Friday Jottings: When talk is cheap

DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang (picture) seemingly new fixation on Vision 2020 is actually quite funny, grasping on whatever he can to counter Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s concern about the survival of the Malays vis-à-vis the current political landscape.

Instead of addressing Dr Mahathir’s concern that the Malays, despite being the majority race, would be losing out on the nation’s equity on all fronts, Lim questioned his concern and claimed that it was counter to Vision 2020 and also Article 43 of the Federal Constitution which does not state that the Prime Minister must be a Malay.

Lim first petitioned all lawmakers and ministers to read the nine strategic challenges outlined by Dr Mahathir when launching vision 2020 in 1991.

When Dr Mahathir pointed out the failure of Vision 2020 was due to his successors Tun Abdullah Badawi and Mohd Najib Razak, Lim said it reinforced his argument that Parliament should be extended for another two days to debate on why Vision 2020 was a total failure.

In his desperation to counter Dr Mahathir, Lim came up with an illogical suggestion, wanting all three former Prime Ministers to be invited to the Parliament to present papers on why the vision failed.

Firstly, even if the three PMs wanted to, with the exception of Dr Mahathir, Abdullah is not in the best of health and according to his son-in-law suffers from dementia.

Najib is in prison for financial crimes against the nation. As in the case of other convicts, that in itself disqualifies him to participate in any public discourse, let alone in the August house.

As for Dr Mahathir, he had already stated clearly as to what caused Vision 2020 to fail.

If Lim is not convinced, he should remember how intense the DAP and his Pakatan Rakyat allies were in their campaign to bring about the end of Abdullah’s political leadership in the 2008 polls.

And what more narrative does Lim need to know about Najib’s role in scuttling what little was left of Dr Mahathir’s Vision 2020.

His sins are for all to see and how these had derailed, not only Vision 2020 but everything else about the nation are not myths nor conjectures.

And then there is also the opinion that, much as Lim and his ilk are keen to blame Dr Mahathir for the failure of Vision 2020, they must not forget that Dr Mahathir resigned in 2003 and there was a 15 year hiatus before he returned.

It was pointed out and it makes sense, that Lim and the DAP should take some responsibilities in the dereliction and failure of Vision 2020.

A former DAP member argued that Lim and the DAP became mutes when the Dong Zhong and other Chinese chauvinist groups opposed Dr Mahathir’s Vision School.

They refused to be placed in the same compound, fearing that it would result in eroding the identity, obviously believing that their identity is superior to that of the Malays and Indians.

Actually, if Lim is truly sincere in wanting to realise the challenges of Vision 2020 it is time for him to move forward with the current PM.

Lim and the DAP could initiate major strides in pursuing the challenges outlined and streamline them to suit their vision without having to continuously blame Dr Mahathir and others.

If in the past, Lim and the DAP can claim that they were in the opposition or that the leadership is too Malay-centric as in the case when Dr Mahathir led Pakatan Harapan to power in 2018, they are now led by a multi-racial party.

In fact, as a major commitment to multi-racial political leadership, Lim should get the DAP to disband and embrace Parti Keadilan Rakyat en bloc and form one unified multi-racial political party instead of just being partners in a coalition.

It will then dilute perception of the DAP being a Chinese chauvinist party and that non-Chinese, Malays and Indians, are tokens. The issue of the DAP never allowing a non-Chinese as a secretary-general can immediately be dismissed.

It will also put a stop of the likes of Ronnie Liu insisting that the DAP, in pursuit of multi-racialism, must not dilute its Chinese-ness or P. Ramasamy whose obsession with other people’s roots only exemplified his racist nature.

The DAP’s presence in PKR will inevitably change the structure of the party’s leadership, instead of being Malay-centric with the top two post occupied by Malays, to the opening up to other races.

Surely, DAP’s sacrifice of disbanding the party would not be left unappreciated by the PKR leadership.

Imagine, if the DAP which is then already immersed with PKR, is able to secure the majority, then, it does not have to debate with anyone anymore, Dr Mahathir included, about a non-Malay becoming the PM.

Neither does Lim have to impose his opinion of what a united Malaysia should be since the power to determine the direction of the nation is now in the hands of a multi-racial entity which he and the DAP is now part of.

It can of course be argued that even without having to unite as one with the PKR, the PH is already pursuing multi-racialism.

But the fact that they remain separate and each are led and identified with particular races, contradicts the multi-racial claims and also targets for those who dispute DAP’s and PKR’s commitment to multi-racialism.

Indeed, all of these are moot points. But they are suggestions that can help ease Lim from having to crack his brains finding faults in others, accusing them of not walking the talk, regressing, racist and desperate.

After that, it is merely to taste the pudding. – pic Hussein Shaharuddin


  • Shamsul Akmar is an editor at The Malaysian Reserve.

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