Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's endorsement of the greenlight Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Zahid Hamidi gave for the red shirts to hold their "Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 16 marks not merely the great failure of Najib’s premiership.
It is also a pathetic admission of the failure of Najib's signature 1Malaysia policy when he became the sixth prime minister some six years ago to create a united nation where every citizen will regard himself or herself as Malaysian first and race, religion, region and socio-economic status second.
Six years after Najib’s 1Malaysia policy, the country should be having “Kebangkitan Maruah Malaysia” rallies and not regressing to hold “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rallies – which is the very antithesis of Najib’s 1Malaysia policy.
Is Najib suggesting that there should also be “Kebangkitan Maruah Cina Malaysia”, “Kebangkitan Maruah India Malaysia”, “Kebangkitan Maruah Orang Asli”, “Kebangkitan Maruah Iban” or “Kebangkitan Maruah Kadazan-Dusun-Murut” rallies all over the country?
Najib and the cabinet should be asking Zahid why the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister is practicing double standards in warning of “stern action” against organisers and participants of Bersih 4 rally but gave the okay for Umno members to attend the red shirts rally?
Why did Zahid personally sign a ban of the yellow Bersih 4 T-shirt on the eve of Bersih 4 rally, but endorsed the sale of red “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” T-shirts?
Although Najib said that Umno is not behind the Sept 16 “red shirts” rally in Kuala Lumpur, everybody can see Umno’s marks and thumb-prints on the rally and nobody can be wrong to regard it as a Umno or pro-Umno rally, or to be more exact, pro-Najib rally.
What we are seeing is a pro-Umno or to be more exact a pro-Najib faction hijacking the Malay cause and agenda by staging a Sept. 16 rally in pursuit of their own ends!
It is meaningless of Najib to say that the Malaysia Day rally of the red shiryts not be used as a platform to incite racial tensions when the pre-publicity campaign for the rally, like red T-shirt screaming the words “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” and the poster on “mandi darah” (bloodbath) depicting a person dressed in a black Malay costume leaping in mid-air with a bloody machete in his hand hacking a person wearing a yellow Bersih T-shirt are clearly designed to incite racial tensions.
Najib was right when he differentiated between “democracy” and “democrazy” a few days ago for the peaceful Bersih 4 overnight rally for the cause of good governance and clean, fair elections is “democracy” personified while the Red Shirts pro-Najib Sept 16 rally is the very personification of “democrazy”!
Najib must be forewarned that Malaysians and the world are watching how he acquits himself on the Red Shirts Sept 16 rally.
Time is running out but it is still not too late for a government which really cares about inter-racial harmony, national unity and our international image as a safe and reliable country for foreign investments to prevent a racially-charged rally based on the slogan of “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” from being held.
In any event, Najib should cancel his Sept. 16 programme in Kota Kinabalu for the signing of a commemorative document with the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak to mark the formation of Malaysia 52 years ago.
This Malaysia Day programme at Padang Merdeka in Kota Kinabalu, which would be a “re-enactment” of Malaysia’s formation, should be held either one day earlier or later so as not to be overshadowed by the Red Shirts “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur.
Instead of serving as a reminder of the bond of Sabah and Sarawak with Peninsular Malaya to form Malaysia, and to resolidify the relations between the partners in the formation of Malaysia, the effect of the overshadowing of Najib’s Malaysia Day programme in Kota Kinabnalu by the red shirts Sept 16 rally would be the sad reminder of the supremacy of Umno politics over everything else, including the 52nd Malaysia Day celebrations.
Why is Malaysia Day not celebrated in Peninsular Malaysia but only in Sabah and Sarawak?
Or is the racially-charged Red Shirts rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 16 to be taken as Malaya’s celebration of the 52nd Malaysia Day?
This is totally unacceptable and unthinkable!
LIM KIT SIANG is the MP for Gelang Patah and DAP Parliamentary Leader.