Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 18th September 2010:
1Malaysia not “work in progress” but “work in regress” if Najib proves to be new Mr. Flip-Flop as Prime Minister overshadowing his predecessor Tun Abdullah
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday defended his 1Malaysia concept, claiming that it had not failed but merely a “work in progress”.
He admitted that the concept could not become a “full realization” today but would do so eventually with the help of all segments of society.
Najib’s 1Malaysia concept is not “work in progress” but “work in regress”, especially if he proves to be a new Mr. Flip-Flop as Prime Minister, putting the former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to shame.
In back-pedalling from Umno’s recent decision to disentangle and distance itself from Perkasa as announced by Umno Secretary-General Datuk Sri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor only a week ago, Najib has exuded negative vibrations and sent out the negative message that he is not prepared to be the leader for all groups and component parties in Barisan Nasional let alone be the Prime Minister for all Malaysians.
Nobody is expecting the impossible of “a full realization today” of the 1Malaysia concept but it is disingenuous and even dishonest to claim that his 1Malaysia concept is “work in progress” when he himself lamented in his Malaysia Day message at the rising tide of extremism in his 18 months of premiership with unprecedented outpouring of the rhetoric of race and religion unseen in the first 18 months of all the first Prime Ministers of Malaysia – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah!
And what has made this “rising tide of extremism” in the first 18 months of Najib’s premiership even more unhealthy and undesirable is that they emanate primarily from the ranks of Umno and allied or outsourced groups!
Five days before the August 31 Merdeka Day, Najib broke his long two-week silence to declare a “zero tolerance” policy towards racism and pledged immediate action against those found to have made racial slurs – but this has been followed by more than two weeks of inaction against two school principals who had made unacceptable racial and religious slurs against students in their schools!
This is not the stuff to inspire confidence in his political will and commitment to achieve the goal of 1Malaysia “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”. (1Government Transformation Programme Roadmap: p11)
Najib has come out with a “patriotic litmus test” to determine the political attitudes of those aspiring to positions of authority, questioning a person on his or her priorities in achieving greater unity and harmony among Malaysians, viz:
If Najib put his Cabinet and the leadership of all the Barisan Nasional component parties to such a 1Malaysia litmus test for their words and deeds in the past 18 months, how many of them will pass?
Utusan Malaysia, the Umno mouthpiece, will not only fail these tests but will be among the most egregious offenders, breaching these three tests on a daily basis.
In fact, Utusan has reached a new low as illustrated by its irresponsible and contemptible attempt to racialise and politicise the heinous and gruesome mass murders of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others against the DAP when it has nothing to do whatsoever with DAP.
Utusan Malaysia is guilty of double lies against DAP as none of the suspect killers were DAP members let alone DAP life-members, but also because DAP had condemned the heinous and gruesome mass killings right from the beginning.
When news broke on Sept. 12 of the horrific mass murders of Datuk Sosilawati, DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, who was in Shanghai tweeted his “shock”, condemned the quadruple murders as “ghastly” and extended condolences to the families of the victims of the “horrible tragedy” of the mass murders.
I was also in Shanghai for the World Expo. In my first press conference and public statement on my return from Shanghai, made in Kota Kinabalu on Sept. 15, I condemned in the strongest possible terms the heinous, gruesome crimes of the mass murders of Sosilawati.
Yet Utusan Malaysia could publish such garbage the next day on Sept. 16 to insinuate that the DAP is siding with the mass murderers and had been silent on the mass murders either because the “Datuk” killer is DAP member or DAP “fights for the rights of a certain race only”.
I have a video recording of my press conference in Kota Kinabalu on Sept. 15 condemning the mass murders of Datuk Sosiloawati and three others but I do not think the Utusan Malaysia editors would dare to ask to view them.
Coming back to Najib’s 1Malaysia test. Najib should do something simpler – ask his Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and all his Ministers at next Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting whether they are prepared to be Malaysians first and race second as a first step to show their support and loyalty to his 1Malaysia concept, and if not, to tell them that they have no place in his Cabinet and government if his 1Malaysia concept is not to be taken as an empty and meaningless slogan!
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor