Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 23rd September 2010:
When is Najib going to provide leadership and take a stand against Malaysians “whose heads are not right” who have caused unprecedented inter-racial and inter-religious strain and escalation of rhetoric of racial bigotry and religious extremism?
Speaking at the Interfaith Relations Working Committee luncheon yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the world contained individuals whose heads were “not right”.
He was referring specifically to the recent threat by an American pastor to burn the Quran and the Sept 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre by terrorists who “hijacked Islam” and said such conflicts were caused by ignorance.
He said: “Without understanding and knowledge, there can never be goodwill and understanding. We need to know the beauty found in every religion.”
What Najib said yesterday is very correct but Malaysians are entitled to ask why he had not provided leadership to take a stand against those in Malaysia “whose heads are not right” in the past 18 months of his premiership resulting in the escalation of the rhetoric of racial bigotry and religious extremism despite his proclamation of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” policy?
It is precisely because of the Prime Minister’s failure to take a stand against individuals “whose heads are not right” that there had been such inter-racial and inter-religious strain in the past 18 months, destroying his political honeymoon as new Prime Minister, undermining his credibility and derailing his key policies like the New Economic Model – a phenomenon never seen in the first 18 months of the previous five Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah.
Sadly, many of those “whose heads are not right” are also to be found in his Cabinet, which is why despite his 1Malaysia policy “to create a nation where 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”, only one Cabinet Minister – Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz – has so far the courage, conviction and gumption to declare that he is Malaysian first and Malay second.
Malaysians are very disappointed that in the past 72 hours, no other Cabinet Minister had emulated Nazri to publicly declare that he or she is Malaysian first, race second.
Isn’t this the best proof the Najib’s Cabinet is populated by too many individuals “whose heads are not right” who dare not declare being Malaysian first race second, thus making a total mockery of Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan and policy?
Who is the second Cabinet Minister to declare that he/she is Malaysian first and race second?
When will Najib’s Cabinet have a majority of Ministers who can publicly declare that they are Malaysian first and race second to demonstrate that his 1Malaysia policy is being taken seriously by his own Cabinet?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor