Will Muhyiddin support the National Reconciliation Plan (NRP) and will he now declare that he is “Malaysian first, Malay second”?

Five things happened in the 28 days between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s first announcement of a National Reconciliation Plan (NRP) after the Cabinet meeting of January 29 and his blog-post on Feb. 25 on “A national reconciliation update” which raise serious questions whether the Najib premiership is really serious about national reconciliation, national unity and national consensus.

These five incidents are:

  1. Although Najib’s post-Cabinet announcement of an NRP on Jan 29 was in response to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s offer of an olive branch on Jan 26 to Barisan Nasional on behalf of Pakatan Rakyat for a “national consensus” to end the voices of hate and to move the nation forward, nothing was done in the past 30 days to convene a summit meeting of BN-PR leaders on “national reconciliation”.
  2. Najib conspicuously turned his back on the world-wide celebration of “World Interfaith Harmony Week 2014” (Feb. 3 – 9) not participating in any function to mark the occasion, although on the first day of the World Interfaith Harmony Week last year, he set the pace on the observance of the global interfaith harmony week and visited the places of worship of the nation’s five main religions in Kuala Lumpur.
  3. The Feb. 6 “chicken and slap” demonstration by self-styled “Council of Islamic NGOs” offering a reward of RM500 (later raised to RM1,200 and then RM2,000) to anyone who slapped DAP National Vice Chairperson and MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok followed by the “chicken-slaughtering and blood-smearing” of the images of DAP and Pakatan Rakyat leaders – in the process committing a slew of offences including criminal intimidation, sedition, incitement of violence against a woman, incitement of violence against an MP and incitement of another May 13 riots. Up to now, the police have not acted against the “Council of Islamic NGOs” protestors for a battery of criminal offences.
  4. Resignation of P Waythamoorthy as Deputy Minister on Feb 10 for Najib’s “betrayal in historical terms to the entire Indian people” in not fulfilling the promises he made in the MOU the BN signed with Persatuan Hindraf Malaysia (PHB) before the 13GE, clearly a message that Najib will not honour his commitment to provide a fair deal to minority communities. This is a great blow to any serious talk of “national reconciliation”.
  5. The vicious, malevolent and hate-filled reactions to the proposal by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup on Feb. 22 for the omission of the “race” category in all official forms in the country as a major step towards creating a single national identity – like the vitriolic article by Utusan Malaysia (official UMNO newspaper) editor Datuk Zaini Hassan warning that Joseph Kurup’s suggestion was the first step to convince Malays to surrender their bumiputera status and other privileges afforded to the community.

Nobody can missed the fact that in the past 10 months after the 13th General Elections last May, Najib had virtually forgotten or abandoned his 1Malaysia Policy which he promulgated when he first became Prime Minister in April 2009.

It is sad but true that never before had a laudable policy like Najib’s 1Malaysia Policy, with the objective “to make Malaysia more vibrant, more productive and more competitive – and ultimately a greater nation: a nation where, it is hoped, 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", had been met with such dismal failure.

Former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir has gone on public record that Malaysia has never seen worse racial and religious polarization than during Najib’s 1Malaysia policy.

Is this true and if so, why?

Will Najib’s National Reconciliation Plan (NRP) be a repudiation of his 1Malaysia Policy, or will it be a reiteration in the form of a second edition of 1Malaysia Policy, a form of 1Malaysia2.0?

If it is the former, Najib NRP is condemned to failure.

Will it be the latter? If so, to be credible with any hope of success,Najib must first get his Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to declare his support of the NRP by declaring that he, Muhyiddin, is now “Malaysian first, Malay second”!

Is Muhyiddin prepared to do this?

If not, how meaningful can NRP be?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah