Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 5th December 2008: 

Mukriz cannot quote Razak as authority and protection for his call for closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools as he had violated Razak's "sensitive" issues  

The Umno Youth chief candidate Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir now claims that he is only emulating the second Prime Minister, Tun Razak when he proposed the scrapping of the current dual-stream system of national and vernacular schools to be replaced with a single school system as the only way to check racial polarization.

However, Mukriz should should realize that it was Razak who amended the Malaysian Constitution in 1971 to make it an offence of sedition to propose the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.

Umno Youth leader and Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has stepped forward to rescue Mukriz by claiming that Mukriz' call, which must imply the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools as they exist at present, is not seditious.

Such a statement coming from Hishammudin is understandable but the Education Minister should realise that he cannot usurp the functions and powers of the Attorney-General and the judiciary by overturning clear legal precedents that any call for the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools runs afoul of the four "sensitive issues" protected by the 1971 Constitution Amendment by making it an offence of sedition to question them, to the extent of even removing parliamentary immunity on these four "sensitive" issues.

I am not advocating that Mukriz be charged under the Sedition Act which could involve his disqualification as MP for Jerlun and the disenfranchisement of his civil rights to hold office in any political party or society for five years if he is convicted and fined RM2,000 or jailed for more than a year, but Mukriz should realize that he has committed the offence of sedition as he has violated the constitutional prohibition against any questioning of the four sensitive issues which was initiated by Tun Razak when he became the second Prime Minister in 1971.

Malaysians are however outraged by police double-standards when MCA Deputy President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek could immediately be summoned by the police for investigation into his remarks on ketuanan Melayu which have the most remote connection with the offence of sedition while police have been completely indifferent in the Mukriz case.

Mukriz should not try to defend the indefensible claiming that he had not called for the Chinese and Tamil primary schools to be closed down, as he knows better than anybody else that the Chinese and Tamil primary schools as they exist at present would have to be closed down if his proposal is to be implemented.

Mukriz should apologise for his error as well as admit that he could not quote Razak as authority and protection, as Mukriz had violated the 1971 Constitutional Amendment which was spearheaded by none other than Razak himself.

* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor