By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani
KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang continued his tirade against Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s (picture) declaration that he was a “Malay first”, saying it has dismantled Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia and turned the concept into an April Fool’s joke.
Earlier in the day, Najib said he saw nothing wrong with his deputy’s statement.
“I feel very sorry for the Prime Minister that his signature concept of 1 Malaysia, as the sixth prime minister of Malaysia, has been torn to smithereens by his deputy just on the eve of his first anniversary as Prime Minister on Saturday on 3rd April,” Lim told reporters in Parliament today.
“In fact, thanks to Muhyiddin, Najib’s 1 Malaysia concept has been turned nationwide into an April fool’s joke, as today is April 1,” the Ipoh Timur MP added.
Muhyiddin said yesterday that he considered himself a “Malay first,” and only then a Malaysian, in response to a challenge issued by the veteran opposition leader.
Lim had challenged Muhyiddin to state that he was Malaysian first, and Malay second to prove that he did indeed believe in the concept of 1 Malaysia which had been Barisan Nasional’s “unifying” slogan under the leadership of Najib.
The DAP parliamentary leader questioned whether Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has the quality to become “1 Malaysian.”
“I never said that a person who regards himself as a Malay first and Malaysian second is not a Malaysian but clearly he does not qualify to become a 1 Malaysian. Who is 1 Malaysian?
This is clearly spelt out in the 1 Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) roadmap launched by the prime minister at the end of January, which declared that the goal of 1 Malaysia is ‘to make… a greater nation: a nation where, it is hope, every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first and then by race, principles of 1 Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society’,” he said.
He also stressed that the “biggest enemy” of 1 Malaysia is Umno.
“I had said in my speech in Parliament on March 18 that the biggest enemy of 1 Malaysia is not from outside Barisan Nasional but from inside Umno and Muhyiddin has proved me right.
“I had wondered how many cabinet ministers and Barisan Nasional leaders have the 1 Malaysia DNA as to be able to pass the four simple 1 Malaysia tests I had formulated,” he said.
Lim challenged BN ministers to declare whether they are Malaysian first.
“Let me challenge all the other 17 Umno ministers and other BN ministers to stand up and be counted to declare whether they are Malaysians first and Malays, Chinese, Indians Kadazans or Ibans second or the reverse.
“In fact, I want to ask the minister responsible for the 1 Malaysia Government Transformation Programme Roadmap, Senator Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon whether it is tenable for him to continue as cabinet minister when they the very rationale of his portfolio — 1 Malaysia GTP — has collapsed and destroyed by none other than the deputy prime minister?” he said.
He also was sorry that Najib has had to defend Muhyiddin for the “outrageous” statement.
Najib had earlier in the morning defended his deputy’s declaration that he considered himself “a Malay first”, and only then a Malaysian, saying there isn’t a contradiction.
“I think what he was saying reflects the provision in the constitution, the provision in the constitution is based on which ethnic group you belong to,” the prime minister said.
PEJABAT KETUA AMK