DAP will be defeated in Iskandar Puteri parliamentary seat and would lose 30 to 40 per cent of our votes in the country if election is held now, and we need time for the people to realise that the DAP has not betrayed them or that we have not given up on our objective of a New Malaysia of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity

DAP will be defeated in Iskandar Puteri parliamentary seat and would lose 30 to 40 per cent of our votes in the country if an election is held now.

This is the extent of the misperception and misunderstanding about the DAP in the Pakatan Harapan government which our long-standing supporters have about us.

We need time for our supporters and the people to realise that the DAP has not betrayed them and that we have not given up on our hopes and objectives of a New Malaysia of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity.

If the DAP had in fact betrayed the people and the hopes and objective of a New Malaysia of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity, then there is no way that DAP can recover or recapture the support of the voters with the passage of time. In fact, the outcome can only be worse.

With our decades of struggle and sacrifice, DAP will never betray the people, our principles and our hopes and objective of a New Malaysia of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity, but DAP leaders must have the stamina, perseverance and commitment to stay the course for a New Malaysia.

When I was in Salem in Tamil Nadu last Sunday, following from afar the controversy over Jawi in the Year 4 Bahasa Malaysia curriculum for Chinese and Tamil primary schools, I noted three developments:

  • Jawi is not compulsory but optional for students in Chinese and Tamil primary schools, and that there will be no compulsion, learning or examination of Jawi.
  • Plans to revise the curriculum to include Jawi in Std. 4 Bahasa Malaysia textbook in 2020 was decided by the Barisan Nasional government in 2014-2016.
  • The statement from the Education Ministry that “Although the plan to introduce khat in schools will proceed, the ministry will still accept the views of various parties to ensure that there is fair consideration” indicates that the Education Ministry is still open to views and consultation from all groups and parties concerned.

Malaysian nation-building is in a quandary in the last 15 months after the 14th General Election.

We must commend political conspirators for trapping Malaysia in an extraordinary situation where the Malays feel threatened, the Chinese feel threatened, the Indians feel threatened, the Kadazans feel threatened and the Ibans feel threatened.

Every community is made to believe that its culture and ethnicity is facing an existential threat.

But who is creating all these threats to all racial groups in the country?

I never thought I would achieve a status unheard of for any Malaysian – feared and condemned by some Malays for being a Chinese threat to Malay rights and ethnicity as well as feared and condemned by some Chinese for betraying Chinese rights, language and culture.

Is it possible for any one person to assume such multiple and contradictory roles – on the one hand, out to eradicate Malay rights, culture and ethnicity on behalf of the Chinese, and on the other hand, out to betray Chinese language, education and culture allegedly at the behest of Malay interests.

I am accused of long list of agenda to wipe out Malay rights and ethnicity, including:

  • Malaysia becoming a republic.
  • Islam no more official religion.
  • Eradicate Constitutional monarchy.
  • Ban Azan.
  • Dissolve the Royal Malay Regiment.
  • Dissolve all State Islamic Religious Councils.
  • Dissolve Syariah Courts.
  • Use for Zakat for non-Muslims.

It does not matter that all these are not true, as the propagandists and cybertroopers who peddle these lies continue to incite doubt, suspicion, hatred and fear with these falsehoods, which become particularly divisive and destructive in the era of the Internet.

Now I am accused of betraying the rights and interests of the Malaysian Chinese.

I am on the one hand, accused of being the puppet master who pulls the strings on the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and on the other hand, as a “lap dog” and stooge of Mahathir.

All these are baseless allegations, which the people will realise when emotions do not run so high.

I received just now on the social media a graphic of my photograph with the caption: “KIT SIANG’S CONSTITUENTS HECKLE HIM – YOU EITHER DIE A HERO OR LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO SEE YOURSELF BECOME THE VILLAIN”.

I am not a villain. I do not want to be a hero. I just want to be a patriotic Malaysian to make Malaysia a better nation for all our citizens, regardless of race, religion or region.

I believe in a New Malaysia that can become a top world-class nation in various fields of human endeavour as four great civilisations – Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western – meet in confluence in Malaysia.

But we must come out of our ethnic shells, interact and appreciate the virtues and best values of each other’s ethnicity and not to fall victim to evil conspirators who only want to engender and incite suspicion, distrust, fear and hatred – pitting race against race and religion against religion.

There is a media report that had referred to me as a “proponent” of the introduction of khat or jawi script in Chinese/Tamil primary schools.

Nothing could be further from the truth as the issue had caught everyone, including myself, by surprise as it is a legacy of the previous government.

I stand by what I said in 1984 that there should be no compulsory teaching of Jawi.

My recent visit to India has strengthened my belief that Malaysians must develop a new self-confidence of “reaching for the stars”, a new “Malaysia Boleh” spirit, to exorcise the various fears and demons – contrived, imaginary or otherwise – for Malaysia to excel itself in various fields of human endeavour so as to achieve a golden age for Malaysia.

A good start could be made with wide-ranging review of the New Malaysia objective of the Pakatan Harapan Manifesto in the 14th General Election.

We must not only shake off the international infamy of a global kleptocracy, we must graduate to become world top-class nation with a tiger economy, starting with far-reaching educational and institutional reforms to ensure that the New Economic Policy is implemented on a needs-basis rather race-basis, as agreed by eminent Malaysians like Tun Daim Zainuddin, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

MP FOR ISKANDAR PUTERI
Speech by Lim Kit Siang at a DAP briefing on Jawi in Chinese/Tamil primary school textbooks in Skudai on Saturday, 10th August 2019 at 9 pm