Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 1st September 2011:
Quo Vadis Malaysia
Never in recent decades had Merdeka Day on August 31 been marked with a greater sense of angst and disquiet by Malaysians than yesterday because of incessant disunifying developments not only over the past several months but also the past few days.
Malaysians flew the national flag yesterday but most of them have a common disquieting question - Quo Vadis Malaysia?
The third National Day of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should have been celebrated as a high-water point of his administration, coinciding with Hari Raya Aidilfitri festivities, but this was not the case.
In actual fact, many of National Day messages intended to inspire greater national unity and to exhort moderation and tolerance among Malaysians fell flat, failing not only to inspire the people but merely achieved the opposite of evoking alienation and disaffection because they were so empty and hollow, shouting out the loud contrast between word and deed of those in power.
Calls for greater national unity only served to remind Malaysians as to how divisive and discordant the Malaysian landscape had become of late, while exhortations of moderation and tolerance served to highlight the great contradiction of the Prime Minister's call for a global movement for moderates on the world stage with his dismal lack of political will to provide 'moderate' leadership inside the country.
In the run-up to the 54th National Day, irresponsible and reckless attempts to polarize the country along race and religious lines continued unabated as when a government television station, TV1, made the false, sick and diabolical insinuation that a few DAP leaders and the Chairman of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) were associated with a "Murtads in Malaysia & Singapore" facebook group.
Coming in the wake of an orchestrated mainstream media frenzy of Christian proselytization, including the fake news by TV3 of proselytization by a tuition centre in Kuala Lumpur based on complaints by a non-existent "Surau Al-Musyrikin", the impunity and immunity with which such incitement and sedition could be hurled freely, irresponsibly and recklessly raises the fundamental question whether the Prime Minister and his administration really stand for the rule of law, moderation, an united and harmonious plural Malaysia.
How can the Prime Minister make his signature 1Malaysia slogan as a nationally unifying and inspiring theme when he dare not openly and courageously defend it in the face of dissent by his Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin with his infamous declaration of being Malay first and Malaysian second?
The MCA President, Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek made the call to all Malaysians to come together to celebrate in the 1Malaysia spirit and strive for peace and harmony, but he chose to close his eyes to the fact that the very elements who had been systematically undermining the 1Malaysia spirit, inter-racial and inter-religious peace and harmony had come from within Barisan Nasional - Umno - for months and years.
Lies have become the staple diet served by the mainstream media, whether the canard that DAP wants to create a Christian Malaysia and have a Christian Prime Minister or the falsehood that the PAS Deputy President Mat Sabu glorified the communists and regarded Datuk Onn Jaafar and Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman as traitors.
This is not building a 1Malaysia but disunifying our beloved multiracial and multireligious Malaysia nation.
If Najib sincerely and seriously believes in 1Malaysia and holds himself as the Prime Minister for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or political affiliation, the time is almost up for him to walk the talk to provide leadership or be exposed as an purveyor of empty slogans whether 1Malaysia, NEM, GTP, ETP, PTP, etc.
But all is not bleak and dark. The successful Bersih rally of July 9 is proof that if Najib and those in power refuse to act, then ordinary Malaysians whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli, whether Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Toaists, Confucianists or Sikhs are prepared to act in unison to save Malaysia.
Let the overwhelming majority of Malaysians demonstrate that they are the true patriots and nationalists who will not succumb to the irresponsible and reckless politics of race and religion but are united by a common nationalism to work together as Malaysians to build an united, harmonious, just, progressive and competitive Malaysia.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor