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Media Conference Statement
by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): DAP welcomes Professor P. Ramasamyís decision to join the DAP today based on his belief in DAPís Malaysian Malaysia that DAPís vision of national unity is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. Professor Ramasamyís endorsement of Malaysian Malaysia reinforces DAPís commitment to fight for a New Malaysian Agenda with a national identity centered not on race or religion but a shared common values for democracy, justice, equal opportunity, freedom, peace and fighting corruption.
The term `bangsa, agama dan negaraí should not connote one race or one religion but many races and many religions. There should be a celebration of unity in diversity in recognition that Malaysia is a secular country that is both multi-cultural and multi-religious. We should not be identified firstly as Malay, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli but simply Malaysians first and last.
Such common values should be accepted by every one in our multi-racial setting. DAP believes that national unity can be achieved with common values of democracy, justice, freedom, peace, ethics and fighting corruption. Economic progress can only be attained on the basis of competition, merit and equal opportunities that create wealth and ensure equitable distribution.
South Korea is a very good example of making the correct choice based on these common values as well as adoption of economic polices that ensure economic progress In 1966 annual per capita GNP was less than US$ 130 as compared to Malaysiaís US$350. By 2003 according to the World Bank, GNP per capita in Korea had far exceeded Malaysia at US$12,033 as compared to Malaysiaís US$3,880. From a situation where Malaysia is almost three times more prosperous than Korea in 1966, Korea is now more than 3 times more prosperous than Malaysia.
Clearly, wealth creation and equitable wealth distribution must be blind to race and religion. Similarly, self-reliance, human dignity and excellence must be built on the bedrock of needs, merit, hard work, moral and ethical values Professor Ramasamyís shares in DAPís vision of a New Malaysian Agenda that benefit and unite all regardless of race and religion to build a harmonious society and seek social justice for all Malaysians whether poor bumis, poor Malays, poor Chinese, poor Kadazans, poor Ibans and poor orang Aslis.