Cabinet tomorrow should discuss and deplore Mahathir's "Malays 'must fight as one'" statement last Thursday

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(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.

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:

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 Malay Dilemma".

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