Wednesday, March 31, 2010

'Thanks to DPM, 1M'sia an April Fool's joke'

Continuing the verbal war on whether race or nationality takes precedence, opposition stalwart Lim Kit Siang said Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had made a mockery of the 1Malaysia concept. The DAP veteran also extended his challenge to all Umno and Barisan Nasional ministers to declare if they were Malaysians first and Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans second or the reverse.

Lim said that he felt sorry for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak because his “1Malaysia” brainchild had been “torn to smithereens” by his deputy on the eve of his firt anniversary as head of state (April 3).

"In fact, thanks to Muhyiddin, Najib’s 1Malaysia concept had been turned nationwide into an April Fool's joke," added the Ipoh Timur MP, who declared himself Malaysian first, and Chinese second.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin, in response to an earlier challenge by Lim, said he was Malay first but this did not mean he was not Malaysian.

The deputy premier added that if he called himself Malaysian first, he would be shunned by his own race.

Muhyiddin also lambasted the opposition leader for trying to drive a wedge between Najib and him, and claimed that the “chauvinistic” DAP was rattled by the appeal of the 1Malaysia concept.

Enemies are within not without

Meanwhile, Lim clarified that he never said that a person who regarded himself as a Malay first and Malaysian second was not a Malaysian.

"But clearly this person does not qualify to become a '1Malaysian'," he stressed.

In explaining who could be a '1Malaysian', Lim said this was clearly spelt out in the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap launched by the prime minister in January.

The roadmap declared that the goal of 1Malaysia is “to make Malaysia a greater 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”.

Recalling what he had said during his speech in Parliament on March 18, Lim said that 1Malaysia's greatest adversary was not from outside BN but from inside Umno.

"And Muhyiddin had proved me right," he added.

Lim also posed a difficult question to Gerakan president Koh Tsu Khoon, who is the minister responsible for the GTP roadmap.

"I want to ask the minister whether it is tenable for him to continue as Cabinet minister when the very rationale of his portfolio – 1Malaysia GTP – had collapsed and was destroyed by none other than the deputy prime minister?" he said.

by  FMT

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