Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 29th April 2011:
When even Chinese Prime Minister could give full praise to Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, when will DPM Muhyiddin give unreserved support to the Prime Minister’s signature policy, declare that he is “Malaysian first, Malay second” and repudiate Utusan Malayu’s “1Melayu” call?
One of the headlines in today’s New Straits Times coverage of the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s visit to Malaysia reads: “Chinese prime minister all praise for Najib’s 1Malaysia”, reporting that Wen Jiabao was “full of praise for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for coming up with the 1Malaysia concept” when meeting Malaysian Chinese businessmen in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
This report immediately triggers the question:
When even the Chinese Prime Minister could give full praise to Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, when will Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin give unreserved support to the Prime Minister’s signature policy, declare that he is “Malaysian first, Malay second” and repudiate Utusan Malaysia’s “1Melayu” call?
The declared objectives of 1Malaysia concept are indeed most laudable and praiseworthy – to create a more vibrant, more productive and more competitive Malaysian 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”.
Going by this official definition, given by the official document “1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme”, I am the first MP to demonstrate support for Najib’s 1Malaysia concept by declaring in Parliament on March 18, 2009 that I am Malaysian first and Chinese second – when I also invited all the Barisan Nasional Ministers to make the same declaration that they are Malaysian first, race second to demonstrate their support and fealty to the Prime Minister’s 1Malaysia concept.
But no Barisan Nasional Minister dared to take the floor of Parliament to respond to my challenge to declare their allegiance to the 1Malaysia concept – and when I continued to pursue the matter, the Deputy Prime Minister retorted outside Parliament that he is Malay first and Malaysian second!
What is worse, Muhyiddin has now given his blessings to the communal and racist “1Melayu, 1Bumi” call by Utusan Malaysia, the official organ of Umno, which makes a complete mockery of Najib’s inclusive 1Malaysia concept.
Let me ask Muhyiddin when he is going to follow my example and declare that he is Malaysian first and race second to eradicate all doubts not only about his loyalty to Najib’s 1Malaysia policy but to Najib’s Prime Ministership?
If a visiting foreign dignitary like the Chinese Prime Minister can be full of praise for Najib’s 1Malaysia policy, it is real shame when the Deputy Prime Minister and the entire Najib Cabinet are not prepared to declare that they are “Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second” in line with the 1Malaysia concept.
It is more than two years since Najib became the sixth Prime Minister with his signature 1Malaysia policy.
Isn’t it time he demand the full support and commitment of his Cabinet to the 1Malaysia policy by asking Ministers – even the DPM – to leave his government if any Cabinet Minister is not prepared to publicly declare that he or she is “Malaysian first and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second”?
Is Najib prepared make this item the main subject of the next Cabinet meeting to show that he is really committed to the 1Malaysia concept and policy?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor