KUALA LUMPUR: PPBM may have declared itself a Malay party, but according to DAP’s Lim Kit Siang, at least the party is moving forward on a journey to have all Malaysians identifying themselves not by their individual races, but as Malaysians.
This is unlike Barisan Nasional (BN) and its leading party, Umno, that has been working towards “painting the image of the upcoming general election as a battle between the Malays and the Chinese”, he said.
Lim was commenting on PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement, where the latter today said that Malays are still very “communal”.
“I think it’s important for Malaysia, that there is an awakening not only in the urban areas, but also in the rural areas, which are predominantly Malay.
“This is not a question of race. It’s a question of urban and rural,” the DAP supremo told reporters at a function here today.
Mahathir, who is also Pakatan Harapan chairman, had said that because the Malays were very communal still, PPBM has to remain a Malay-only party.
Hence, if DAP is de-registered and PH’s effort to formalise its coalition falls through, then the multi-racial party shouldn’t expect to contest under a PPBM ticket, Mahathir had said.
Lim said he wasn’t surprised by the 92-year-old’s statement. But he still believed there was hope for the opposition coalition to attain the support of the Malays.
“Especially after the last one week, after the announcement of PH’s logo and leadership line-up.
“There is panic in BN now, so much so that some of their leaders are making a fool of themselves,” the DAP parliamentary leader said.
The panic is becoming more visible now that BN has realised the growing public support for the opposition, he said, adding that Mahathir and PPBM alone can secure “80% of the Malay votes”.
Earlier in the function with the youth in Bangsar, Lim, who is also Gelang Patah MP, had said that there appeared to be an attempt to polarise the country by the BN government.
They had, he said, preached the idea that there was a battle between the Malays and the Chinese and the only way that the former can be rescued is by keeping the current government in power.
But the public only has to look at the administration of Malaysia in the past 60 years, to know there was no way the Malays would lose out, said Lim to the crowd of around 200.
“Who were the prime ministers, the leaders, and the rulers? They are all Malays. And the PH leadership line-up has also shown this.”
The line-up had named Anwar Ibrahim as the de facto opposition leader, Mahathir as the chairman, and PKR’s Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the coalition president. All three hold the same positions in their respective parties.
Lim’s name was not listed for any of the leadership posts.