By Lim Lip Eng
I LAUD Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s word of caution to all Malaysians not to allow politicians who use the race card to gain political mileage.
Apparently, Muhyiddin, whose statement, “Malay first” once raised eyebrows, now understands the challenges faced in a multiracial country like Malaysia.
For this reason, Muhyiddin should change his own stance to be “Malaysian first,” as we are all Malaysians, be it that we are Indians, Kadazan, Dayak, Malays or Chinese. It may take a lot of humility for us to put other races first, but this is about putting the nation first before one’s race.
To solve the problem of politicians using the race card, I urge Muhyiddin to introduce specific acts to address racial and religious discrimination, such as the Religious and Racial Hatred Act and Anti-Discrimination Act.
I have asked about this, in the Parliament, during the Pakatan Harapan administration, and again in August last year if Perikatan Nasional (PN) would be prepared to enact these laws.
On both occasions, my requests were rejected with the same excuses that existing laws were sufficient to curb religious and racial polemic. However, under the present scenario, Muhyiddin knows that no action has been taken against such idiosyncrasies of certain politicians.
He even calls these politicians “political actors” who exploit the racial feelings of the people. However, it takes more than just talk to solve a perennial problem that has been plaguing the country for many years.
Would Muhyiddin and his colleagues in PN have the political will to enact the nine key outcomes and 15 recommendations made in 2015 as part of Barisan Nasional’s national unity blueprint by the now-defunct National Unity Consultative Council?
If yes, Muhyiddin would be sealing his greatest legacy as the only Prime Minister who could steer the country away from the present communal formula, which is only leading us to destruction.
Lim Lip Eng is the MP for Kepong
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.