Did Paul Low imply that the Najib Cabinet is not a “God-fearing” one, which is why the country is inundated with so many political, economic and nation-building crisis?

Yesterday, I had asked what the ”cryptic” speech of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Paul Low at the Christmas high-tea reception organised by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) really meant – when he said that if the government is God-fearing, then there would be no need for him to be in the Cabinet.

To the overwhelming majority of literate Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or politics, it could only mean two things:

Firstly, the Najib Cabinet is not a God-fearing one, and needs God-fearing Ministers to ensure that it does not completely lose its moral compass; and

Secondly, Low is “God-fearing”, and he is either fighting a very lonely battle or in any event, fighting a losing battle among a handful of “God-fearing” Ministers who are committed to a national and sacred mission to ensure that the Cabinet keeps to the straight and narrow path of serving the people and nation and not just themselves and their cronies.

Who are the other Cabinet Ministers who are “God-fearing”, whether Muslim or non-Muslim?

Furthermore, was Low implying that the country was inundated with so many political, economic and nation-building crisis precisely because the Najib Cabinet is not “God-fearing”?

Is this what Low meant? if not, what did he mean by his speech on Christmas Day?

It is not open to Low to decline to explain the meaning of his Christmas speech, for if he is so “God-fearing”, surely he is not fearful of explaining what he actually meant?

Was Low being conceited or humble – conceited in claiming himself to be a “God fearing man”; humble for conceding that he is not “God fearing” enough, as the Cabinet is crawling with Ministers who are not “God fearing:”!

This is not the only controversy of Low’s Christmas speech, the other surprise was Low’s Quixotic attempt to resurrect Najib’s 1Malaysia signature policy when Najib himself appeared to have cremated and buried the 1Malaysia Policy after the 13th General Election almost two years eight months ago!

Low urged the Christian community to back up 1Malaysia, although in the past 32 months, all Cabinet Ministers, even the the father of 1Malaysia, the Prime Minister himself, have virtually abandoned the 1Malaysia policy apart from perfunctory acknowledgement of its existence in the Najib pantheon of policies.

Low said:

“We ridicule and do not believe in it (1Malaysia) because certain people and leaders said certain things and looks like we are not serious about it. Sometimes, we even implement policies that contradict the spirit of 1Malaysia.

“Nevertheless, I believe in the spirit of 1Malaysia.

“I want to ask the Christian community and other communities – come back to promote 1Malaysia.

“1Malaysia should be more about the values we uphold and not about ethnicity. We can find common values among ethnic and religious groups,” he said.

Was Low serious in his speech at the Christmas High Tea or was he just speaking for the sake of speaking, not expecting his speech to be taken seriously in any manner?

In the past 32 months, how many times had Low raised in Cabinet to urge the Prime Minister and Ministers to be serious in promoting the 1Malaysia policy, and to roll back the rising tide of the politics of race and religion, hate and falsehood built upon race and religious rhetoric, and to move beyond sheer gimmicry of 1Malaysia to serious nation-building policy based on the 1Malaysia objective to create a nation where everyone regards himself or herself as a Malaysian first, race, religion, region or socio-economic background second?

Najib himself was a poor specimen of his own 1Malaysia poiicy, or he would not have asked the question in his UMNO presidential speech at the UMNO General Assembly on Dec. 10 whether he should be an Malay ultra or be pro-Malay only, and whether he must be Islamic or not.

Had Najib forgotten about the 1Malaysia policy when he delivered his UMNO Presidential Address after six years and seven months as the Prime Minister of Malaysia – after tens and even hundreds of million of ringgit had been spent on 1Malaysia promotional products?

It would appear that Najib’s premiership is adrift and at sea, bereft of any direction or vision for Malaysia.

Did Low raise at any Cabinet meeting after Najib’s UMNO Presidential Address on Dec. 10 that something was amiss about the 1Malaysia Policy and asked the Prime Minister and the Cabinet whether the government is still serious about the 1Malaysia Policy and committed to it?

Or are we seeing the spectacle of Najib’s government degenerating into a “tail wagging the dog” phenomenon, where small cogs in the wheels of government are controlling and setting the pace and direction of government, as for instance, a department like Biro Tata Negara (BTN) disregarding the 1Malaysia Policy and continuing to ensure that the “Ketuanan Melayu” ideology is the directing policy of the government and which regards non-Malays as “orang tumpang” and not sons and daughters of the Malaysian soil.

If Malaysia is to succeed as a nation, taking our rightful place in the international community as a plural society which punches above our weight because of our political, economic, educational, socio-cultural and nation-building achievements, we must ensure that more and more Malaysians embrace the 1Malaysia concept and reject narrow and exclusive racial, religious and cultural interpretations of the Malaysian narrative.

What Malaysia needs are not Malay ultras, Chinese ultras, Indian ultras, Iban ultras or Kadazan ultras but Malaysian ultras!

Why should the Prime Minister of Malaysia be struggling with whether he should be a Malay ultra or not, if he is still loyal to the 1Malaysia Policy and his declaration that he is the Prime Minister of all Malaysians, and not just of any ethnic group only?

Can Low respond to these questions arising from his speech at the Christmas High Tea on Thursday?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah