Lim Kit Siang, M.P
c/o Detention Camp,
14th August 1969
Y.T.M Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-haj
Dear Prime Minister,
The absence of a national dialogue in the conduct of national affairs and the formulation and implementation of national policies must be a cause of gave concern for all thinking Malaysians.
No battle for the hearts and minds of the people can be won through a diktat. Only a dialogue, a democratic and responsible debate and discussion, can ensure this.
The establishment of the Department of National Unity is a welcome indication of the government’s belated awareness of the need to take a positive approach to identify and solve the complexity of racial problems confronting Malaysia since Merdeka.
Tan Sri Gahazalie Shafie made a positive contribution when he spoke of the need for a national ideology for Malaysians. I would prefer to talk in terms of the need to evolve a Malaysian consensus on the fundamentals of nation building.
But whether it is a national ideology or a Malaysian consensus on the fundamentals of nation building, neither one can be successfully achieved if diktat replaces national dialogue as the instrument of its formulation and dissemination.
Without a national dialogue between the government and the governed, as represented by the ruling party on the one hand and the Opposition on the other, the best intentions will be self-defeating. No one wants things to be rammed down his throat.
I can think of no valid argument for the continued suspension of parliamentary democracy, and I sincerely urge an immediate return to parliamentary democracy so that a dialogue can be started.
I am writing this second letter to you also to request a meeting with you when you come to Johore in the course of your national Goodwill tour. I believe I can make some contribution to the evolution of a Malaysian consensus on the fundamentals of nation building, which will serve as the unifying force for welding the diverse races in Malaysia into one people.
(Lim Kit Siang)