(Penang, Wednesday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that his nation-wide tour after his three-day visit to Sabah this week is to explain the political situation to counter the “strong propaganda effort waged by certain quarters leaving many Malaysians confused”.
He said that “the people’s confusion stemmed from the lack of information” and that it is his duty clarify the situation.
Instead of the one-sided political tour by the Prime Minister, the government should allow live television debates of political leaders from the government and Opposition to provide balanced information of the political situation to the people.
Although the country is faced with a triple crisis - political, economic and moral crisis - Malaysians are fortunate that they are not faced with a racial crisis, and it is the duty of all political leaders, whether the government or the Opposition, to steer away from the politics of race - whether directly or indirectly by engendering fear among the races.
It is in fact a matter of national pride and comfort that although the
country is facing an unprecedented triple crisis, there is no racial tension
or conflict - and rightly so, as the people’s aspirations for justice,
freedom, democracy and good governance is not a racial issue.
Yesterday, Mahathir said Malaysians need to rally together now more than ever to foil attempts at destabilising the country. In his Chinese New Year message, he alleged that “certain groups within and outside the country are pitting the various races against each other so that riots would occur and development stopped”.
Thinking Malaysians are startled by this new line by the Prime Minister, which is a most unhealthy one. I urge the Prime Minister and the government to set a good example to steer away from the politics of race as well as the politics of fear while the country grapples with the triple political, economic and moral crisis.
I am sure Malaysians do not know what Mahathir is talking about when he alleged that “certain groups within and outside the country are pitting the various races against each other so that riots would occur and development stopped”. He should name these “certain groups” if he has evidence or stop such irresponsible politicking.