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“Is Muhyiddin prepared to lead Malaysians to declare he is “Malaysian first” – Lim Kit Siang

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Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 16th February 2021

Is Muhyiddin prepared to lead Malaysians throughout the country to declare he is “Malaysian first” to spearhead the 10-year National Unity Blueprint?

It was an unusual programme – the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin launching the National Unity Policy and the National Unity Blueprint 2021-2030.

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When Muhyiddin cautioned Malaysians against politicians who play on racial sentiment to gain political mileage, describing them as challenges faced in multiracial countries, all Malaysian eyes were on him as the classic example.

After 64 years of nationhood, is Muhyiddin prepared to lead Malaysians throughout the country to declare he is “Malaysian first” to spearhead the 10-year National Unity Blueprint, where every Malaysian can declare he or she is “Malaysian first, Malay/Chinese/Indian/Kadazan/Iban second”?

Malaysia’s unity and strength is in our diversity. Nobody will lose his ethnic, cultural or religious characteristics, whether as Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban, or Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Taoist, but every citizen in Malaysia must first or foremost be a Malaysian.

In Parliament on March 18, 2010 during the debate on the Royal Address, when the 1Malaysia slogan was the vogue of the day, I asked Muhyiddin, who was then the Deputy Prime Minister, whether he was prepared to declare that he was Malaysian first and Malay second?

I declared in Parliament that I was Malaysian first and Chinese second and challenged every Cabinet Minister to make a similar declaration to show that they have the 1Malaysia DNA.

But no other Cabinet Minister dared to take up the challenge. Instead, Muhyiddin declared that he was “Malay first, Malaysian second”!

He even challenged me to declare that I was Malaysian first and Chinese second, until he was told by reporters that I had already made such a declaration in Parliament during the debate on the Royal Address on 18th March 2010.

The 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme Roadmap itself declared that the goal of 1Malaysia was “to make Malaysia ….a greater nation: a nation where, it is hoped, every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second and where the principles of 1Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society”.

I maintain my position 10 year ago that just as a Malaysian who declared that he was Malaysian first and Chinese second did not make him or her less of a Chinese, similarly a person who declared that he was Malaysian first and Malay, Indian, Kadazan or Iban second did not make him or her less of a Malay, Indian, Kadazan or Iban!

Is Muhyiddin prepared to admit he was wrong 10 years ago?

In the present era, in launching the 10-year National Unity Blueprint, is Muhyiddin and every Cabinet Minister prepared to publicly declare that he or she is Malaysian first and Malay/Chinese/Indian/Kadazan/Iban or Muslim/Buddhist/Christian/Hindu/Sikkhist/Taoist second?

There is however an even more serious problem in the National Unity Policy and Blueprint launched by Muhyiddin yesterday.

For this first time in Malaysian history since the promulgation of Rukun Negara as the five nation-building principles of the country in 1970, we do not seem to have a Cabinet where all the Ministers are unconditionally committed to support the five principles of the Rukun Negara.

Is Muhyiddin prepared to ask everyone of his Cabinet Ministers to publicly declare fealty and loyalty to Rukun Negara and to remove Cabinet Ministers who are not prepared to pledge acceptance and loyalty to Rukun Negara, which forms such an important part of the National Unity Policy and Blueprint?

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