This year the country celebrates the 60th anniversary of the attainment of Merdeka on August 31, 1957, but it is most ironical and shocking that this is also the year where UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers have taken their politics of lies, hate and fear to an unprecedented level undermining 60 years of nation-building efforts in the country.
The UMNO/BN campaign of demonisation of DAP and DAP leaders as anti-Malay and anti-Islam is a most unpatriotic act and a great national disservice, because they are based on lies and falsehoods and seek to create racial and religious hatred and animosities, which would undermine sixty years of nation-building efforts.
Since its formation 51 years ago, DAP had always been a Malaysian party fighting for the interests of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, as it was never a party for any particular race or religion.
In the first general election contested by the DAP in 1969, DAP polled over 286,000 votes, winning 13 Parliamentary and 31 State Assembly seats , while in the eleventh general election contested by the DAP in May 2013, DAP polled about 1.8 million votes winning 38 parliamentary seats and with over 100 State Assembly seats in ten of 13 states in Malaysia. Throughout the eleven general elections contested by the DAP, we had a multi-racial slate whether for parliamentary or state assembly candidates, or for the final list of elected representatives.
Throughout the 51 years, DAP had campaigned for the interests of all Malaysians, as DAP leaders had never preached hatred or animosity against any race or religion.
In fact, Lim Guan Eng went to jail in 1998 and lost his position as Member of Parliament for defending the honour of an underaged Malay girl – a sacrifice which had never been duplicated by another political leader in Malaysia.
This is why the RM10,000 offer from an UMNO leader for the best essay or social media posting of whether I am anti-Malay and anti-Islam is so ridiculous and preposterous, for it is as good as an admission that despite the UMNO/BN demonisation campaign that I am anti-Malay and anti-Islam, UMNO leaders could not find a single proof to substantiate the lies and falsehoods that I am anti-Malay and anti-Islam despite combing through 51 years of my political life.
Are the UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers involved in the demonisation campaign that the DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam implying that the DAP had been so successful in its anti-Malay and anti-Islam campaign that we have increased our support from 286,000 votes in 1969 to 1.8 million votes in 2013?
This is treacherous and even treasonable ground, as any attempt to equate DAP’s increased support from 286,000 voters in 1969 to 1.8 million voters in 2013 as an increase in anti-Malay and anti-Islam sentiments in Malaysia is not only untrue and a downright lie, but fits into what I would describe as a great national disservice and most unpatriotic actions.
Nation-building efforts in a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural nation in Malaysia would have been a total and dangerous failure if the increased electoral and popular support for DAP over the decades is equated with the rise of anti-Malay and anti-Islam sentiments in the country.
This is a dangerous lie, for never at any ceramah or political campaign in the past five decades had DAP fostered the politics of racial or religious hatred – but the very opposite, for we want Malaysia to be an example to the world of an united, harmonious and successful nation-building of a plural society which is the confluence of the world’s great religions, cultures and civilisations.
I will not allow those who had been so reckless and irresponsible as to make anti-Malay and anti-Islam allegations against me to enjoy immunity and impunity for their lies and falsehoods, for I will seek legal remedies to protect my reputation and character.
(Speech at a DAP political dialogue organised by DAP Senai Branch in Senai, Johor on Sunday, 9th April 2017 at 12 noon)