Guan Eng: National unity and racial threats don’t gel
If Umno politicians are allowed to make threatening remarks against non-Malays without repercussions, then national unity will remain an elusive aim, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today.
In a statement, he said national unity can only be achieved if the government starts to truly forge a Malaysian identity.
“Take a Malaysian approach towards nation-building and problem-solving and punish Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians who make threatening remarks against another race,” he said in obvious reference to Umno deputy chairperson Badruddin Amiruldin.
Lim was commenting on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s concern that students of different races do not mix with each other and that the Chinese only make up two percent of the student population in government schools.
At the recent Umno general assembly, Badruddin had warned that questioning Malay rights was akin to “stirring a hornet’s nest”. In a fiery speech, the politician also held up a book on the 1969 racial riots in Malaysia.
Lim said many Malaysians were shocked when Deputy Internal Security Minister Noh Omar (photo) dismissed these incendiary remarks as a lesson in history, when asked if action would be taken against Badruddin.
The deputy minister had said the Umno leader was merely reminding the younger generation of the blot on the nation’s history.
Elaborating on the government’s failure to establish a Malaysian identity, Lim said emphasis on bangsa, agama dan negara (race, religion and nation) is given to one particular race and religion and not extended to all Malaysians.
He added that by allowing the formation of race-based parties like Umno, MCA and MIC, the ruling front was actually perpetuating racism and chauvinism.
Lim said the failure to adopt a Malaysian approach in addressing national problems, such as those pertaining to education, is another key reason why national unity cannot be achieved.
“Education is looked at from a racial perspective and not on the basis of educational needs,” he said, adding that the government refuses to fund Chinese primary schools despite the fact that 60,000 non-Chinese students attend these schools.
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