Will Najib set a “wasatiyyah” example instead of leading a campaign of lies and falsehoods against the Opposition in the run-up to the 14GE?

Will the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak set a “wasatiyyah” example and not lead a campaign of lies and falsehoods against the Opposition?

It is most unfortunate that in his UMNO Presidential Speech on Thursday, beating the war-drums for the impending 14th General Election, Najib spearheaded a campaign of lies and falsehoods against the Opposition.

He accused DAP of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam, that “DAP yang terang terang Anti-Melayu dan Islam, sebagai tercatat dalam perlembagaan DAP, langsung tidak meyebut Islam sebagai Agama Persekutuan”. Another Najib argument why the DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam is DAP’s commitment for a secular Malaysia.

Present at the 71st UMNO General Assembly opening were the leaders of the other 12 Barisan Nasional component parties, such as MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties.

Is Najib aware that his baseless attack on the DAP as anti-Malay and anti-Islam applies in equal measure to the 12 other BN component parties, as his criticism that “tercatat dalam perlembagaan, langsung tidak sebut Islam sebagai Agama Persekutuan” applies to all the other 12 BN component parties as well?

Is Najib accusing the other 12 component parties of Barisan Nasional of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam just because of this?

In the Preamble to the DAP Constitution, the Party declared:

“The Merdeka Constitution is a secular document, instilled with the principles of democracy, freedom, rule of law, and respect of human rights; and imbued with the ideals of accountability, equality, justice and human dignity.

“Such principles can be a force of unity and integration not only between our nation’s disparate races, religions and cultures but also between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

“By espousing these ideals, Malaysians can move forward where democracy and economic development goes together; where freedom does not mean oppression; where equality of opportunity is preferred to equality of outcome; where rule of law ensures social justice; where wealth creation is accompanied by equitable wealth distribution; and where spreading economic prosperity does not breed rampant corruption.”

The DAP Constitution enumerated the following objectives of the party, viz:

  1. To strive by parliamentary constitutional means for the establishment of a social democracy in Malaysia;
  2. To reaffirm and restore the Malaysian Constitution in its original secular framework as the supreme law of the land which respects democratic values and basic human rights that gives every Malaysian citizen equal and equitable rights;
  3. To promote national integration with Sabah and Sarawak, recognize their special rights and infuse a national spirit and unity amongst all races to forge a common identity of a united Malaysian Malaysia;
  4. To acknowledge the fundamental right of freedom of religion which encompasses the freedom of the respective religions from being subject to oppressive laws and discriminatory acts;
  5. To uphold and affirm Bahasa Malaysia as the national language; and guarantees the obligation duty and right to promote the status, expand learn and use other mother tongue languages including Chinese, Tamil, English and native tongues;
  6. To establish integrity, ethics, compassion as core moral values to promote transparency as well as a liberal approach, mutual respect give form and substance to people empowerment and participation in decision-making based on the principles of equality, free, fair and independent electoral process as well as freedom of the press;
  7. To grant equal opportunity and spread economic prosperity for all premised on value creation in a competitive market and an economic order that places equal emphasis on wealth creation and an equitable wealth distribution;
  8. To pledge to improve educational standards based strictly on merits and needs, and provide full access and equal opportunities at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, especially knowledge-based IT sectors;
  9. To protect workers and trade union rights under a framework of a right to work, provide for a fair and decent wage of workers and maintain their real wages to ensure prosperity and a decent standard of living for all;
  10. To eliminate all forms of gender bias against women in employment, education and health;
  11. To empower youths by giving them choice and access to power whilst instilling in them a sense of duty and responsibility;
  12. To secure justice and security for all by upholding the rule of law, establishment and protection of safe neighbourhoods and secure communities;
  13. To institutionalize accountability and transparency that checks corruption and financial malpractices as well as establish integrity and trust in governance;
  14. To offer affordable, accessible and accountable public health services that guarantees the needs of the sick, infirm and aged; and
  15. To prevent further environmental degradation and destruction to preserve our natural heritage that is clean, healthy and safe.

Can Najib explain how he could honestly and honourably claim that the DAP’s Constitution, based on the Preamble and the Objects, “terang-terang Anti-Melayu dan Islam sebagai tercatat dalam perlembagaan DAP”?

I feel more sad than angry that the Prime Minister of plural Malaysia should resort to such despicable and dangerous tactics to hang on to power and to divert attention from the great issues of the country, especially economic development and justice for Malaysians, educational excellence, integrity and good governance.

Najib said in his speech that UMNO is not racist or anti-Chinese.

From the very beginning of my political life, I have always held to the belief that no leader or political party which claims to be Malaysian can be anti any race or anti any religion in Malaysia because this is to fly against the reality of Malaysia as a plural nation of diverse races and religions.

I have never accused UMNO as anti-Chinese. Why is Najib throwing political principles, integrity and respect for truth to the winds and accuse the DAP as anti-Malay and anti-Islam?

Najib in his speech painted a doomsday scenario for the Malays and Islam if UMNO and Barisan Nasional are defeated in the 14th General Election.

Would Najib stop such irresponsible politicking and set a “wasatiyyah” example instead of leading a campaign of lies and falsehoods against the Opposition in the run-up to the 14th General Election?

The 14th General Election is critical and crucial test whether Malaysia is capable of becoming a normal democratic country to make the country a top world achiever in every field of human endeavour.

Countries which are normal democratic countries, like in Europe, United States, Australia, Canada, the United States, and in Asia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Philippines and increasingly Indonesia, everyone accepts the democratic principle that the government-of-the-day is decided through the ballot boxes, and there are no political leaders who aspire to become “maharajas” or “maharaja-wannabes” with “thousand-year rule” visions.

Is Najib prepared to prove that he is a democrat by declaring that he would accept the democratic verdict of the people in the 14th General Election and will peacefully and democratically hand over power if this is the decision of the Malaysian voters in the 14th General Election?

No race or religion is facing a doomsday scenario if Malaysia becomes a normal democratic country, where the principle that the people decides who should form the government is fully entrenched in the political system and ethos of the country.

By the very nature of the elective system at least for every five years, if Pakatan Harapan replaces UMNO/Barisan Nasional as the Federal Government in Putrajaya, the new Pakatan Harapan government will have to prove that it is better than the UMNO/BN government in protecting and promoting the rights and interests of all racial and religious groups in the country, especially the Malays and Islam, or it will lose the mandate to govern and face rejection in the subsequent general election five years later.

Is Najib aware of the implications when he made the scurrilous and baseless allegation that the DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam because the DAP stands for a secular Malaysia.

The first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn had stood for a secular Malaysia.

Is Najib suggesting that the first three Prime Ministers, including his father Tun Razak and his uncle Tun Hussein had been anti-Malay and anti-Islam?

Is Najib suggesting that President Joko Widowo and Indonesia are anti-Islam because Indonesia stands for a secular nation, although Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world?

UMNO under Najib has lost its plot when it is offering up as role models for Malaysians in the march towards TN 2050 people like Umno Wanita chief, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil who has no compunction delivering “hate speeches” and the Sungai Besar UMNO division chief Jamal Md Yunos who has no hesitation in taking the law into his own hands with utter contempt for the law enforcement officers – as in the case of former Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Malaysians must decide in the 14th GE whether they want to put their future in the hands of the Shahrizats and Jamal Yunoses.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah