Cabinet tomorrow should discuss and deplore Mahathir's "Malays 'must fight
as one'" statement last Thursday
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The Cabinet
tomorrow should discuss and deplore the "Malays 'must fight as one'"
statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday
as against the spirit of Malaysian nationhood, Vision 2020 and the concept
of Bangsa Malaysia.
by Lim Kit Siang
The tragedy of the five-day clashes and attacks in Kampung
Medan and neighbouring areas off Old Klang Road, resulting in six deaths,
44 injured, 183 arrests and the destruction of some 20 vehicles, has highlighted
both the danger and irrelevance of such sentiments in a multi-racial society
like Malaysia in the 21st century.
Flanked by the UMNO Deputy President, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
and UMNO secretary-general Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob at the Prime Minister's
Office in Putrajaya last Thursday, Mahathir explained that UMNO's
proposal for "Malay unity" talks with PAS stemmed from the need
for Malays to "fight as one" and defend four subjects - Malay special
rights, the position of Islam and the national language, and the status
of the Malay rulers.
Mahathir's explanation is most unfortunate for three reasons:
It is untrue that "certain quarters" had been challenging the
special position of the Malays, the position of Islam, the national language
and the status of Malay rulers. If there had been such challenges, then
the government had been failing in its duty to arrest and prosecute the
persons concerned for sedition as three of these four subjects are entrenched
in the constitution which cannot be questioned without commiting the offence
As the Prime Minister in his 20th year in office, Mahathir should be setting
the example as a Malaysian statesman symbolic of the Bangsa Malaysia in
his Vision 2020 instead of putting the clock back by 30 or even 50 years
to do his old garb in his heyday as a Malay politico with his book "The
It violates the fundamental principle that in a multi-racial society like
Malaysia, everyone should respect the sensitivities of other races and
no one should create baseless fears among his ethnic group to make his
community believe that its ethnicity is under attack as this can lead to
the most horrendous consequences for the country and people.
If the Cabinet tomorrow cannot discuss let alone deplore Mahathir's
"Malays 'must fight as one'" statement, then Parliament should censure
the statement when it reconvenes next Monday for three policy debates,
the seven-day debate on the Royal Address beginning next Tuesday, the four-day
debate on the Third Outline Perspective Plan 2001-2010 beginning on 3rd
April 2001 and the five-day debate on the Eighth Malaysia Plan 2001-2005
beginning on 23rd April 2001.
*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman