Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 2nd April 2010:
Najib’s first anniversary marked with his 1Malaysia signature theme in complete tatters – will the NEM go the same way as 1Malaysia?
Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s first anniversary as sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia is marked with his 1Malaysia signature theme in complete tatters, raising the question whether the other pillar of his premiership, New Economic Model unveiled three days ago will go the same way as his 1Malaysia slogan.
When Deputy Speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar made an arbitrary last-minute rejection of my amendment to the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address late last night, provoking a collective protest walk-out of the Chambers by Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament from PAS, PKR and DAP, it was not only a black-letter day for parliamentary democracy but also for Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and slogan.
I had moved the amendment motion for the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme Roadmap to monitor and report on its progress and development at the conclusion of my speech in the debate on the Royal Address two weeks ago on March 18, and it was seconded by the PAS MP for Kuala Krai Dr. Mohd Hatta bin Mohd Ramli and had been accepted by the Chair.
It is against all parliamentary precedents and practices for the amendment motion, which had been properly moved, seconded and accepted two weeks ago, to be suddenly rejected at the last-minute just before voting on the specious ground that it had nothing to do with the Royal Address.
If so, why was the amendment to the motion accepted for two weeks? Why did it take the Chair two weeks to discover that it had nothing to do with the Royal Address?
Such a ruling is also against all accepted parliamentary precedents and practices for the debate on the Royal Address is a general policy debate of the government-of-the-day and it defies all imagination that it could be claimed that the proposed establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap had nothing to do with government policies and programmes.
Is anyone suggesting that the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) is an illicit and illegitimate government programme – making Senator Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and illicit and illegitimate Minister?
Equally unfortunate and tragic, what happened in Parliament yesterday provoking the protest walkout of PR MPs is also a black-letter day for Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and slogan – tearing them to tatters after exposing the chasm between words and deeds on the Prime Minister’s signature slogan.
Why is the Barisan Nasional Government tooth-and-nail against the formation of a 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap, when it should welcome parliamentary recognition and support for the programme?
The answer is simple and straightforward – the 1Malaysia concept and slogan is a fake which cannot stand scrutiny.
March 31 will go down in history as the day that Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and slogan were torn into tatters, not by the Opposition but by the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when he declared that he is “a Malay first and then only a Malaysian” – completely rejecting the “goal of 1Malaysia” as documented in the 262-page 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme Roadmap of “a nation where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second”. (page 11 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap)
As a result of Muhyiddin’s “I am a Malay first and then only a Malaysian” statement, which has created a firestorm of outrage and protest as evident from the avalanche of adverse comments particularly on twitter, Facebook and Internet media like Malaysiakini and MalaysianInsider, the entire Cabinet had been forced to line up to back up Muhyiddin.
This was why Parliament last night saw the pathetic spectacle of the Minister responsible for 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, twisting and turning when he was repeatedly challenged to declare whether he is “Malaysian first and Chinese second” or “Chinese first and Malaysian second”?
I have no doubt that before Muhyiddin’s declaration on March 31 that he is “Malay first and Malaysian second”, Koh would have no hesitation in saying that he is “Malaysian first and Chinese second” when asked.
However, after Muhyiddin’s declaration, Koh did not even dare to declare that he is “Malaysian first and Chinese second” when repeatedly asked in Parliament last night, for fear of stepping on Muhyiddin’s toes.
In fact, Koh was specifically warned not to give an answer which is different from that given by Muhyiddin and endorsed earlier in Parliament by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, causing Koh to twist and turn to avoid answering when challenged to declare his stand.
So is Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and slogan a step forward or a step backward for Malaysian nation building?
Clearly it is not progress but regress when Koh now dare not declare in Parliament that he is “Malaysian first and Chinese second”, a position he would have no hesitation in making before Muhyiddin’s “Malay first, Malaysian second” declaration on March 31!
As a result of having to back Muhyiddin’s statement, Nazri had to resort to perverse logic and dubious reasoning, even suggesting that 1Malaysia is somehow against the Malaysian Constitution – a position which I reject outright.
This is why Nazri’s challenge to me to table a motion to amend the Malaysian Constitution to delete the word “Malay” in the constitution is completely inappropriate , off-tangent and irrelevant to the issue as to whether Cabinet Ministers are prepared to set an example of 1Malaysia by declaring that they are Malaysians first and their ethnic identities second.
There is no need to amend the Malaysian Constitution to attain the 1Malaysia objective,which is why one of the four 1Malaysia acid tests I had formulated is whether Barisan Nasional Ministers agree that the Malaysian Constitution is based on the principle of “ketuanan rakyat Malaysia” and not “ketuanan Melayu”.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor