Wrong question to ask: “What Malays do you want?” when the question should be: “What Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Dayaks do you want?”

Somebody asked: “What Malays do you want?”

That is a wrong question to ask. The right question is “What Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Dayaks do you want?”

I recently came into possession of a classified 1969 document which was declassified on 24th February, 2020 – the statement I made to the police while in police custody at the Kuala Selangor Police Station lock-up under the Internal Security Act after I voluntarily flew back to Malaysia on 18th May 1969.

I was asked about my political views and my political plans and this is what I said to the Police in 1969:

“83. Like any colleagues in the DAP, I believe:

(a) That Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society, and that a viable Malaysian nation can only be formed if all the races and groups in the country are given an equal stake in the Malaysian sun.

(b) that in a multi-racial society like Malaysia, violence and any ideology of force, as for instance advocated by the CPM can only lead to the disintegration of the country because it quickly degenerates into racial conflict. I therefore deplore force and violence of all forms.

(c) that in a multi-racial society, if any racial group feels it is backward, either educationally, economically, culturally, linguistically, or politically, then racial antagonism will be created. Every attempt must be made to remove these imbalances between the races and groups.

(d) that poverty is not a communal problem. It is a socio-economic problem. To regard poverty as a racial problem is to increase racial antagonism in this country.

(e) that democratic socialism can close the gap between the haves and the have-nots of all races.

(f) that I want a clean, honest, efficient, incorruptible and effective government.

(g) that only parliamentary democracy can prevent a racial clash. Any other form of government will only lead to racial mistrust.

(h) that communism is unconducive in a multi-racial society like Malaysia.

“My Future Plan

“84. I intend to continue with my political work in the DAP to help bring about a genuine nation of Malaysians:

(a) where every citizen, regardless of his race, language or religion, regards himself as a Malaysian first and his racial identity secondary;

(b) where Malaysians of all races have more in common with one another than with their ‘blood brothers’ counterpart may they be in China, India or Indonesia. Unless we can achieve this, Malaysia cannot be said to have become “A Nation of Malaysians”.

85. Inside and outside Parliament, my and my party’s theme will continue to be:

(a) that all Malaysians must be Malaysian conscious;

(b) to work in unison to make Malaysia a united, harmonious and prosperous nation.”

My answer to the police 54 years ago is the best answer to the question: “What Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Dayaks do you want?”

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri