.
At the Jakim forum for civil servants, Christians were blamed for provoking Muslim anger by challenging the ban on their use of the word “Allah” and politicians, particularly those from Umno/Barisan Nasional were also blamed for failing to defend Islam, with Zamihan for instance openly blasting politicians for being vocal only on Malay rights but doing little for Islam.
Zamihan even went as far as suggesting that a repeat of the May 13 racial riots was possible if the Christians, whom he accused of practising “extremism” did not “back down”, uttering the threat: “Who knows, there might be a Feb 13?” (Malaysian Insider 28.1.10)
The special forum for 800 civil servants organised by Jakim last Thursday, and the divisive, intolerant, incendiary and inflammatory speeches raising the spectre of another May 13 must be condemned in the strongest possible terms as downright irresponsible and anti-national as they run contrary to the proclaimed objectives of the 1Malaysia slogan and vision advocated by Najib.
Why didn’t the Police lodge a police report against the Jakim forum for incitement and sedition to initiate investigations? How many other such forums have Jakim and other government agencies organised?
It would appear that in Najib’s government, the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. Or is this deliberate?
What is 1Malaysia? Malaysians have been told that 1Malaysia “means that we embrace our diversity of ethnicity, religions and beliefs and, by being inclusive, build mutual respect and acceptance into a solid foundation of trust and cohesiveness”.
The Jakim fire-and-brimstone forum for the 800 civil servants stood for the very opposite of this 1Malaysia definition made worse with the threat of another May 13 incident - turning it into an act of insubordination which was no less than an open insurrection by Jakim to rally civil servants to oppose Najib’s 1Malaysia concept.
This Jakim insubordination and insurrection must occupy top spot in the agenda of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting. The Cabinet must condemn it in no uncertain terms and take strong and commensurate action as I will demand a full explanation of the Jakim insurrection and the Cabinet response when Parliament reconvenes on March 15.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor