Shaky Pakatan told to make robust stand
“What would be the reaction of Umno leaders if political parties in the country, embracing both those in government and opposition, call for national conferences and talks to promote Chinese unity, Indian unity, Kadazan unity or Iban unity?”
Pakatan Rakyat has been treading on thin ice since the issue of the PAS and Umno unity-government talks exploded.
Today, the opposition coalition will hold a key meeting on this matter and DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang reminded his counterparts that the crisis of confidence must be resolved.
He called on Pakatan parties to send a clear and unmistakable message that the coalition rejected the old Malaysian politics based on ‘divide-and-rule’ by standing up solidly for ‘new politics’ in representing the interests of all Malaysians.
“Pakatan leaders’ foremost task and greatest challenge at the leadership council meeting is to assure these architects of the 2008 political tsunami that they had not made the wrong choice,” he said.
Pinning the blame on Umno, Lim said the party’s strategists have been successful in planting doubts among Malaysians who created the political tsunami whether they made the right choice.
Lambasting the rivals, the veteran politician also expressed shock that in less than 100 days, the new prime minister’s slogan of 1Malaysia was openly trampled upon by none other than the deputy prime minister.
“Muhyiddin Yassin unabashedly announced two days ago that Umno will not impose any conditions for Umno-PAS unity government talks and is even prepared to ‘accept whatever terms set by PAS’, hoping to railroad such a meeting ‘in the next few days, anytime, no problem’.
“What has happened to all the talk about Bangsa Malaysia and a united Malaysian nation, especially during the 50th Merdeka Anniversary two years ago?
“What would be the reaction of Umno leaders if political parties in the country, embracing both those in government and opposition, call for national conferences and talks to promote Chinese unity, Indian unity, Kadazan unity or Iban unity?” he asked.
Not interested in unity talks with MCA
Taking a swipe at MCA, Lim said the party’s response to Umno’s promotion of ‘unity government talks’ is that it could also hold talks with DAP on Chinese unity.
“DAP is not interested in holding talks with MCA on Chinese unity, as DAP is a multi-racial Malaysian party.
“We can have talks with MCA on corruption and injustices in the ‘annual begging session’ for Malaysian top-scorers to get Public Services Department scholarships, the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal, lack of judicial independence or even on Umno hegemony,” he added.
But would Umno allow this? Lim asked.
“I can still remember that in 1987, when MCA and Gerakan leaders met DAP leaders and Chinese educationists on the controversy over the sending of headmasters and senior assistants not conversant with Mandarin to Chinese primary schools, Umno reacted in rage and MCA and Gerakan leaders were severely punished.
“It even became justification for the notorious Operation Lalang mass Internal Security Act arrests, with over 100 people detained,” he said.
Malaysians, Lim said, are entitled to ask how the prime minister’s 1Malaysia call could be reconciled with ‘Malay unity’ and Umno-PAS unity government talks.
He added that after 52 years of nationhood, isn’t it time that everyone talk about Malaysian unity instead.
“When DAP was formed 43 years ago, we made it very clear right from the beginning our commitment to a Malaysian Malaysia, where all political parties should work towards Malaysian unity.
“When will Najib, Muhyiddin, Umno and other Barisan Nasional leaders follow in the footsteps of DAP 43 years ago?” he asked.
Lim added that in the ongoing psy-war, Umno leaders have accused PAS leaders of being afraid of DAP and PKR leaders while MCA and Gerakan leaders accused DAP of kow-towing to PAS leaders.
“This shows the utter hypocrisy and dishonesty of the political wiles of the leaders from Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC.
“I call on Najib to come out strong and clear that his 1Malaysia stands for Malaysians unite and not Malays unite, Chinese unite, Indians, unite,” he said.
“If Najib is not prepared to come out with such an equivocal stand, then his 1Malaysia concept is utterly meaningless,” he added.