Current Affairs

Let’s move forward

by T. K. Tan

PENANG – DAP national secretary general Lim Guan Eng has called on Malaysians of all race and religious background to move forward and forge a new future with Pakatan Rakyat in what is the last political party Congress before the 13th General Election.

In his speech at the DAP National Congress, Lim reached out to Malaysians of all stripes to not look back and be bound by the past.

“I know there are many – Muslim and non-Muslim – who question whether we can forge this new beginning. In their quest to retain power, BN has exploited race and religion over the last 55 years by appealing to our worst sentiments in our nature instead of appealing to the best virtues in our national character.”

“There is much fear and much mistrust towards each other as there is towards change. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward.”

In recent years, Malaysia has seen a spate of race-based violence and unrest, including the Shah Alam cowhead protest, church bombings, mosque desecrations, and controversies surrounding the practice of Syariah law and its effect on non-Muslims. Religion remains a sensitive issue in a diverse nation with multi-culturalism a fine line that all political parties have to tread.

Lim said that if Malaysians allow their relationships to be defined by their differences, they would empower those who sow hatred rather than peace. The Penang Chief Minister described these trouble-mongers as “those who make us smaller rather than help us reach for the stars, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity.”

He emphasized that “we must respect our differences as a gift created by God to allow unity in diversity.”

DAP’s stated stand as a secular party has come into the spotlight, especially since 2008 after the Pakatan Rakyat pact was formed together with Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Islamic party PAS.

The DAP Secretary General said that DAP believes that all people yearn for the ability to speak freely, have confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice and a government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people.

“Governments that protect these rights are people-centric governments with respect for all their people. We do not believe in “you help me, I help you” government, which only implement projects when support is given,” said Lim, taking a dig at the Prime Minister’s infamous catch phrase and the common perception towards the ruling BN government.

Speaking about the DAP’s commitment, Lim said “we believe in a government that helps the people all the time regardless whether or not support is given as it is the fundamental duty of a democratic government.” – The Rocket


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