(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The parliamentary statement of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in reply to the question by DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Kerk Kim Hock on Suqiu is not only a repudiation of his Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia but a confession that the Barisan Nasional had deceived the Malaysian Chinese to vote for it in the last general election to save its parliamentary two-thirds majority.
Mahathir himself declared ten years ago that the first of the nine strategic challenges to be overcome to achieve Vision 2020 is to establish a "Bangsa Malaysia" - a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny, at peace with itself, territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony, in full and fair partnership, with political loyalty and dedication to the nation.
Suqiu represents one formula for the establishment of such a Bangsa Malaysia and in condemning Suqiu out-of-hand as calculated to cause racial disunity and therefore not much different from the communists or Al-Maunah, Mahathir had not only repudiated the Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia concepts, but had perpetuated unwarranted and baseless slurs against Suqiu and the Chinese community who supported it, as reflected from the endorsement from over 2,000 Malaysian Chinese organisations.
Mahathirís denunciation of Suqiu tantamounts to an indictment of his Vision 2020 as how could Bangsa Malaysia emerge from the full integration of the diverse peoples in Malaysia if the division of Malaysians into bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras is for perpetuity?
It was most unprincipled and cynical on Mahathirís part to say that the Cabinet was forced to accept Suqiu "in principle" as the general election was approaching then, stating:
"This was deliberate and the timing was well-planned. What could we do then?"
Mahathirís claim that any potential chaos arising from Suquiís demands was defused because he personally forbade UMNO Youth and other Malay groups from resorting to "violent protests" is most shocking, when any form of "violent protests" to any form of electoral appeals in a democratic society must be denounced without qualification.
Is Mahathir suggesting that there would circumstances when "violent protests" by Umno Youth would be justified or could be condoned and that this was why no action had been taken to prosecute UMNO Youth for the provocative and racist demonstration outside the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in August?
Mahathirís parliamentary statement yesterday is a most unbecoming from
a Prime Minister and is ominous about future political directions and developments
of the Barisan Nasional government.