Keng Yaik should halt his dangerous politics of race and should start thinking as a Malaysian for a change

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang 

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The Gerakan President and the Minister for Primary Industries, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik made a very dangerous statement yesterday, when he insinuated that the Opposition parties in Malaysia were trying to divide the Malays.

According to a Bernama report,  Keng Yaik said in Pantai Remis that  Malaysian Chinese and Indians were watching with apprehension the constant attacks by the opposition on  the government and the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir  Mohamad to try and divide the Malays.

"This is dangerous politics especially in a multi-ethnic society like  Malaysia," he said.

Keng Yaik said that the Malaysian Chinese and Indians wanted Malays to be united as they are mindful that Malay unity and leadership were  vital for the country's socio-economic and political stability.

What is shocking and most outrageous is the insinuation that the Malaysian Chinese and Indians in the Opposition are trying to divide the Malays - which is not only a downright lie, but a most dangerous statement to make in a multi-ethnic society like Malaysia.

I would call on Keng Yaik and other Barisan Nasional leaders to halt such dangerous racial politics, end such a pernicious line of politicking and to start thinking as Malaysians for a change.

There is a great consciousness for political and economic change among all young Malays- thanks largely to the blatant injustices in the Anwar Ibrahim case which have acted as a catalyst to trigger off a nation-wide movement for change.

This demand for change, however, is not confined to the Malay community, but is also to be found in the Indian and the Chinese communities - although in lesser degree.

The most hopeful sign of the current movement for political change and reform is that it transcends race and religion, and is based on the common human aspirations of all Malaysians for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

For Keng Yaik or any other Barisan Nasional leader to try to "communalise" this non-communal movement for change to return to the old Barisan Nasional politics of race is the greatest disservice of  Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders to nation-building, the Vision 2020 concept of Bangsa Malaysia and raises the question whether the Barisan Nasional leaders qualify as leaders of all Malaysians or are just racial bigots.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had warned that the next general election will be the "dirtiest" in history.   Is this one of the ways the Barisan Nasional leaders will try to make the next general election the "dirtiest" in history - by communalising what is a non-communal movement supported by all Malaysians regardless of race and religion for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance in Malaysia?


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong