(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Wira Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam should be censured by all right-thinking Malaysians, whether Chinese, Malays, Indians, Ibans or Kadazans, for making the remark "Hidup DAP, Mati Melayu" in the Malacca State Assembly yesterday for manifesting the type of racist, inflammatory and anti-national attitudes which are detrimental to the Malaysian nation-building and development process.
At a time when national leaders like Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi are calling for a "reverse brain drain" urging more Malaysians working overseas to come back to work to make a success of the K-economy, it is racist and anti-national leadership examples like Mohd Ali Rustam’s "Hidup DAP, Mati Melayu" statement and the new Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamad Khir Toyo’s "bloodshed" statement which create a most unfavourable and unattractive national environment discouraging the return of Malaysian professionals currently working abroad.
Today’s New Straits Times editorial REVERSING THE BRAIN DRAIN said:
"Fundamentally, excellence in all aspects has to be encouraged and rewarded, more so in a K-economy which must be characterised by equity and fairness. Far too often, those with the drive to pursue degree and post-graduate courses find their employers are not appreciative of their initiative. Some companies fail to realise that a K-economy needs to harness all the knowledge and skills it can get for that is one critical success factor for Malaysia to be competitive."
One of the pre-conditions for such a creative environment is a conducive national and political climate where the multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural people of the country can feel fully at home and are not periodically subject to racist, inflammatory and anti-national provocations or threats from various government leaders like Ali’s "Hidup DAP, Mati Melayu" statement or Khir’s "bloodshed" statement.
Just as Khir should belatedly apologise for his "bloodshed" statement, Ali should apologise and withdraw his "Hidup DAP, Mati Melayu" statement, or they belong to the category of government leaders who are K-economy-unfriendly. If Ali is not prepared to apologise and withdraw his racist, inflammatory and anti-national statement, he should be referred to the Malacca State Assembly Committee of Privilges for disciplinary action to be taken against him for abusing the privileges of the Assembly.
It is precisely because the DAP always places national interests above everything else that DAP Malacca State Assembly members put aside their political differences with the Barisan Nasional yesterday to take a common stand in the Malacca State Assembly, with the DAP State Assemblywoman Betty Chew Gek Cheng (Durian Daun) supporting the motion by Barisan Nasional assemblyman Abdul Kadir Daud (Durian Tunggal) calling on the authorities to take stern action over the Merdeka Night rampages in Malacca town and to ensure that there would be no recurrence of such incidents which could easily result in racial conflict and violence.
It is most unfortunate that since the general election in November last year, it is the Barisan Nasional government leaders who have been setting a bad leadership example whether with their statements or conduct (like Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob’s public obscene gesture and the unruly, abusive and gangsterish UMNO Youth demonstration at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall) which are utterly insensitive to the feelings of the people in a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural society while it is the Barisan Alternative leaders who have been setting the good example of uniting the people, regardless of race or religion.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, should warn
the Barisan Nasional government leaders, particularly those who head state
governments, to be always conscious and sensitive that they are leaders
of all races and not of any one race, and to face censure or even
removal if they are so insensitive as to be guilty of racist and
inflammatory statements or actions.