Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 4th August 2009:
Dare Ministers from MCA, Gerakan, MIC and from the Sabah and Sarawak component BN parties put the rank racism, incitement and sedition in Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian totally subversive of Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan as the No. 1 agenda in Cabinet meeting tomorrow
Utusan Malaysia has joined Berita Minggu to come out with an article entitled “Melayu jangan jadi bacul” by Noor Azam which spouts unabashed rank racism, incitement and sedition totally subversive of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia slogan.
If any Chinese or Tamil newspaper had published an article of the same nature but replacing the rank Malay racism with rank Chinese or Tamil racism, there can be no doubt that not only the writer would have been instantly arrested by the police and charged for racist incitement and sedition but the newspaper concerned would have been banned immediately!
Is the Barisan Nasional government having one law for Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian while another law for Chinese and Tamil media publications?
Are the Ministers from MCA, Gerakan, MIC and from the Sabah and Sarawak component Barisan Nasional parties going to raise in the Cabinet tomorrow Noor Azam’s racist writing in Utusan Malaysia today – placing it as the No. 1 agenda in the Cabinet meeting tomorrow as otherwise all the talk of Najib about his administration’s new motto of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” would have lost all credibility.
In fact, the Key Performance Index (KPI) Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon should ask the Cabinet to set clear indicators for Najib’s 1Malaysia concept – in taking stern action against media which incite racism and communalism regardless of what variety. Otherwise, what is the use of having KPIs?
Two Sundays ago, Zainul Arifin , the new editor-in-chief of Umno’s flagship newspaper group, the News Straits Times, in his article “Kematian Teoh timbulkan pelbagai spekulasi politik”, made the utterly irresponsible, abhorrent and baseless allegation against DAP and Pakatan Rakyat for harbouring the agenda to weaken Malay-controlled institutions like MACC in our campaign for justice for Teoh Beng Hock who died mysteriously at the MACC headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009.
Zainul Arifin could even be so irresponsible as to resort to blatant race-baiting as when he demanded of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim: “"Why does Selangor Menteri Besar, a Malay, doubt the ability of those of his own race to act fairly and sincerely?"
Not a single Umno leader condemned Zainur Arifin for spouting unadulterated communal poison demolishing Najib’s 1Malaysia concept. Equally unfortunate, not a single Minister from MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP or the Sabah and Sarawak component Barisan Nasional parties dared to raise the issue in Cabinet to admonish Zainur and Berita Minggu.
Now there is another case of rank communal poison in Utusan Malaysia in the form of Noor Azam’s article today. Will there be any Malaysian and statesmanlike voice from the Umno leadership to condemn such rank communalism which is an open defiance and challenge to Najib’s call for a 1Malaysia?
When Umno’s two newspaper groups, Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times, openly flout Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, how is the Prime Minister to convince all Malaysians that his Cabinet and administration are fully, sincerely and seriously committed to the 1Malaysia concept and that it is not just an empty slogan like his predecessor Tun Abdullah’s slogan of “Cemerlang, Gemilang and Terbilang” as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia?
Tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting has therefore shaped up into a major test of Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, whether it is to be proved wanting in less than 125 days of Najib’s premiership – which will be a very bad omen for the 52nd National Day celebrations on August 31 and the first National Day celebrations under Najib as Prime Minister.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor