Kit Siang offers eight pointers to lower escalating temperature from looming 6 state polls

NOBODY is asking a Malaysian to cease to be a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban or Kadazan or Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Taoist or Sikkhist but it is essential for every citizen to be Malaysian first and their ethnic, religious or regional identity second.

Such are the words of wisdom from retired DAP supremo Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang as he urged all political parties/coalitions and their candidates in the six state polls on Aug 12 to lower the temperature on racial and religious polarisation as well as to stop exploiting the 3R (race, religion and royalty) issues as their political capital,

Recalling his personal experience whereby he was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for perpetuating the May 13 racial riots from May 18, 1969 upon his return to Malaysia (from Singapore) till Oct 1, 1970, the veteran lawmaker said in his latest media statement:

“If I had known that the May 13 riots were being planned and going to erupt, I would not be having a thank-you procession of the Bandar Melaka parliamentary constituency.

“Or even to stage a victory public rally at the Bandar Hilir Padang on May 12, 1969 and probably not flown to Kota Kinabalu for a public rally to assist the Kota Kinabalu independent parliamentary candidate on May 13. But this is to be wise after the event.”

Kit Siang further shared eight points he made to the police 54 years ago when asked what his political beliefs were at that moment in time:

  • Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-lingual, and multi-cultural society and that a viable Malaysian nation can only be formed if all the races and groups in the country are given an equal stake under the Malaysian sun.
  • Unless Malaysians of all races have more in common with one another than with their ‘blood brothers’ counterpart in China, India or Indonesia, Malaysia cannot be said to have become “A Nation of Malaysians”.
  • In a multi-racial society like Malaysia, violence and any ideology of force can only lead to the disintegration of the country because it quickly degenerates into racial conflict. I therefore deplore force and violence of all forms.
  • In a multi-racial society, if any racial group feels it is backward – either educationally, economically, culturally, linguistically or politically – then racial antagonism will be created. Every attempt must be made to remove these imbalances between the races and groups.
  • Poverty is not a communal problem. It is a socio-economic problem. To regard poverty as a racial problem is to increase racial antagonism in this country.
  • I want a clean, honest, efficient, incorruptible and effective government.
  • Only parliamentary democracy can prevent a racial clash. Any other form of government will only lead to racial mistrust.
  • Communism is unconducive in a multi-racial society like Malaysia.

“(Such was) the statement which I made to the police while in police custody at the Kuala Selangor police station lock-up under the ISA after I rejected advice not to return to Malaysia and flew back to Malaysia on May 18, 1969,” revealed the country’s longest serving opposition leader (29 years on three separate occasions).

“I have lived by these eight points in my political life for over half a century and they should be the basis for Malaysia to undergo a reset and return to the original nation-building principles of a plural Malaysia.”

For his courage, Kit Siang was promptly elected as DAP’s secretary-general even when he was still in detention to replace Goh Hock Guan who had reportedly remarked that “I am not a Lim Kit Siang” and “I am not made to be a martyr”. Kit Siang was 28 years old at this point in time. – July 20, 2023

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