09 June 2013

Learn to be Malaysian, Kit Siang tells Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 ― Lim Kit Siang today called Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad the “greatest enemy of multiracial Malaysia” and told him “learn to be a Malaysian” as he continued his party’s retaliation against the former prime minister’s racially-charged attacks.

The veteran DAP lawmaker reminded Dr Mahathir that it was he who fathered the “Bangsa Malaysia” concept and Vision 2020, two progressive ideals that envisaged a peace-loving, developed and multiracial Malaysia in the years ahead.

“Has Dr Mahathir completely repudiated his Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia concept?” Lim asked in a statement here.

“Dr Mahathir has become the greatest enemy of a multi-racial Malaysia. Let me advise Dr Mahathir to stop being an inveterate racist and learn to be a Malaysian,” he added.

The Gelang Patah MP was responding to Dr Mahathir’s latest tirade against the DAP in which the latter had again appeared to blame the opposition party for rallying the Chinese against the Malays during the just-concluded Election 2013.

In a blog posting earlier this week, the influential former prime minister said that the results of the May 5 polls had demonstrated the existence of “Chinese racism”, which he alleged was fanned by the DAP to ensure the community’s domination of Malaysian politics.

His accusation reflected the strident tone of Umno’s right-wing elements, as several politicians from the ruling party and the party’s mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia continue to frame the May 5 polls as a Chinese-versus-Malay vote.

“The DAP playing on racial sentiments drew the Chinese away from BN (Barisan Nasional) by depicting the MCA as lackeys of Umno,” Dr Mahathir wrote.

“If today the schism between the races is deeper, it is because the DAP reject the Malay/Chinese/Indian ‘kongsi... Racial polarisation has become more pronounced as a result. It will become more so in the future’,” he added, referring to BN’s power-sharing concept among its race-based component parties.

Dr Mahathir also claimed that the majority of protesters at Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) recent rallies against electoral fraud were Chinese youths.

Lim said his long-time arch-nemesis was trying his level best to stop the rise of the new tide in Malaysian politics, where support for the opposition appears to be burgeoning and calls for an end to race-based politics growing louder.

“It is most shocking and outrageous that after 22 years as prime minister and after fathering Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia, Dr Mahathir should return to his racist roots during and after the 13th general election to foment racial conflict and tensions,” the DAP parliamentarian said.

He said Dr Mahathir’s blaming of “Chinese racism” for the outcome of the polls was irresponsible and “unworthy” of a man who had run the nation for over two decades.

“Worst of all, a person who fathered Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia,” Lim repeated.

But the federal lawmaker said Dr Mahathir was speaking to a “diminishing” crowd of supporters these days, claiming Malaysians were now more interested in the struggle to look past racial boundaries to a country that prioritises justice, good governance and prosperity for all.

“This is why I say Dr Mahathir is trying to be King Canute a thousand years ago to command that the tide should not rise ― in the same way as he is setting his face against the rising tide of the politics of a Malaysian Dream and an end to the politics of race,” Lim said.


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