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Call on all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, territory or political opinion to lend Pak Lah a helping hand to deliver his pledge of a clean, incorruptible, efficient, accountable, transparent and people-oriented administration


Hari Raya Message

by Lim Kit Siang  

, Wednesday): Wishing all Muslims in Malaysia Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

This auspicious day falls on the occasion of the two-year premiership  of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia.

One of  the unique and distinctive characteristics of plural Malaysia is  that the major festivities of the various races and religions in  the country are also national holidays, with all Malaysians participating in their celebration – a further strengthening of their bonds as Malaysian citizens transcending ethnicity and religion.

Let all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, territory or political opinion, make a common wish and fervent commitment on the occasion of this year’s  Hari Raya Aidilfitri   that Malaysia finally gets on track, seriously and uncompromisingly, on the train to fulfil Pak Lah’s pledge of a clean, incorruptible, efficient, accountable, transparent and people-oriented administration with every Malaysian lending a hand to Pak Lah to help deliver his pledge.

Let us all be realistic that we have much lost ground to recover  whether in national unity, integrity in public life, efficiency and commitment in public service, educational excellence, socio-economic justice and  democracy before we can seriously talk  about conceiving and implementing  policies to transform Malaysia into a fully developed nation where there is both “First-World Infrastructure, First-World Mentality”.

The disgraceful episode in Parliament recently, where there is still  no real remorse whether by the unrepentant and recalcitrant veteran UMNO MP who uttered the word “keling” in derogatory reference  to the Indian community or by Barisan Nasional MPs generally, highlights the dismal state of nation-building 48 years after independent nationhood.

This has been further compounded by the denunciation of “Deeparaya” celebrations  as “haram” by the Jabatan Mufti Perak last week where non-Muslims were referred in derogatory terms as “orang-orang kafir”, in disregard not only of past Deeparaya and Kongsi Raya celebrations whether under the Abdullah or Mahathir premiership but of the sensitivities of non-Muslims in the country.

The Parliamentary Select Committee on  National Unity has indeed much to do to create the conditions for genuine progress in nation-building and national unity –  as illustrated by the recent furore over the International Islamic University insensitivity in the compulsory imposition of the tudung on non-Muslim women graduates during the convocation.

Let  all Malaysians on the occasion of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, as well as all national holidays to celebrate the rich diversity of the country’s multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural heritage, give some  thought as to how we can all be more proud of our country because of tangible progress in national unity, religious tolerance and sensitivity, public integrity, economic prosperity, educational excellence, social justice, democratic culture and a vibrant civil society.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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