Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 6th August 2012:
Cabinet on Wednesday should honour Lee Chong Wei as Malaysian Sportsperson of the Decade
The Cabinet on Wednesday should honour Datuk Lee Chong Wei as the Malaysian Sportsperson of the Decade for winning two Olympic silver medals for the country – a feat unequalled by any Malaysian.
Malaysians were greatly disappointed by Chong Wei’s failure to win the Olympic gold medal in the men’s badminton singles last night, as it was truly a case of “So near and yet so far”.
However, nobody could be more disappointed than Chong Wei himself, as he had put up a valiant and mighty effort to win the first Olympic gold medal for Malaysia.
Chong Wei remains the undisputed hero for all Malaysians in the past ten years, sealed by his unequalled achievement of winning two Olympics silver medals for the country – in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Olympics in London.
For this reason, the conferment of the honour as the Malaysian Sportsperson of the Decade on Chong Wei by the Yang di Pertuan Agong on the occasion of the 55th National Day/49th Malaysia Day celebrations on August 31 and September 16 respectively will be special and unique, drawing together all Malaysians as one united people regardless of race, religion or region.
The honouring of Chong Wei will also go a long way to undo the divisive effects caused by the deplorable attempt by UMNO/Barisan Nasional to hijack the 55th National Day/49th Malaysia Day celebrations with the most insensitive decision to impose the UMNO/BN theme “Janji Ditepati” as the National Day/Malaysia Day theme this year, accompanied by a most hideous logo and cheap and vulgar theme song.
Although the hideous logo has been abandoned, the Minister for Information, Communications and Culture, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim has refused to budge on the “Janji Ditepati” theme and theme song, saying that the theme was a Cabinet decision.
If I am thinking solely in partisan terms, I would welcome this UMNO/BN stubbornness for the “Janji Ditepati” theme and its atrocious theme song, e.g. the lyrics:
“Janji sudah ditepati
“Ini janji kita, BRIM Satu Malaysia
This is because the blatant and unashamed hijacking of the 55th National Day/49th Malaysia Day celebrations by UMNO/BN with the insensitive theme and ludicrous theme song will continue to be the butt of jokes of the majority of right-thinking and sensible Malaysians, reinforcing the increasing thinking in the country that 55 years have been too long a time and that the time has come for a new set of leaders to run the country.
This is going to cost UMNO/BN dearly in terms of votes in the 13th General Election which is going to decide whether it is going to be the end of the road for UMNO/BN federal power in Putrajaya.
However, as a Malaysian nationalist and patriot, I cringe at the very thought of the hijacking of the 55th National Day/49th Malaysia Day celebrations by UMNO/BN with their electioneering theme of “Janji Ditepati” and vulgar theme song - which is something just inconceivable for any normal democratic country which can distinguish between right and wrong or nation and government-of-the-day.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is doing himself and the country a great disservice if he persists in wanting to allow UMNO/BN to hijack the 55th National Day/49th Malaysia Day celebrations.
But can he at least mitigate such divisive effects if the occasions are also used to honour Chong Wei as the Malaysian Sportsperson of the Decade for his unequalled feat of winning two Olympic silver medals for the country?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor