Mahathir should be a responsible ‘elder statesman’ and stop race-baiting and inciting communal sentiments
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has become the No. 1 campaigner for Umno/Barisan Nasional in the 13GE, even putting the Prime Minister/Umno President Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the shadows, as if Mahathir is fighting for his own political life.
This may in fact be the true picture, as the 13GE is not only a “life-and-death” battle for the Najib premiership, it is shaping up to be a “life-and-death” struggle for the 22-year Mahathir legacy.
This is why Mahathir has become the “campaigner extraordinaire” in the 13GE, and I don’t think he has ever campaigned as hard for Umno/BN even in the five general elections he had led as Prime Minister, namely the 1982, 1986, 1990, 1995 and 1999 general elections, spanning two decades.
Mahathir is fully within his rights to campaign all-out to protect the 22-year Mahathir legacy, but he must always act as a responsible “elder statesman” and not succumb to cheap and irresponsible tactics as race-baiting and inciting communal sentiments which is completely antithetical to his concept of Bangsa Malaysia in Vision 2020.
I deplore in the strongest possible terms his baseless accusation that my “move to Gelang Patah was to create racial disharmony among Malays and Chinese” and that “By inciting racial conflict, Kit Siang wants the Chinese to vote for DAP.”
It is most unworthy of the fourth Prime Minister of 22-years to make such a wild, baseless, irresponsible and racist allegation.
I had said publicly in the DAP ceramahs in Gelang Patah that I want to win in Gelang Patah, not just on Chinese votes but also on Malay and Indian votes as well.
In fact, I had called on the Gelang Patah voters to vote as Malaysians, and not as Chinese, Malay or Chinese voters in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream of a united citizenry which was articulated by the great Johore Malay leader Datuk Onn Jaafar 61 years ago when the founding UMNO President proposed that UMNO should open it doors to non-Malays and that UMNO change its name to United Malayan National Organisation.
Although Onn was too ahead of his time, the Malaysian Dream remains alive in the hearts and minds of Malaysians down the decades, and the 13th General Election in 2013 on the 56th year of our nationhood, it is an appropriate juncture in the nation-building process to begin to realise the Malaysian Dream of a united multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysian people committed to the common goal to build a free, democratic, progressive and prosperous nation for all Malaysian citizens.
Mahathir should be a responsible “elder statesman” and stop race-baiting and inciting communal sentiments which is completely antithetical to his concept of Bangsa Malaysia in Vision 2020.