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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) must not outdo its rivals when it comes to racism or religious bigotry, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said today.
In a speech in Bukit Mertajam yesterday, the Iskandar Puteri MP said that when he once said that PH should not out-Malay Umno and out-Islam PAS, it was taken out of context and was “distorted” as proof that he was being anti-Malay and anti-Islam.
“This is the height of mischief and diabolism.
“What I meant is that Pakatan Harapan should not out-Malay Umno, just as it should not out-Chinese MCA or out-Indian MIC, but a political coalition which can out-Malaysian any other political entity in the country.
“In the same way, when I said that PH should not out-Islam PAS, it is not an anti-Islam expression, as I Pakatan Harapan should not be in the business to out-Christian, out-Buddhist or out-Hindu any other political entity but to be a model Malaysian political party which fully upholds the Malaysian Constitution which provides for Islam as the official religion but freedom of worship for all other faiths,” said Lim.
He observed that Malaysia has been bogged down by false issues in recent months with an uptake in fake news and hate speech inciting inter-racial and inter- religious polarisation that can provoke conflict.
Meanwhile, economically the country has been losing out to nations such as China and even Vietnam when decades ago Malaysia was considered to be their economic superior and an Asian tiger.
He also pointed out that after 40 years of economic reforms the World Bank reported that China had raise the livelihoods of 850 million people out of poverty and its GDP had increased 24 times.
“Malaysia’s per capita GDP increased by some eight times in the past four decades, while the United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, said recently that Malaysia had undercounted the number of poor, that the reported 0.4 per cent of households or approximately 27,000 housesholds below the poverty line income (PLI) is a gross underestimation.
“Last week, there were reports that Malaysia is even losing out to Vietnam which should come as a wake-up call to Malaysians to put their shoulder to the wheel to transform Malaysia into a top world-class nation of unity, justice, freedom, excellence and integrity,” he said.
Lim also acknowledged that there is widespread disappointment and disillusionment among Pakatan Harapan voters and supporters who had expected political, economic, educational, socio-cultural changes in the past 500 days.
He advised the PH leadership to address this matter and educate the public that the problems facing the country which it had inherited from the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) regime will take more than one general election cycle to solve. — Bernama