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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

'Speak up, Najib, for Obama struck the heart'


Silence is not an option, said DAP leader Gobind Singh Deo in urging Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to respond to US President Barack Obama's incisive views on Malaysia.

"These comments strike at the very heart of his (Najib's) administration. He must now respond," added the Puchong MP in a statement today.

Gobind was commenting on Obama's call for Malaysia to dismantle laws and policies which sideline religious and ethnic minorities.

Warning that it would impede Malaysia's success, the president had said prejudices against people from different religions and races have no place in the modern world and must be removed.

"He is absolutely right," Gobind said.

The opposition MP argued that the time had come to accept that preference along racial lines failed to assist in nation building.

"That would only lead to a society with deeply embedded feelings of oppression and this would ultimately lead to a breakdown in relations between its people.

"Malaysia must find ways by which it can move away from politics in which race dominates.

"We must work harder to build a 'Malaysian Malaysia' if we hope to see this country live up to basic principles of constitutional democracy," he added.

Pointing out that Najib once mooted the 1Malaysia concept, Gobind said this in itself was a recognition on the part of BN that the country had moved backwards in terms of nation building ever since independence.

"Nevertheless, the prime minister has failed in following through with the concept.

"His administration has in fact moved to further tighten its grip against dissent with the use of laws such as the Sedition Act against those who speak up against oppression, marginalisation and discrimination and this trend, I believe, is set to continue," he added.

As for Obama, Gobind said the US president made a "clear and sharp observation" about the situation in Malaysia during his brief official visit.

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had immediately refuted the president's remarks, claiming that the government is fair to all races.

Obama's statements also drew condemnation from various Malay rights groups.

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