Kit Siang recalls legacy of Razak at Roketkini Forum

Tun Razak

Abdul Razak wanted a multi-racial and multi-religious nation and the well-being of all Malaysians.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Ethnicity is no longer the basis for inequality. It has now become defined by income and the disparity between the rich and the poor, the gap between the CEO and the ordinary worker.

Only last week, noted DAP elder statesman Lim Kit Siang at a Roketkini forum, Remembering Tun Razak, prominent local economist Kamal Salih advocated that the time had come to shelve the Bumiputera agenda and focus the national effort on a national policy to uplift all Malaysians regardless of race.

“Kamal Salih said Putrajaya must go for the national agenda and create a national policy that is more inclusive. And if it does that properly, and avoids the pitfalls of the past, it can achieve its economic goals without having this red flag of being a ‘Bumiputera agenda’.”

As Kamal rightly pointed out, stressed Lim who is also DAP Parliamentary Leader and Gelang Patah MP, “if you are trying to reduce inequality and reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, the beneficiaries will be largely Bumiputera anyway”.

As Kamal rightly pointed out, reiterated Lim, inequality was more prominent within ethnic groups, rather than between them, and poverty could no longer be defined along racial lines.

During the debate on the 2nd Malaysia Plan in Parliament in July 1971, recalled Lim, he had declared that DAP supports the overriding objective of the New Economic Policy (NEP) to achieve national unity and its two prongs to eradicate poverty and restructure society to eliminate the identification of race with economic function.

“But as DAP and many others had warned, the NEP became a major source of national division because it was abused for the enrichment of Umnoputras in the name of the upliftment of Bumiputera, with a 20-year policy extended into a 45-year policy.”

Banker Nazir Razak, the youngest son of second Prime Minister Abdul Razak, reminded Lim, has said that his father would be shocked 39 years after his death, 57 years after Merdeka and 51 years after Malaysia, that race and religion divide Malaysians even more today than during his time.

“It is against this sombre backdrop of nation-building after five decades that we are gathered here to remember Razak and his legacy to the country.”

Lim referred to former Deputy Prime Minister Musa Hitam saying in The Malaysian Insider that Razak was fully committed to the cause of multiracialism although within Umno there was still a very strong lack of political willingness to accept a multiracial Malaysia.

“As a result, ‘pluralism’ and ‘liberalism’, which actually translate into multiracialism, have become ‘dirty words’ currently and under intense attack by some Umno personalities as well as related groups.”

Prime Minister has to exercise leadership and stand up to extremists.