Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 3rd July 2010:
What 1Malaysia is Najib talking about when there is a recrudescence of most baseless, irresponsible, vicious and racist-charged allegations to provoke racial fear and confrontation?
"1:40 Malay Non-Malay ratio of newly registered voters" is the latest example of a recrudescence of the most baseless, irresponsible, vicious and racist-charged allegations to provoke racial fear and confrontation which is completely inimical to the 1Malaysia policy proclaimed by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak since assuming the highest office in the land in April last year.
This allegation by the UMNO Youth Voter Registration Bureau was made the front-page screaming headline by Berita Harian on Monday (28th June 2010). It is a downright lie.
What is most shocking and irresponsible is that this lie was given endorsement by the Election Commission Deputy Chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar who was quoted by Berita Harian the next day (Tuesday 29th June 2010) as saying:
"Maka, apabila ketiga-tiga parti pembangkang itu agresif menarik pengundi baru mendaftar, memang betul kajian Umno yang nisbah pengundi baru Melayu yang mendaftar lebih kecil berbanding bukan Melayu kerana memang itu trendnya," katanya kepada Berita Harian semalam.
Wan Ahmad had done a grave disservice to the good name and integrity of the public service when he stooped so low as to play to the tune of Umno Youth Voters Registration Bureau to provoke racial fear and confrontation on something which is completely baseless.
The facts are completely different.
There is not only no 40:1 ratio between Malays and non-Malays among the newly-registered voters after the March 2008 general elections, the ratio is not even 30:1, 20:1, 10:1 or even 1:1. In actual fact, it is a ratio of 2:1 for Malays and non-Malays!
Between the March 2008 general elections to the first quarter of this year, a total of 569,137 new voters had been registered, out of which 355,805 (62.52%) are Malay, 131,047 (23.03%) are Chinese, 27,823 (4.89%) Indians, 20,871 (3.6%) Sabah bumiputera, 27,104 (4.7%) Sarawak bumiputeras, 2,378 Orang Asli and 4,109 Others.
The latest statistics on the newly-registered voters since March 2008 general election was given by the Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf four days after the baseless and irresponsible “40:1 ratio” headline, but was published by Berita Harian in so inconspicuous a manner that it would be overlooked and have no effect whatsoever to wipe out the hysterical impact of its screaming front-page Monday headline of a "40:1" ratio between Malays and non-Malays among the newly-registered voters.
Wan Ahmad should know that UMNO Youth Voters Registration Bureau claim was grossly and irresponsibly wrong - but why did he give it his blessing in Berita Harian the next day?
Berita Harian is builty of most irresponsible journalism which undermines the very basis of Najib’s 1Malaysia nation-building policy.
Malaysians must be concerned because this is not an isolated case. Instead, there had been a recrudescence of baseless, irresponsible, vicious and racist-charged allegations made to provoke racial scare, fear and confrontation – like the scaremongering that the Chinese will take over the country in the next general election and that the Malays could become a minority in the country.
Malaysians are entitled to know from Najib what is this 1Malaysia that he is advocating when under his premiership, there is a recrudescence of the most baseless, irresponsible, vicious and racist-charged allegations given widest coverage which are clearly designed to provoke fear and confrontation and what he proposes to do to counter such divisive and destructive forces.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor