Kit Siang Meets Dr M, Anwar on Nation-Building

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Top leaders in pow-wow on ‘New Malaysia’ narrative.

Prior to the last general election, Pakatan Harapan (PH) had promised a new dawn for the nation should the coalition win.

Almost 16 months after that victory, the coalition appears to be suffering from a crisis of confidence, having failed to meet expectations.

The situation is exacerbated by racial and religious issues dominating the Malaysian political and social landscapes, leaving PH parties in a conundrum with regard to appeasing their respective supporters.

Amid this backdrop and with the nation set to celebrate its 62nd Merdeka on Saturday, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang met with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim to discuss at length about the narrative forward for ‘Malaysia Baharu’.

Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong tweeted a photo of both Lim and Anwar earlier today, although the location of the meeting was not provided.


“Lim Kit Siang met with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim earlier today,” Liew said.

“Both prominent individuals have discussed at length on the narrative forward for Malaysia Baharu within the framework of bringing all quarters back to the middle, to keep a distance from all forms of extreme discussions.”

When queried, Lim reportedly told Malaysiakini that the meeting was just a regular discussion on the current situation and declined to elaborate further.


Last Friday, Liew also tweeted a photo of him accompanying Lim to meet with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman who is also Youth and Sports Minister.

“We spoke about the alliance of civilisations, nation-building and what else can we do to bring about a stronger sense of solidarity among Malaysians,” he said.

Mukhriz Hazim

In December last year, Liew had called for a new non-racial national narrative to guide the country, amid racial tensions sparked by the death of a firefighter after riots at a Hindu temple.

The deputy defence minister pointed out that Tun Dr Mahathir had unveiled the idea of Vision 2020 or Bangsa Malaysia in 1991, but Umno moved towards the right in 2005, citing Umno leader Hishammuddin Hussein’s waving of a keris at the Malay nationalist party’s general assembly.

The DAP strategist said ethnic perspectives continue to colour public perceptions of events and national institutions suffered from public distrust.

Liew argued that the ‘New Malaysia narrative’ must have democratic institutions, improve the lives of the bottom 40 per cent, and national political leaders who use a non-racial approach in managing social problems.

Since the last general election, DAP has been courting flak from both Malay/Muslims and non-Muslims over several issues. The most recent being the introduction of Jawi khat (calligraphy) in the school syllabus and the status of Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

The Umno-PAS alliance accuses DAP of acting against the interest of the Malays and Islam whereas non-Muslims are vexed that the once vociferous party leaders now appear muted on several issues.

This sentiment among non-Muslims was evidenced in Lim, who is a respected figure in the Chinese Malaysian community, being jeered during a Hungry Ghost festival in his parliamentary constituency of Iskandar Puteri in Johor earlier this month.