Time to be merry while doubling effort to weed out destructive toxic politics

NOW its Merry Christmas all round  although it could have been a very grim Christmas if political developments had taken a different turn and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had not become the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation and let the 2022 Christmas be the first festivity where Malaysians again celebrate their unity in diversity by rejoicing in the festivities of all ethnic and religious groups – be it Thaipusam, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Wesak Day, Hari Gawai, Hari Kaamatan, Hari Raya Haji, Deepavali or Christmas.

In his Christmas Message, the PM said: “May this year’s Christmas celebration be more festive and bring peace, harmony, prosperity and unity to the distinguished country of Malaysia and its justice-loving people.”

Lim Kit Siang

Let all festivities of all ethnic and religious groups in Malaysia bring peace, harmony, prosperity and unity to Malaysia.

I fully support the assurance given by PM Anwar that he was ready to work with all parties, including all opposition-led states.

Anwar who recently visited Kelantan because of the floods disaster must lead an inclusive government to be worth the name of unity government where no voter or state should be penalised for voting the candidate or party of their choice in the recently concluded 15th General Election (GE15).

The Federal Government must be one for of all states and all Malaysians regardless of state.

Zero tolerance for hatred incitement

However, the Anwar Government should have a zero tolerance for incitement of racial and religious fear and hatred in plural Malaysia as it could destroy plural Malaysia.

It is most unfortunate that after Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah spoke of zero tolerance to incitement of racial and religious hatred, a leader of a political party again returned to the nefarious task to incite racial and religious hatred with a racist, extremist and false narrative by complaining about the alleged poor turnout by Muslim voters during the GE15.

This leader falsely claimed that non-Muslims turned out in droves from near and far to “support DAP” with a turnout by non-Muslims of 98% compared to a mere 60% turnout of Muslims.

Previously, this political leader had opposed elected local council elections on the ground that it would only benefit the Chinese community which was why the DAP was a strong proponent of local council elections.

His accusation that the DAP took into account only the Chinese voters and would disregard the others races and parties who are the pulse and nerve of multi-racial and multi-religious cities was not only false and baseless but was refuted by the two Population and Housing Census of Malaysia 2020 and 2010.

According to the Population and housing Census of Malaysia 2020, three-quarters of Malaysians live in urban settings with most urban-dwellers being of Bumiputera ethnicity.

Some 14.1 million or 62.6% of urbanites are Bumiputera, followed by ethnic Chinese at 6.4 million or 28.6%, ethnic Indians (1.8 million or 8.1%) and other ethnicities (0.2 million or 0.7%).

The Bumiputera proportion has also grown compared to the last census in 2010 when 58.9% of urban dwellers are Bumiputera.

This is somewhat reflective of national demographics and a stark contrast to the demographics of urban areas in the 1970s when only about a third of Malaysians were urbanites.

I reiterate my call on to the Anwar Government to put in place a policy to stamp out incitement of racial and religious fear and hatred in Malaysia and to have a zero tolerance to the toxic politics of lies, fear, hate, race and religion before plural Malaysia is destroyed. – Dec 25, 2022


Retired DAP supremo and veteran lawmaker Lim Kit Siang was the former MP for Iskandar Puteri.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Main pic credit: Pullman KLCC

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