Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 7th July 2012:
I do not hate Mahathir at all but I am opposed to Mahathirism
I have just returned from a four-day visit to Myanmar and I am most intrigued by the statement by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad saying he did not know why I hated him so much.
Let me assure Mahathir that I do not hate him at all but like three former Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein and Tun Abdullah and the majority of Malaysians in 2012, I am opposed to Mahathirism and its return to Malaysian politics in 13th general election.
Mahathir cannot be more wrong when he claimed that Abdullah was rejected by voters for “mistreating” him, asserting:
“Last time when Abdullah wasn’t good to me, the people did not support BN. So some people still have some sympathy for me.”
The reason why Abdullah suffered the worst UMNO/BN electoral defeat in the 2008 general election is because he failed to live up to his promise in the landslide 2004 general election victory to begin the serious task to dismantle the Mahathirish legacy of corruption, cronyism and abuses of power.
Recently, Mahathir has resurrected the worst strains of Mahathirism viz rabid racism, to the curses of corruption, cronyism and abuses of power, when he stoked racial fears among the Malays with his warnings that Malays will lose power if Umno loses the next general election, that Najib is a weak Prime Minister and that reforms could spark unrest, that the 13GE will be about race and that the Chinese voters are the kingmakers for the 13GE and will decide who forms the government – exhortations which are not only untrue, most incendiary and highly provocative, but totally against five decades of Malaysian nation-building, his own Vision 2020 of Bangsa Malaysia and Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia concept.
While denying that there is such thing as “Mahathirism”, Mahathir is working very hard to restore and entrench Mahathirism as the official creed of the UMNO/BN after the 13GE, whether led by Najib or somebody else.
Malaysian voters, especially the three million new voters in the 13GE, must unite to prove Mahathir wrong, that the return of Mahathirism is rejected conclusively and decisively to send out the clear message that the 13GE is not about race but about the future of a united, harmonious, just and progressive Malaysia where corruption, cronyism and abuses of power are relegated to the dustbins of history.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor