Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad rejected an offer to dump the Chinese-led Democratic Action Party and the less-Malay Justice Party of Anwar Ibrahim to form a government with the Umno and the Islamists PAS.
But Dr Mahathir’s move did not console veteran politician Lim Kit Siang who sees fading hopes for a Malaysian golden age.
Yesterday, the Malaysian Prime Minister declined an invitation to form a new government with Umno and the Islamists from PAS on the basis the country is multiracial.
Dr Mahathir says any government formed must comprise different races and not just representatives of a single race.
On Monday, Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan invited Dr Mahathir to form a unity government if the latter was serious about the welfare of the Malays and Islam.
But on Sunday, an Umno member gave Dr Mahathir 10 reasons why he should dump both Lim Kit Siang’s party and the party of Anwar Ibrahim, the PM-to-be.
The Umno’s invitation to Dr Mahathir comes on the sideline of the controversial Malay Dignity Congress officiated by Mahathir not as the PM of Malaysia but as a ‘Malay’ leader.
Harapan and opposition Malay leaders attended the congress but Anwar Ibrahim did not attend despite a late invitation sent to him.
Lim lauded Mahathir’s rejection of the invitation from Umno to form a unity government with Umno and PAS.
Nevertheless, Lim Kit Siang says he had hoped the Malay Dignity Congress in Shah Alam over the weekend would lead the way for a different Malaysia, with a confluence of four great civilisations.
But instead, he sees it as a failed initiative that will continue with the clashing of races in the country.
“These hopes were misplaced,” he writes, adding that the only good thing that came out of it is the congress did not bring the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.
“Those who hoped the congress would help dismantle the Pakatan Harapan government were also left disappointed,” he says.
Lim also questioned the aim of the congress which he says was tarnished with fake news and hate speech.
“How can any restoration of dignity for any race or nation be based on lies, fake news and hate speech?
“Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, must look to the challenges of the future instead of being misled by a misleading image of a past based on fake news and hate speeches,” Lim says.
He urged Malaysians to remain united and not lose hope though.
He also says in 1978, Malaysia’s per capita GDP was more than 10 times of China but today China with a population of 1.4 billion, has nearly caught up with Malaysia as the 2018 IMF ranking of nations based on per capita GDP.
Malaysia is placed 63rd and China 67th in the ranking. “Shouldn’t this be one of the top agendas of the Malay Dignity Congress as to why Malaysia has lost out in the race for economic development?
“Losing out not only to China but to other countries including India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, not to mention Singapore, Hong Kong, S Korea and Taiwan. What future is in store for Malaysia if Malaysians are not prepared to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps?
“Instead of restoring the dignity of the Malays, the congress has brought greater indignity, dishonour and shame to Malays and Malaysia when there was not a word of reference to the great infamy for close to a decade when Malaysia became a global kleptocracy. -/TISG