KUALA LUMPUR – DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang said his decision to put aside differences to work with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was necessary to prevent Malaysia from degenerating into a failed state.
Lim said he had also never labelled Dr Mahathir as corrupt even during the latter’s first stint as Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003.
“I’ve never said he’s corrupt. You can go through all my statements. It’s all on record. (But) I would say there were instances of abuse of power,” he said during an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times recently.
On unity, Lim said he did not believe that having a one stream school system was the answer to racial division.
“You have countries where they speak one language and they still fight. It is the concept. Are these (vernacular and national) schools responsible for (racial) division?
“I don’t think so. Are those from Chinese schools communists? Are they anti-Malaysia? No, they’re not,” he said.
However, Lim believed that unity can be achieved if political parties would open its membership to all races.
He said, however, that such a move would be impossible to be realised any time soon.
“I think we should move towards a more multiracial objective. We are not asking Malaysians to forget their ethnic associations, which is impossible (but to change) from a race-based (party) to a more multiracial party.”