Kit Siang: To be a top-class nation, follow your own religion

kit-siang-hannahPETALING JAYA: DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has told Malaysians of various faiths that to make the country a “top-class nation”, each only had to follow the Constitution and Rukunegara principles by staying devout to their own religions.

“Malaysia can only succeed as a top-class nation competing with the rest of the world if Malaysians adhere to the Constitution and Rukunegara principles to be good Malaysians by being good Muslims, good Buddhists, good Christians, good Hindus, good Sikhs and good Taoists,” he said in a statement today.

The Gelang Patah MP said the country’s politics had of late been “poisoned” by lies, hate and fear, with bigotry, intolerance and fanaticism being used to dictate public discourse and debate.

He said despite Malaysia’s promotion of “wasatiyyah” (moderation) through its Global Movement of Moderates initiative, the country seemed to be giving way to contradicting values of extremism, excess and fanaticism.

He said this in commenting on the autobiographical book titled ‘Becoming Hannah: A Personal Journey’ by DAP’s Selangor state assembly speaker Hannah Yeoh.

On May 17, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) academic Kamarul Zaman Yusoff was reported to have lodged a police report in which he claimed that the book contained “too many stories and quotations from the Bible” and could sway his faith.

“The stories can influence readers, including myself, to feel admiration for the greatness of Hannah Yeoh’s God,” the director of UUM’s Malaysian Institute for Political Studies said in the police report published in PAS’ official organ Harakahdaily.

In an earlier posting on Facebook, Kamarul described Yeoh as an “example of DAP’s biggest hypocrisy”, and accused her of mixing politics with Christian teachings.

Lim however said he did not feel proselytised after reading the book.

“I am not a Christian and (after) reading her book I do not feel that Hannah was trying to proselytise or Christianise any person from another faith,” he said.

“I am indeed surprised and shocked that a university academician can come to such a conclusion,” he added.

He said the book described Yeoh’s personal journey on how she got into politics and what it took to survive in it.

“Hannah’s journey as a good Christian cannot threaten, but only fulfil her journey as a good Malaysian,” he said, adding that the same principle applied to people of other religions in pursuing their own faiths.

Lim also said there were “dark forces” trying to falsely frame the next general election as a twin battle between Malays and Chinese as well as between Islam and enemies of Islam.

“Both these false and irresponsible scenarios are designed to plunge Malaysia into unprecedented division, discord and disunity,” he said.

He called for goodwill and moderation from all communities to “save” Malaysia from “desperadoes who want to hijack the national discourse and plunge the nation into chaos to achieve their nefarious ends.”