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Malaysians Who Love Peace And Bangsa Malaysia Must Stand Up Together To Oppose The Language Of Hatred And Violence As Well As Apartheid In The UMNO General Assembly


Speech at the Selangor DAP State Annual Convention

by Lim Guan Eng

(KlangSunday): Malaysians who love peace and Bangsa Malaysia must stand up together to loudly and clearly oppose the language of racial division hatred and violence in the UMNO General Assembly. Putting the Malay agenda ahead of the Malaysian agenda and espousing racial dominance is no different from South Africa’s universally condemned “apartheid”.

The end of “Bangsa Malaysia” as part of the BN government’s policy was announced by UMNO Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when he said it was not a national policy but only a general concept. In other words Malay special right to continue Malay dominance would not be affected.

That Bangsa Malaysia is no longer part of BN’s government policy is contrary to the national policy of Bangsa Malaysia introduced by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he defined Bangsa Malaysia in Asiaweek’s 6/10/1995 issue as "people being able to identify themselves with the country, speak Bahasa Malaysia and accept the Constitution".

Malaysian national unity is under severe strains with higher intolerance on race and religion as exemplified by extremist threats of UMNO delegates in this general assembly such as:-

  • another repeat of May 13 worse than the racial riots in 1969 that would leave Kuala Lumpur completely devastated and ruined battlefield.
  • Umno is willing to risk lives and bathe in blood in defence of race and religion from non-Muslims or non-Malays.

DAP can not understand how Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi can say that the three days of debate with such violent attacks on other races, was not inflammatory and UMNO can still work for the benefit of all races. Even the UMNO-owned New Straits Times had this to say on 18.11.2006,

 “Anyone plugged into the debate at the Umno general assembly may have come away thinking that this country — built on the blood, sweat and tears of all Malaysians — was in danger of imploding. There was an explosion of sabre-rattling talk. No shortage of bone-chilling warnings. And constant reminders of that black mark in Malaysian history called May 13, 1969.

… Do we need all this blood-curdling talk and constant reminders that blood was shed in 1969. Should every discussion on race and religion be a zero-sum game? Malacca delegate Hasnoor Sidang Hussein reminded party faithful that the time had come for Malays to act against those who undermined Malay rights.

Our tolerance... made those who dared to challenge the Malays and Islam become bolder as they felt no action would be taken against them.’The rest of his statement could not be reproduced because it was clearly seditious.”

UMNO General Assembly A Failure For Condoning Extremism And Hatred Towards Non-Malays And Non-Muslims Coupled With Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s Failure To Reduce The Fuel Price, Did Not Allow Anti-Corruption Agency(ACA) To Act Against UMNO Leaders Involved In Money Politics And Did Not Reaffirm Support For Bangsa Malaysia

The UMNO General assembly is an abject failure for UMNO President and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to be fair and project justice in his administration and for Malaysians who are non-Malays. Fairness demands that Malaysians are treated equally and not divided based on race and religion. Justice demands respect for rule of law.

Not only did UMNO condone extremism and hatred towards non-Malays and non-Mulsim, Abdullah failed to heed the people’s demand for justice by reducing the fuel price in tandem with the fall in international price of oil, allow Anti-Corruption Agency(ACA) to act against UMNO leaders involved in money politics and did not reaffirm support for Bangsa Malaysia as the path towards national unity. If Abdullah had done this then the UMNO General Assembly be a meaningful success for both Malays and other Malaysians.

DAP fails to understand why the government refuses to cut the fuel price to pass on the 25% drop in international oil price these past 2 months to consumers. International oil prices as fallen as much as 25% since its lowest level this year in October 20 at under US$57. It is unreasonable and unethical for certain irresponsible parties to continue to profit at people’s expense despite the drop in international oil prices especially the huge profits earned by Petronas from high fuel prices. The people has a right to enjoy the benefits from these oil proceeds as oil resources belong to the people and not to any particular company or individual.

Mukhriz Mahathri Is Correct That Abdullah Speech Is Only Empty Rhetoric But No Action

His anti-corruption campaign has stalled with abuse of power and corruption worse than at any time since he became Prime Minister. When Abdullah took over as Prime Minister in 2003, Malaysia was ranked No. 37 with a score of 5.2 under the Transparency Institute’s(TI) Corruption Perception Index(CPI). He promised to achieve a ranking of No. 30 with a score of 6.5 in 2008. However such promise will likely not be fulfilled when in 2006 Malaysia’s ranking has slipped to No. 44 with a score of 5.0.

The best way for Abdullah to prove he is still committed in fighting corruption is by respecting the rule of law in allowing the ACA to act against UMNO leaders suspended for being involved in money politics. Instead not only as Abdullah failed to do so, he has even appointed the symbol of UMNO money politics, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, as a Senator.

And Abdullah’s failure to take action against BN politicians who openly flout the laws they are supposed to uphold and enforce, where such shameful abuses were by Majlis Perbandaran Klang(MPK) Councillors and former councilors. The 8 councilors and ex-councillors who failed to submit plans for their houses or properties are Port Klang state assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros’, Kapar Umno Youth chief Faizal Abdullah, Mazlynoor Abdul Latiff, Klang Umno vice-president Nasaruddin Zin, Kapar Umno secretary Samak Ahmad, Klang Umno acting Youth chief Zainuri Zakaria, Kapar MCA Youth chief Datuk Song Kee Chai and Klang MIC chief Alex Thiagarasan.

Malaysians regardless of race are asking why no action was taken to tear down their illegal houses and properties when they did not even submit their plans but yet the Tou Boo Keong temple in Bukit Mertajam was torn down because it was an illegal building. How can Abdullah ensure fairness when there are such double-standards?

Mukhriz Mahathir is correct that Abdullah’s speech is old news and Abdullah is good at rhetoric that is not followed up with action. For saying the truth, Mukhriz is now isolated and marginalized by UMNO Youth. Again this shows that Abdullah does not mean what he says or say what he means when he wants to hear the truth. How can ordinary Malaysians dare to tell him the truth when his own UMNO leaders who tell him the truth are victimized?

If Abdullah’s speech is titled “Fulfilling Promises” then he must fulfill his promise to listen to those who speak the truth and return back to the principle of justice as the core in his administration.


* Lim Guan Eng,  Secretary-General of DAP

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