Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the launching of the DAP Pasir Pinji service centre foodfair at Tou Mou Kong, Ipoh on Sunday, 19th September 2010:
Najib’s failure to stand up and be counted to condemn extremism and extremists especially from his own camp will be the undoing of his 1Malaysia concept
Malaysians are witnessing the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, performing one of his biggest flip-flops in his 18 months at the helm of the country’s administration.
Najib’s attempt to distance or disentangle Umno from Perkasa did not last more than a week from the announcement of the Umno Secretary-General that Perkasa was eroding non-Malay support for Barisan Nasional to Najib’s Malaysia Day message expressing sadness at the rise of extremism in his 18 months as Prime Minister.
Most ironically, Najib chose the Yayasan 1Malaysia seminar themed “Living In a Multi-Ethnic Society” in Kuala Lumpur after the Malaysia Day celebrations in Sabah to perform the flip-flop - refusing to name Perkasa as the worst culprit responsible for the rise of extremism and scaring away foreign investors.
This is now followed by Tengku Adnan’s flip-flop today denying that the Barisan Nasional parties had agreed to keep a distance from Perkasa.
If Barisan Nasional parties had never agreed top keep a distance from Perkasa, are MCA and Gerakan national leaders to “eat their words” for publicly welcoming such a decision.
Just as an example, Bernama had on Sept. 11 quoted Gerakan President and Minister for 1Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon hailing Umno’s move to distance from Perkasa as reflecting “the liberal and moderate stand of Barisan Nasional component parties towards all races”.
What has Tsu Koon got to say with the backtracking by Tengku Adnan and denial that there is going to be any such Umno distancing or disentangling from Perkasa?
Yesterday, Tsu Koon said “all quarters should work together in making the 1 Malaysia concept and the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) a success instead of creating controversial issues which will not do any good to the country’s development”.
Just like the Prime Minister, Tsu Koon as the 1Malaysia Minister dare not take the bull by the horns and draw a line in the sand against the rise of racial bigotry and religious extremism mostly emanating from Umno and allied or outsourced organizations.
Najib, Tsu Koon and all the Barisan Nasional leaders should not be under any illusion and must realize that the failure of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to stand up and be counted to condemn extremism and extremists especially from his UMNO and allied or outsourced organisations will be the undoing of Najib’s 1Malaysia concept.
On September 10, I was in Shanghai for the World Expo together with Perak DAP State Assemblymen Thomas Su (Pasir Pinji) and Wong Kah Woh (Canning) and what was most impressive was the single-mindedness, unity of purpose and dynamism of the Chinese to take the spectacular achievements of the Chinese economy to a new height, surging past the Japanese economy to be the world’s second economic power to overtake that of the United States in the next two to three decades.
What concerned the Chinese was how China could compete internationally in contrast to the obsessive pre-occupation in Malaysia, which is the competition between bumiputras and non-bumiputras, Malays vs non-Malays regardless of how detrimental this is to the larger national and global challenge of Malaysia competing with the rest of the world and becoming an inclusive and sustainable high-income developed nation by 2020.
I met Malaysians who are working in China who are highly skilled, most talented and top professionals. I understand that the Malaysian diaspora in China is in the region of 100,000.
This pool of Malaysian disapora of talent and skills in China is Malaysia’s loss and China’s gain. Most of the Malaysians working in China I met would have Malaysia as their first choice to work but they have to go overseas for their talents, skills and expertise to get proper recognition.
What has Najib done in the past 18 months to bring home the Malaysian diaspora whether from China and elsewhere?
The answer is not only a sad “No” despite all the big talk about 1Malaysia, New Economic Model, Government Transformation Programme and Tenth Malaysia Plan but a further exodus of brain drain because of the failure of the Najib administration to take a stand against extremism and full commitment towards an open, accountable, competitive and just economy.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor