In playing the race and religious cards at 71st UMNO anniversary, Najib has wiped out the credibility of his Vesak Day speech that extremism should be “very few on the fringe”

In playing the race and religious cards at the 71st UMNO anniversary last night, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razaak has wiped out the credibility of his Vesak Day speech that extremism should be “very few on the fringe”.

This is because Najib had given extremism the centre stage when he said last night: “For PAS, DAP is the enemy of Islam, while for Umno, DAP is the enemy of the Malays.”

This is part of the UMNO/BN demonization campaign of lies, hate and fear which Najib had directed UMNO cybertroopers to launch against the DAP in the middle of last month.

Over the decades, DAP had worked for a Malaysian cause with Malay and Muslim leaders, whether from PAS, UMNO or other parties, including Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Tan Sri Rais Yatim, Datuk Fadzil Noor, Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Mohamad Sabu, among many others.

Is it seriously suggested that the three former Prime Ministers, Tengku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein and Tun Mahathir, one-time UMNO stalwarts like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzan, Tan Sri Rais Yatim, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, former PAS President Fadzil Nor and former PAS Mursyidul Am Nik Aziz had been puppets and stooges of DAP to serve DAP’s anti-Malay and anti-Islam objectives?

Is it seriously suggested that Malay and Muslim leaders in the DAP - National laureate Pak Samad; MPs Zairil Khir Johari, Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri and Dr. Ariffin Omar; Pahang State Assembly Opposition Leader, Tengku Zulpuri Shah; Municipal Councillors Syerleena Abdul Rashid, Mohamad Shaipol bin Ismail, Edry Faizal Yusuf, Young Syefura Othman, Ahmad Irfan, Iza Suraiya Aya Zainudin, Shakir Ameer Mohidin, Jamaliah Jamaluddin, Mohamad bin Samat, Ahzaman Mat Noor, Noor Sulisiah Ampira Wani bt Miswan Alwi; or Malay intellectuals like former law professor Abdul Aziz Bari or former Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim are all anti-Malay and anti-Islam?

Najib wants all Malays to hate DAP and PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang wants all Muslims to reject DAP.

The future of successful Malaysian nation-building will be determined by whether Malays and Muslims will see through the fallacies and lies of such falsehoods for in our five decades of political struggle, DAP had never been anti-Malay or anti-Islam - as DAP had always been a party for all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region.

The 1.73 million voters or 15.71 per cent of the electorate who voted for DAP candidates in the 13thGeneral Election on May 5, 2013 was not an anti-Malay and anti-Islam vote, but a vote by Malaysians regardless of race or religion in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream for a Malaysia where all citizens, regardless of race, religion or region, have a rightful place under the Malaysian sun.

DAP leaders, who come from diverse ethnic and religious groups – including Malays and Muslims - never aspire to be leaders of only one ethnic or religious group, as we always see ourselves as representing all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region.

No person can be a Malaysian leader if he or she is against any one race or concerned only about the rights and interests of only one community – as Malaysian leaders must set an example of rising above the racial, religious and regional differences in the country to serve the common national weal.

It need not be gainsaid that it had been frustrating and exasperating down to decades to be accused of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam when the DAP had never been so, when a DAP MP had crossed racial and religious barriers and gone to jail and lost his position as Member of Parliament for defending the honour of an underaged Malay girl.

But DAP leaders and members – Malays and non-Malays, Muslims and non-Muslims – will not bow down to such extremism whether of race or religion because we are Malaysian patriots and want to see multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural Malaysia succeed as a top world-class nation.

We are comforted by the fact that the escalation of UMNO demonization campaign of lies, hate and fear against the DAP is not because after 51 years, DAP had suddenly become a national threat, but because of the realization and fear by UMNO leaders that UMNO is fast losing the support and confidence of the majority of Malay voters because the top UMNO leaders of today have deviated from the principles and objectives of the UMNO forefathers.

DAP leaders, whether Malays or non-Malays, will not knuckle to the demonization politics of lies, hate and fear but we shall soldier on, for the fulfilment of the Malaysian Dream for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.

I call on all political parties to focus on how to save Malaysia from becoming a kleptocratic state and getting into the trajectory of a failed and rogue state by restoring our capability to compete with the rest of the world – and to renounce the politics of lies, curses, hate and fear, whether racial or religious, to create suspicion, distrust, hatred, animosities and fear among ourselves.

In my message of felicitation to UMNO yesterday, I had said that the time was well past for UMNO to tip-toe around the humongous international 1MDB scandal and end the charade that Malaysia is not regarded as a “global kleptocracy”, but to take the bull by the horns to rebut and refute the infamy and ignominy of Malaysia as a “global kleptocracy” or to purge and cleanse the country of such ignominy and infamy.

Sadly, such a commitment was singularly missing in the 71st UMNO bash – which will be unforgettable for the unprecedented splash of freebees worth over a million ringgit yesterday.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah