Why play up 3R issues, Kit Siang asked

AN UMNO leader has slammed Lim Kit Siang over his remark on whether a non-Malay can become prime minister, which has led to the DAP veteran being questioned by the cops.

Umno Supreme Council member Puad Zarkashi said while the Federal Constitution does not explicitly state that the prime minister must be a Malay, vernacular schools are not provided for under the supreme law of the land, either.

“He needs to remember that it’s thanks to mature Malay politics that Mandarin and Tamil vernacular schools still exist to this day. These schools exist because of the unwritten social contract which Malay leaders continue to respect. Tolerance still exists in Malaysia.

“There’s no issue of constitutionality (in whether a non-Malay can become prime minister). There’s no issue of freedom of speech.

“But why is Lim still playing up 3R (race, religion and royalty) issues despite retiring from politics and becoming a Tan Sri?” he said in a Facebook post.

Puad also noted that Lim himself had admitted to being unconfident about a Chinese becoming prime minister in the next 100 years.

“So why make this issue a hot topic?” he said.

“Let political maturity take place naturally, not by force. There is no need for (this matter) to be brought up and made into a sensational issue.”

In a speech to Malaysian students in the UK last month, Lim expressed hope that Malaysia would not have to wait as long as the US to have a leader from an ethnic minority.

He was referring to former US president Barack Obama, who was elected to the White House some 230 years after independence.

Lim said Malaysians, regardless of race, must share a Malaysian dream and not a mono-ethnic dream. However, he admitted that it was unlikely a non-Malay would become prime minister in the next 100 years.

Bukit Aman later opened a probe and summoned Lim to give his statement yesterday, saying the former Iskandar Puteri MP had touched on constitutional issues.