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Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 12th February 2010: 


Will Najib now ask Umno executive secretary Abdul Rauf Yusoh to resign for doing a Nasir Safar at an Umno Club function in London?

The denial by Umno executive secretary Datuk Abdul Rauf Yusoh that he had made racist remarks at an Umno Club function in London a few days ago is most revealing for its self-incriminatory and confessional nature.

Rauf, who led an Umno delegation to London to meet with party members in a private closed-door meeting earlier this week was alleged to refer to non-Malays as "bangsa asing" who were trampling on the Malays in "Tanah Melayu".

In a letter sent to The Malaysian Insider, Ahmad Naim Mazlan, a first-year finance and accounting student heard Rauf saying "Jangan biarkan bangsa asing pijak kepala kita." (Don't let the foreigners walk all over our heads.)

Ahmad Naim said in his letter:

"There was also a vigorous defence of Datuk Nasir Safar's recent comments against non Malays which branded non Malays as beggars and prostitutes. According to one Umno Youth exco member present, those comments were not racist but quite contrarily, 'just facts'бн.

"Throughout the session, non-Malays were treated as the enemy, and whilst they did praise Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, there was no mention of 1 Malaysia, unity or multiracial nation-building. During some moments in the session, they sounded nothing less than Vikings on the path to war - an Umno Youth exco said something to the effect of Umno willing to fight to the death the threats made by non-Malays. These threats were, strangely enough, never detailed….

"Whatever one thinks of Umno's sloganeering via 1 Malaysia, the fact is that if even these individuals cannot help but promote the diametric opposite to what 1Malaysia is supposed to entail, then what hope is there for Umno and BN?

"As much as what Najib says and does count above all else, it is most shameful that his generals are doing their best to derail the Malaysian dream. Najib's decision to fire his aide only last week was commendable, but he was just an aide. Will he take similar measures against people with positions in the party who speak out against 1 Malaysia? I may be just a kid yet, but if Najib is to succeed as a reformist, then he must make sure the entire - or at least much of the party - follows suit."

The question asked by the first-year finance and accounting student, who is son of a life-long Umno member, is most pertinent and valid.

Will Najib now ask Umno executive secretary Abdul Rauf Yusoh to resign for doing a Nasir Safar at an Umno Club function in London?

This question is all the more relevant as Abdul Rauf, in his denial of having made any derogatory remarks, has compounded his offence and insensitivity by virtually admitting what Ahmad Naim had written, except to give the excuse that he was speaking at "a closed-door meeting and no one outside should be listening in to what was being discussed".

Najib should clarify whether he endorses Abdul Raul's contention that it was all right for Umno leaders to share Nasir Safar's racist views at the Malacca 1Malaysia seminar labelling Indians and Chinese in Malaysia as "pendatang" and that "Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese especially the women came to sell their bodies" so long as they are expressed in internal Umno forums and not publicly?

Would every Umno Minister and MP be required to publicly declare whether they agree with Nasir Safar or not?

How can Najib convince Malaysians that he is sincere and serious about his 1Malaysia slogan and concept to create national unity based on diversity and inclusiveness in a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation when this is openly opposed inside Umno?

Fifty-two years after Merdeka, has Umno itself become the greatest threat to Malaysian nation-building and Najib's 1Malaysia's concept?

The questioning by Ahmad Naim, though only first-year finance and accounting student, is proof that there is still hope for the vision of a united and inclusive Malaysian nation where every Malaysian regards himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion or region second - and that the future of Malaysia is really in the hands of the new young generation of Malaysians who want to move away from the politics of race hatred and religious intolerance rather than the present breed of Umno and Barisan Nasional politicians.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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