Media Conference Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang at the Teoh Beng Hock funeral in Alor Gajah on Monday, 20th July 2009 at 9.30 am:
MCA, Gerakan, MIC Ministers must speak up to get support of UMNO Ministers in Cabinet on Wednesday to censure Berita Minggu and Mingguan Malaysia and in particular New Straits Times editor-in-chief Zainul Arifin
The Cabinet has a heavy responsibility when it meets on Wednesday as a result of the extraordinary death of Teoh Beng Hock, 30, the political secretary to Selangor DAP State Exco and State Assemblyman for Seri Kembangan, Ean Yong Han Hwa who went to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Shah Alam to co-operate in its investigations but end up as a flying corpse from the 14th floor MACC Hqrs the next day.
I am not asking the Cabinet to decide on the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Teoh’s death as I expect the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to announce the establishment of the Royal Commission of Inquiry tonight on his return from abroad – if he has ears close to the ground to keep close touch with the pulse of the nation.
I do expect the Cabinet to address several important issues which have cropped up as a result of Teoh’s death, the public outcry of rage and outrage as well as the reactionary reactions to such legitimate nation-wide feelings and responses.
One such reactionary reaction is the distortion, manipulation and incitement of the most racist and communal discord in the country as illustrated by articles in Berita Minggu and Mingguan Malaysia yesterday.
For instance, the New Straits Times group managing editor Zainul Ariffin in his article “Kematian Teoh timbulkan pelbagai spekulasi politik” made the most irresponsible allegation against DAP and Pakatan Rakyat of harbouring the agenda to weaken Malay-controlled institutions like MACC.
DAP has never regarded the MACC or its predecessor the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) as a Malay institution. I have always regarded it as a Malaysian institution and criticized it of any failings not because it is a Malay-controlled institution but because it is a Malaysian institution.
Is Zainul suggesting that the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal is a Chinese scandal because three MCA Ministers and four MCA Port Klang Authority Chairmen are now implicated in it?
Not at all. Just as PKFZ scandal is a Malaysian scandal and not a Malay, Chinese, Indian scandal, the scandal and outrageous death of Teoh is a Malaysian scandal and not a Chinese, Malay, Indian, Kadazan or Iban scandal.
Zainul Ariffin has made a most racist and irresponsible statement, completely unbecoming of a top journalist heading a national daily.
MCA, Gerakan, MIC Ministers must speak up to get support of UMNO Ministers in Cabinet on Wednesday to censure Berita Minggu and Mingguan Malaysia and in particular New Straits Times editor-in-chief Zainul Arifin.
As Zainul is editor-in-chief of Umno’s flagship newspaper group, the News Straits Times, Umno leaders must not only dissociate themselves from Zainul’s racist article and even take disciplinary action against Zainul, Umno leaders must publicly apologise for Zainul’s racist and communal article.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor