Mahathir should not play politics with the country’s future, warning of the danger of Pax Americana to re-colonise Malaysia in order to justify long-standing violations of democracy, human rights and press freedom
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Monday): In his speeches to the MIC 57th general assembly and the UMNO 57th anniversary celebrations, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad belaboured a common theme - the danger of a new Pax Americana to re-colonise Malaysia through “regime change”.
Asserting that although Malaysia achieved independence 46 years ago, and is well-developed, the threat of colonisation is even greater today, he said:
“They (Western powers) have not said that we are their targets yet. But they have already criticized us for not being democratic, not protecting human rights and not having press freedom. This is the beginning. When they are done with the other countries, they will turn their attention to us because we know that these colonizers will never be satisfied.”
Mahathir should not play politics with the country’s future, warning of the danger of Pax Americana to re-colonise Malaysia in order to justify long-standing violations of democracy, human rights and press freedom.
For decades in Malaysia, nationalist, loyal and patriotic Malaysians in the political opposition, NGOs and the civil society had criticized the UMNO-led coalition government for not being democratic, not protecting human rights and not having press freedom, many paying the supreme price of their convictions with their personal liberties. Have they all suddenly become stooges and puppets of the new Pax Americana to re-colonise Malaysia using these issues?
Mahathir should not forget that the motion in Parliament opposing the United States-led unilateral war against Iraq without United Nations sanction was passed unanimously in March with the support of all political parties, whether in government or in opposition.
If Mahathir sincerely and genuinely believes that the Bush administration poses a real and present threat to the independence and national sovereignty of Malaysia with the aim to re-colonise the country, he should be calling for an all-party/NGOs conference to reach a national consensus on the threat posed by the United States and work out an all-party national strategy to protect the independence, territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the country.
The last thing he should be doing is to play party politics, by conjuring the danger of the re-colonisation of Malaysia by a new Pax Americana ala Bush and equating the future of Malaysia with the strength of the Barisan Nasional as when he said that the Barisan Nasional needs a stronger mandate in the next general election because of the efforts by some countries to undermine the independence of the country and to ensure the opposition could not “subvert” the government.
In fact, coming to the end of the longest premiership in the nation’s history of over 22 years, Mahathir should leave the national stage as a Malaysian statesman instead of as a mere UMNO/Barisan Nasional partisan plotting till the last minute how to create a propaganda trap for the Opposition in the run-up to the next general election – by painting them as disloyal and anti-national elements in speaking the same language of democracy, human rights, and press freedom as the “Western powers” out to re-colonise Malaysia although these had been an integral part of the political struggle of the opposition in the past few decades.
Mahathir said his invitation to the Group of Eight (G8) Summit in Evian, France on June 1 -3 as chair of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is proof that Malaysia had attained the success and level of development that developed countries had to respect and recognise.
As G8 is the organization which best represents the “Western powers” which Mahathir had railed against over the weekend, will Mahathir’s top agenda at the G8 Summit in France a confrontation with Bush and other “Western powers” over their design to re-colonise Malaysia and the developing countries?
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman