Kit Siang shocked by DPM’s ‘ungrateful Chinese’ comment

By Lee Wei Lian, The Malaysian Insider

DAP leader Lim Kit Siang has described as “shocking and offensive” the statement by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that Chinese voters are ungrateful in voting for Pakatan Rakyat and that they deceived the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the recent by-elections.

The deputy prime minister made the remarks in an interview in Mingguan Malaysia yesterday.

He also called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to clarify the definition of his One Malaysia philosophy to give a common understanding of the concept to all, adding that Muhyiddin’s statements have already given a bad name to One Malaysia.

“It is most shocking that 52 years after national independence, the Number Two in the federal  government of a multi-racial nation could come out with such retrogressive and most unacceptable views about Malaysian democracy and nation building,” said Lim in response to Muhyiddin’s statements.

In the interview with Mingguan Malaysia, Muyhiddin said that the BN felt deceived by Chinese voters and that the community should be grateful for government assistance to Chinese schools. The deputy prime minister also said that the Chinese and Indian communities now liked to see themselves as kingmakers in the current political landscape, where Malay votes are split between three parties.

The lawmaker pointed out that Muhyiddin’s complaint about the Chinese being “ungrateful” and the BN feeling “duped” by the Chinese in getting various “benefits” without reciprocating by giving votes to BN was proof that BN was guilty of practising money politics in elections and using public funds in the form of development projects to fish for votes.

“Voters are only getting what belongs to them as part of their right as Malaysian citizens,” said Lim. “There is no question of the voters having to feel ‘grateful’ to the Barisan Nasional as the monies do not come from the private pockets of the Barisan Nasional leaders but the public coffers of the government.”

Lim also called Muyhiddin “mischievous” for claiming that the non-Malays want to be kingmakers at the expense of Malays.

“The Chinese and Indians are not and do not want to be the political kingmakers in Malaysia.  Such a concept is most irresponsible and even dangerous and should not be encouraged,” said Lim.

“What we want to see is the full, free and fair functioning of the system of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia where the kingmakers will be the Malaysian voters – Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli and all other Malaysians.”

Muhyiddin’s interview also caused the Ipoh Timur member of parliament to wonder about the concept of One Malaysia, which Najib has said will be the thrust of his new administration.

He called on the prime minister to clearly define the concept at his first cabinet meeting this Wednesday.

“If it rejects DAP’s Malaysian Malaysia, Gerakan’s Malaysian Malaysia, even the Bangsa Malaysia concept of Vision 2020, what does Najib’s “1Malaysia” really mean?”

“It is clear from Muhyiddin’s interview that he is still propounding the concept of Ketuanan Melayu, which is a camouflage for Ketuanan Umnoputras, when after 52 years since Merdeka, the time has come for Ketuanan Rakyat Malaysia” said Lim, referring to widespread criticism that the concept of Malay supremacy is being used to benefit only the elite in Umno and not the Malay community at large.

He says that the interview gives a clear impression that the Umno leadership has not learned the lessons from the “March 8 Political Tsunami” that saw the Umno led ruling coalition lose five states to the opposition and also the results from five by-elections since, in which the entire might of BN was used and yet managed to win only one.

“Umno and Barisan Nasional have become politically irrelevant and Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, want to be kingmakers to effect a major political change in the next general elections,” said Lim.

The opposition veteran also called on Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, in his capacity as minister in the Prime Minister’s department in charge of key performance indicators for ministers as well as for One Malaysia, to seek an apology from Muhyiddin.

Najib’s One Malaysia slogan emphasises mutual trust and respect among the different races that make up Malaysia, but has yet to be translated into firm directives, policies and programmes. It has also made some Umno supporters uneasy.

Mingguan Malaysia ran an opinion piece yesterday on One Malaysia saying that the concept also means that there is a need to continue the affirmative policies due to historical realities and the social contract.