Media statement by Tony Pua Kiam Wee in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 17th October 2010:
The Prime Minister shows his true colours when chastising the civil service for not demonstrating blind loyalty to Umno
In the Prime Minister's speech when launching an Umno Club for retired senior government officers at his official residence, Seri Perdana yesterday, Datuk Seri Najib Razak claimed he is baffled that there are civil servants and government pensioners who preferred to support the opposition.
Bernama reported that he said the "civil servants should know better that it is only Umno that can ensure our survival".
Firstly, the Prime Minister is clearly unable to differentiate between loyalty to the Government as opposed to loyalty to a particular political party. While the civil service needs to be loyal to the Government of the day and carry out its policies diligently and professionally, the civil servants are allowed to have their own political ideals and preferences.
With Malaysia seeking to become a develop nation by 2020, the Prime Minister should perhaps start behaving like one for a developed country for countries like Japan, USA, UK, France or Australia are able to switch governments without the loyalty and political affiliation of the civil servants being questioned.
Secondly, Najib's reference to "Umno" as opposed to "Barisan Nasional" clearly shows the party's racial priorities when referring to "our survival" which could only refer to "Malay survival in the context of the civil service being dominated by Malays and Umno being a party exclusively for Malays.
However what was perhaps most damning in Najib's speech was his use of racial rhetoric and falsehoods to incite anger among the Malay civil servants.
"I want to ask who were the ones who questioned Article 153 in the Constitution? Malay privileges; who questioned them?
Who caused the incident of not offering prayers for the well-being of the king? Who wanted Universiti Teknologi Mara to be opened to the non-Malays. Not Umno, but the other side," he said.
Najib asked the questions like a true Perkasa "hulubalang" and gave away his true colours as a Prime Minister who is "Malay first" instead of "Malaysian first" as defined in his own 1Malaysia concept in the Government Transformation Programme (GTP).
It fully explains he lack of willingness to mete out harsh punishments against those who has spewed racist comments over the past few years including Penang's Ahmad Ismail, the teachers who insulted minority races, his own special assistant Nasir Safar as we'll as most recently, the BTN Deputy Director who referred to Indians as "Si Botol".
His speech marks a 180 degree about turn from his call for "moderation" to fight the global extremists at the United Nations three weeks ago. It is also in total contrast from his call for drastic reforms in the New Economic Model such as for affirmative action to be "market-friendly and merit-based" as opposed to being entirely race-based.
Who exactly was Najib referring to who questioned the Article 153 of the Federal Constitution? We would however question those who abuse to articles of the constitution to grant special privileges to political cronies, the already rich and influential.
The accusation of the King's name being replaced by others by the Penang state government in prayers at the mosque has been explained as being completely unfounded. Najib's lie is hence completely unethical and made with ill-intent.
At the same time, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's innocent suggestion of making UiTM a little more multiracial was to encourage greater diversity and exhange of ideas within the university has been taken completely out of context by Najib, Umno and Utusan as threatening Malay rights to frighten the Malays.
Under the spirit of the New Economic Model, the Prime Minister should be open to such ideas to ensure that Malaysia will be able to produce higher quality human capital and become more productive and competitive.
However, Najib has instead succumbed to Perkasa's tactics of stirring race discord with racial rhetoric, proving himself to be like his Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who had proclaimed himself to be "Malay first, Malaysian second". It also explains why Najib has taken extra pains not to criticise Perkasa for their non-stop racist and extremist posturing, despite them causing increased racial tensions and dissatisfaction in the country.
The above will severely jeopardise our goal of achieving the high income status with the Government and Economic Transformation Programme. Malaysian talents overseas will resist returning while foreign and local investors will seek greener pastures elsewhere if unequal opportunities and unbridled race-based policies continue to be practiced.
* Tony Pua Kiam Wee, DAP National Publicity Secretary & MP for Petaling Jaya Utara