Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 8th August 2012:
Utusan Malaysia front-page headline “Haram sokong DAP” torn to smithereens Najib’s 1Malaysia signature policy
With 23 days to go before Malaysia celebrates the 55th Merdeka Day and 39 days the 49th Malaysia Day, patriotic and nationalistic Malaysians find it most sad and heart-rending at the appearance of more and more evidence of powerful and divisive centrifugal forces out to divide instead of uniting Malaysians.
Today the UMNO newspaper Utusan Malaysia’s front-page headline “Haram sokong DAP” provides the latest evidence, tearing into smithereens Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s signature 1Malaysia policy to create a Malaysian nation where every Malaysian would regard himself or herself as Malaysian first and race, religion, region or class second.
Utusan Malaysia’s scandalous and outrageous screaming headline “Haram Sokong DAP” is a multiple indictment – of Utusan Malaysia, UMNO and the Najib premiership!
Is Utusan Malaysia trying to foment and incite religious conflicts in Malaysia?
The pondok ulama who made the statement is totally irrelevant, as the issue is not who made the statement, but how a responsible and nationalistic newspaper belonging to the ruling UMNO could publish such a headline when it not only goes against the very grain of the Prime Minister’s 1Malaysia policy in the past three years but the very essence of Malaysian nation-building in the past five decades!
Or is Najib admitting that he has lost total control of Utusan Malaysia and that the UMNO newspaper is now run by UMNO warlords who are not beholden to him and the official UMNO and Barisan Nasional national policies?
I have no doubt that if such an irresponsible and incendiary front-page newspaper headline had been directed against UMNO or any BN component party, using say “Haram sokong UMNO”, “Haram sokong MCA” or “Haram sokong MIC”, the Home Ministry would have acted swiftly to slap a ban on the defaulting newspaper.
But here we have the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the ruling coalition condoning if not endorsing such irresponsible, despicable and seditious publication!
There seems to be a conspiracy to prove Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad right with regard to the former Prime Minister’s prediction in June that the next general election will centre on race as “Malaysia has become more racial than ever”!
Is this why 10,000 Umno/Barisan Nasional cybertroopers have been raised to spin and spread lies and falsehoods, as in the recent case related to the government-funded film “Tanda Putra” on the May 13 riots in 1969, making the wildest, baseless, reckless, despicable and defamatory allegations that I had provoked the May 13 riots in 1969 in the street processions, that I had killed Malays and even urinated at the flagpole of the Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence when I was never in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969?
A newspaper which could publish a front-page headline like “Haram sokong DAP” is an anti-national and anti-Malaysia newspaper.
Malaysians and the world are watching.
Will Najib, who prattles about “Moderates of the world unite” in international forums, take action against Utusan Malaysia for another example of extremist, irresponsible, incendiary, seditious, anti-national gutter journalism calculated to foment racial ill-will, religious distrust and undermine national unity?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor