Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 6th October 2009:
Muhyiddin’s claim that BN unites the various races in Malaysia never sounded so hollow when Umno is most guilty of playing the racial card to cling to power
In the Bagan Pinang by-election, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin claims that the government would not allow any quarters to disrupt racial unity in the country and would promptly act against those who played up sensitive racial issues.
He said since the Barisan Nasional (BN) governed the country, it had managed to unite the various races which had different cultures, customs and religions.
Muhyiddin’s claim that BN unites the various races in Malaysia has never sounded so hollow when Umno is most guilty of playing the racial card to cling to power.
It is now Pakatan Rakyat which has a more legitimate claim to represent the diverse races, cultures and religions in the country than Barisan Nasional as demonstrated by the results of the March 8 general elections last year and subsequent developments.
Even in the Bagan Pinang by-election, it is Umno which had been most irresponsible and divisive in its election tactics, starting from Nomination Day last Saturday with the vicious and racist mudslinging through two anonymous publications to incite communal hatred and animosities – “Wajah Sebenar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim: Nasib Orang Melayu Selangor” and “50 Kemusykilan Tentang Manusia Bernama Anwar Ibrahim” – to attack Khalid and Anwar as traitors of the Malay race.
Up to now, no Umno leader had denounced or apologised for these two racist tracts which bear all the marks of Umno sponsorship.
The Umno origin of these two racist tracts is most obvious as no leader from the other Barisan Nasional component parties, whether MCA, Gerakan or MIC, dare to condemn such racist mud-slinging and incitement for they would be directing their fire at Umno “Big Brother”.
It has been reported that the “growing irrelevance” of MCA, MIC, Gerakan and even PPP was a major theme at the retreat of the Umno divisional leaders last week.
What better example to illustrate the “growing irrelevance” of MCA, MIC, Gerakan and other BN component parties when their leaders dare not take a stand in the Bagan Pinang by-election on two issues, viz: (i) at the nomination of Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad as the BN candidate despite his three-year suspension as Umno member for “money politics” but without being charged in court for corruption; and (ii) to denounce the dangerous and vicious race politics by the two Umno-sponsored books attacking Khalid and Anwar.
Will the Umno leaders allow the MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders to publicly denounce the two Umno-sponsored books purveying race politics at its worst before the end of the Bagan Pinang by-election on Sunday to demonstrate that these BN component parties have not sunk into total irrelevance in Barisan Nasional and Malaysian politics?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor