Recently I had the honour of being invited to speak on “Maintaining National Unity” to global leaders including local Malaysian opposition leaders who participated in an event organised by the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The focus of my speech was to share the Malaysian success story of maintaining our national unity and harmony. In fact, PKR had also sent their leader who spoke before me at the same forum.
Regrettably, politically sponsored individuals and organisations have intentionally dragged up racial rhetoric to accuse MCA of being a “communist supporter” for participating in a forum attended by all parties which included Pakatan Harapan and Umno.
They were referring to my speech at a virtual thematic briefing organised by the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee (IDCPC) on Feb 22.
The talk was part of our diplomatic engagement of a four-decade long effort to foster strong business and diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China, an important task started by the late Abdul Razak Hussein when he first initiated the relationship by visiting China in 1974.
Other Malaysian leaders also participated in the IDCPC briefing, including participants from PKR who appeared in a session the day before alongside representatives from Spain, Turkey and South Korea.
In fact, there were even leaders from DAP, PKR, Umno and other Malaysian political parties who participated in past programmes held by the Chinese government, with little or no uproar.
It is obvious that the “organised fuss” was a toxic attempt to incite hatred against the Perikatan Nasional government and MCA by linking it with the 71st anniversary of the tragic and senseless violence at Bukit Kepong as another political stunt by irresponsible parties.
During the briefing I discussed the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic last year and how it has basically tested the economic landscape of the country, which was severely affected by closures, suspension of trade, and heavy job losses.
The speech is out there for the whole world to see; the theme is about unity and we are selling Malaysia’s brand of unity abroad as well as promoting diplomacy. This discourse was not about communist political ideology, but an attempt to sell the Malaysian success story of tolerance and understanding towards maintaining national unity in a multiracial country.
Ti Lian Ker is vice-president of MCA and deputy minister of national unity.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.