(Petaling Jaya, Friday): In the last three days, a lot of distortions and even falsehoods had been said about the DAPís Malaysian Malaysia concept, claiming that its resurrection from the sixties was "dangerous, outdated and could lead to racial tensions".
In the first place, the question of the resurrection of the Malaysian Malaysia concept from the sixties does not arise, for it was the DAPís platform in the seven general elections fought between 1969 to 1995.
Former Semangat 46 Deputy President, Datuk Rais Yatim, alleged that the DAPís Malaysian Malaysia concept was aimed at the destruction of Malay special rights. If this was the case, why was Rais so unprincipled and opportunistic as to be prepared to co-operate with the DAP when he was in Semangat 46?
I do not believe Rais was unprincipled and opportunistic when he was in Semangat 46, for he knew that what the DAP was opposed was not Malay special rights but the abuse of Malay special rights to create, in modern parlance, KKN - corruption, cronyism and nepotism!
I know that Rais was a strong critic of KKN when he was in Semangat 46 but I do not know whether his views have changed, now that he is back in UMNO.
In my very first speech in Parliament on February 23, 1971, I had challenged the government to produce a single instance from the speeches and statements of DAP leaders to show that the DAP had opposed efforts to raise the economic standards of living of the Malays.
This is from the Hansard of February 23, 1971:
One central plank of the Malaysian Malaysia movement was to establish that Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysia, and it is a measure of the DAPís accomplishment when Dr. Mahathir publicly admitted a few years ago that the Barisan Nasional government had abandoned its original nation-building policy of assimilation and to accept the policy of integration.
With this concession, the stage has been set for the creation of a New Malaysia to unite all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, on the values of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.
It is in the pursuit of this New Malaysia, where all Malaysians regardless of race or religion can enjoy justice, freedom, democracy and good governance that DAP leader and former MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, was prepared to pay the highest political price of losing his personal liberty and disqualified as MP in standing up for the honour, dignity, womenís rights and human rights of a 15-year-old Malay girl victim of statutory rape.
Has UMNO, MCA, Gerakan or MIC in their collective party history spanning close to two centuries produced a political leader who was prepared to stand up for the rights of a Malaysian of another race and religion to the extent of paying the supreme political price which Guan Eng has done? They will find it difficult even to find an example of such political leadership and sacrifice for a Malaysian from their own community or religion let alone for a Malaysian from another community and religion!
The DAP through Guan Engís political example is putting into practice our Vision of a New Malaysia, where all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion is entitled to justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.
In the politics of New Malaysia, political leaders must be sincere and have the courage of their political convictions
In the politics of New Malaysia, political leaders must be sincere and have the courage of their political convictions.
Gerakan leaders go around claiming that their goal is to establish a Malaysian Malaysia, but the Gerakan Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon could join in the chorus to condemn the Malaysian Malaysia concept as "chauvinistic".
Tsu Koon should learn from the MIC President, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu who said the DAPís concept of a Malaysian Malaysia "had long been established in the country based on the harmony among the races which respected each otherís religion, tradition and culture while preserving unity".
Although the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had said
yesterday that general elections would not be held in June, some
Barisan Nasional leaders are already getting into full elections mode,
including making rash and reckless allegations, not only against the DAP,
but also other Opposition parties, such as the charge by the Information
Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Rahmat casting aspersions on the racial origins
of President of Parti KeADILan Nasional, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, wife
of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
I call on political leaders from both government and opposition to exercise restraint in the run-up to general elections and to work for a New Malaysia where the old politics of race, fear and bigotry begin to give way to the new politics of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance