The Battle of Gelang Patah was the opening shot of the Battle of the Malaysian Dream to unite Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region in a common national vision and destiny to build a great, democratic, free, safe, green competitive and prosperous nation for all Malaysian citizens.
In my 47 years in politics, I have always regarded myself as a Malaysian first and last. I have never regarded myself purely as a Chinese, but as a Malaysian of Chinese ethnic descent whose loyalty is unswervingly to the Malaysian nation, having common cause with all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region to build a better Malaysia for all Malaysians.
I am therefore utterly shocked to hear former Court of Appeal judge, Mohd Noor Abdullah, delivering what I have described as the most racist and seditious speech in 44 years at the forum titled “GE13 post-mortem Muslim leadership and survival” on Sunday castigating Chinese for being “Chinese first” and overriding their Malaysian identity.
Mohd Noor cannot be more wrong in taking the cue of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who claimed that the outcome of the 13GE was a “Chinese tsunami” when in fact it was a Malaysian and urban tsunami.
The 2.29 million Chinese voters in Peninsular Malaysia voted for Pakatan Rakyat in the 13GE not as Chinese voters but as Malaysian voters, just as the 2.31 million Malay voters and 400,000 Indian voters in Peninsular Malaysia similarly voted for DAP, PAS and PKR candidates not as Malay or Indian voters but as Malaysian voters!
Mohd Noor flayed Malaysian Chinese for being “Chinese first” but he has no criticism for Malays like Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who has declared that he is “Malay first, Malaysian second”
In fact, how many of the 30 Ministers and 27 Deputy Ministers announced by Najib just three days ago are prepared publiclyto repudiate Muhyiddin and declare that they are Malaysian first and race, religion, region second as is the official objective of Najib’s 1Malaysia signature policy?
Even Najib until today has not publicly declared full commitment to the 1Malaysia policy and announced that he is “Malaysian first, Malay second” as he would be seen to be openly in conflict with his increasingly powerful Deputy Prime Minister!
For Mohd Noor’s information, I had declared in Parliament in March 2010 that I am Malaysian first, Chinese second. Would Mohd Noor make a similar declaration that he is Malaysian first, Malay second.
If Mohd Noor is not prepared to be a model Malaysian, what right has he got to disgrace the legal and judicial profession and to make the most racist and seditious speech in the Malaysian public domain in the past 44 years?
All UMNO leaders and their out-sourced intellectuals like Mohd Noor must learn that loyalty to Malaysia cannot be equated to loyalty to the government of-the-day, least of all to the racist UMNO political hegemony grounded in corruption, cronyism and gross abuses of power.
Mohd Noor’s most racist and seditious speech in the Malaysian public domain in the past 44 years is a reminder of the long journey ahead if Malaysians are to realise the Malaysian Dream – where all Malaysians owe undivided loyalty the country, share in one motherland and come together as one people to develop the greatness of the nation derived from the best from the diverse races, religions and cultures which have made a home in Malaysia so that Malaysia can become one of the leading nations of the world in all fields of human endeavour.
The Malaysian Dream does not exist only today. It had existed even before the founding of Malaya and Malaysia.
Let the 526 dinner to celebrate the people’s victory in Gelang Patah be a milestone to fulfil the Malaysian Dream of a united multiracial Malaysian people rising above race which was envisioned by the great Johore Malay leader and founding UMNO President Datuk Onn Jaffar six decades ago
Although Onn was founder President of UMNO, he became increasingly dissatisfied with UMNO’s racist and communalist policies, leading him in 1951 to call on UMNO to open up membership to all Malayans as well as proposing that UMNO should be renamed as the United Malayans National Organisation.
Onn was too ahead of his time. Sixty-two years later, this baton of the Malaysian Dream must now be taken up and pursued by the present generation of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.
Johor Baru today is in fact much worse off than 62 years ago in 1951 – as Johor Baru is not safe for students, residents, tourists and investors as it has become the capital of crime in Malaysia, where there is the highest incidence of crime with the worst case of the fear of crime haunting the people in the country.
The inhuman and criminal attack on retired teacher Goh Kim Hock, 68 near Maybank at Jalan Perwira 17, Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, Skudai, Johor four days ago, with Goh still in a coma, is the latest dastardly crime in JB – and it is tragic that crimes in JB have become so common that the crime against Goh is not regarded as “newsworthy” to be reported in the national news of the Bahasa Malaysia and English media.
Let us realise the Malaysian Dream, which includes restoring to all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region, the fundamental right to safety and security whether in the streets and other public places or the privacy of their homes.
Let 526 be another rendezvous with history in the journey of Malaysians to realise the Malaysian Dream.