The most meaningful way to celebrate Malaysia’s 60th National Day celebrations is to launch a national movement to save the country from the politics of lies, hate and fear to ensure that what happened in Manchester, Jakarta and Egypt in the past week never happen in Malaysia

The past week had been a sober reminder that we are living in dangerous times, with the senseless bombings and killings in Manchester, Jakarta and Egypt, causing the death of over 50 innocent lives and the injury of scores of others as a result of bigotry, intolerance and extremism.

In Malaysia, there has recently been an intensification of the politics of lies, hate and fear coupled with irresponsible politics of race and religion which must be condemned by all right-thinking Malaysians who want the country to be an oasis of peace, tolerance, harmony and goodwill in the midst of diverse races, religions and cultures.

Malaysia can and must be a showcase to the world that diverse races, religions and cultures can live in peace, tolerance, harmony and understanding and not in bigotry, intolerance or strife.

The recent spate of unhealthy, disruptive and dangerous politics of lies, hate and religion, coupled with the irresponsible politics of race and religion, include the following incidents:

  • The emergence of a culture of violence, as witnessed by two “slap” incidents, one in the presence of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak where film director David Teoh was slapped during a Transformation Nasional 50 (TN50) dialogue session at the Prime Minister’s presence; and the second incident, where Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng’s information officer, Major Zaidi Ahmad, who was slapped at a demonstration outside a Penang mosque when Zaidi asked the leader of the demonstration to explain his accusation against the Penang government.
  • The deaths threats on the Internet against Selangor DAP state committee member, Edry Faizal Eddy Yusof, as part of the scurrilous hate-and-damn DAP campaign falsely accusing DAP as anti-Malay and anti-Islam;
  • The “Lim Kit Siang is racist” writing contest organized by UMNO Information Chief, Datuk Annuar Musa.
  • A University Utara Malaysia (UUM) lecturer who lodged a police report falsely accusing the Selangor State Assembly Speaker Hannah Yeoh that her book “Becoming Hannah – a Personal Journey” published in 2014 was an attempt to proselytise Muslims when it was a story of Hannah’s personal journey on how she got into politics as a good Christian.
  • The memorandum by the UUM lecturer to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to deregister the DAP, falsely alleging that the DAP opposed Islam’s position as the official religion of the country as well as the position of the Malays and the Orang Asli in Sabah and Sarawak. Clearly this lecturer is not aware of the Pakatan Rakyat Common Policy Framework of which the DAP was a signatory, and it would be interesting to know of the hundred other academicians who allegedly endorsed this memorandum seeking the deregistration of the DAP by the ROS.

The country is celebrating Malaysia’s 60th National Day anniversary this year, and the most meaningful way to mark such celebrations is to launch a national movement to save the country from the politics of lies, hate and fear to ensure that what happened in Manchester, Jakarta and Egypt in the past week do not happen in Malaysia

Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or even politics, must unite to re-set nation-building directions and policies for Malaysians to compete with the rest of the world and not to fight among ourselves to be more divided and lose out in the international race of nations for development and progress.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah