If I want to betray my principles for justice, freedom, integrity and Malaysian Dream, I should have done it fifty years ago in the 1970s when I could become a Cabinet Minister in my late twenties or early thirties and not wait until I am eighty years old!
I am in the rare situation for a Malaysian – accused by extremist and irresponsible Malay politicians as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Royalty on the one hand and by extremist and irresponsible Chinese politicians on the other as having betrayed the Malaysian Chinese rights, position and future on the other.
At present, I am probably more attacked on the Chinese social and mass media in Malaysia of having sold out the rights, position and future of the Malaysian Chinese than in the Malay social and mass media for being anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Royalty.
I would like to know who is the second person in Malaysia who is the victim of such baseless pincer attacks – one and the same time of being accused of being anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Royalty while being attacked for having sold out the rights, position and future of the Chinese in Malaysia!
In fact, I wonder how a person could do both such things at the same time.
But let me say at the outset, if I want to betray my principles for justice, freedom, integrity and the Malaysian Dream, I should have done it fifty years ago in the 1970s when I could become a Cabinet Minister in my late twenties or early thirties and not wait until I am eighty years old!
And there is no need for me to be detained twice under the Internal Security Act and to go through so many hardships in my 55 years in Malaysian politics.
I have dedicated 55 years of my life to the pursuit of the Malaysian Dream – a Malaysia which is a world-class great nation where the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans and orang Asli come out of their own universes to interact with other communities; to learn, appreciate and accept that Malaysia is not to be identified with any one community but with all the different communities who have made the land their mother country!
In other words, a Malaysian is a Chinese who is not 100 per cent Chinese but has an extra dimension which could be described as Malaysia-plus; a Malay who is not 100 per cent Malay but with a Malaysia-plus dimension; an Indian who is not 100 per cent Indian and an Iban, Kadazan or Orang Asli who is not 100 per cent Iban, Kadazan or Orang Asli but with a Malaysia-plus dimension!
Eleven days ago, I declared that DAP does not have any de-Chinese, de-Malay, de-Indian, de-Kadazan, de-Iban or de-Orang Asli policy, but the very opposite, we want Malaysians to accept that they will have multiple identities – ethnic, religious, cultural, regional – but that they are first and foremost Malaysians!
There is no “de-Chinese” DAP policy to “dilute its Chineseness to belittle or degrade itself just to gain Malay support”, or de-Malay, de-Indian, de-Iban, de-Kadazan or de-Orang Asli DAP policy.
A Malay, Indian, Iban, Kadazan or orang Asli joining the DAP is not asked to de-Malay, de-Indian, de-Iban, de-Kadazan or de-Orang Asli as we want Malaysians to be proud of their respective and different ethnicity, religion, culture or region as Malaysians will have multiple identities but we want every Malaysian to accept that he or she is first and foremost a Malaysian!
I am not saying this only now as I have been pursuing this Malaysian Dream in my whole life.
On March 18, 2010 in Parliament during the Royal Address debate where I challenged Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was then the Deputy Prime Minister, whether he was Malaysian first and Malay second, I had already stated in Parliament that I was a Malaysian first and Chinese second.
I am proud of my ethnicity but I have always believed that all Malaysians must rise above their ethnic, cultural, religious and geographic differences to seek a common bond with the Malaysian identity transcending all ethnic, cultural, religious and geographic identities.
DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng had been accused of declaring he was not a Chinese when he stressed that he would be Finance Minister for all Malaysians and not just for the Chinese in Malaysia.
Only the most mentally retarded would believe that any Malaysian would say that he or she is not a Chinese, Malay, Indian, Iban, Kadazan or Orang Asli when emphasising that he or she is a Malaysian.
No DAP leader would say he or she is ashamed of his or her ethnic, religious, cultural or regional identity when stressing that he or she is a Malaysian first and foremost.
Let us have a honest debate about the future of Malaysia and DAP but do not use lies, falsehoods, half-truths, fake news and distorted sayings.
We must not give up our Malaysian Dream for Malaysia to be a world-class great nation.
We rejected kleptocracy in the 14th General Election.
Let Malaysians reject kakistocracy in the 15th General Election.