Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 4th October 2010:
Can civil servants and BTN officials make incendiary, racist and insensitive statements going against Najib's 1Malaysia concept and claim as protection that they are personal views made in private functions?
Biro Tata Negara (BTN) deputy director Hamim Husain today lodged a police report at Sentul district police headquarters against news portal, The Malaysian Insider, and one of its journalists over an article that claimed that he had uttered racist remarks.
Hamim refused to comment when quizzed by the press as he left the police station, and declined to reveal the contents of his police report.
Instead, he merely recited the al-Fatihah and prayed for Muslim unity outside the police station.
Hamim has added salt to injury and compounded his utter contempt for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's 1Malaysia concept.
Is the BTN committed to Muslim unity or the 1Malaysia and Malaysian unity?
Hamim was accompanied by the Perkasa youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah when he went to the Sentul police station to lodge the report and acted as his spokesman.
Arman Azha said that the police report against The Malaysian Insider and one of its reporters was lodged because the reporter had misinterpreted Hamim's statement and had sneaked into a closed-door programme that was organised by Puteri Umno.
Two questions immediately raised are:
Up to now, there has been no denial of the Malaysian Insider report that Hamim had in a closed-door Puteri Umno function last week referred to the Chinese and Indian communities as “Si Mata Sepet” (“Squinty-eyed”) and “Si Botol” (“Alcoholics”) respectively when asking Puteri Umno members to approach the non-Malays for votes.
The excuse is that these are the personal views of Hamim and that they were made in a closed-door private function of Puteri Umno.
Perkasa has taken the ridiculous stand that Hamim is not wrong with what he said as it was said during a private closed-door function. Malaysians can ignore Perkasa but they are entitled to know whether it is acceptable and permissible if any of the UMNO Ministers had made the same remarks about “Si Mata Sepet” and “Si Botol” against the Chinese and Indian communities in private Umno or even private government functions?
Over the weekend, the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan had issued a general service circular to heads of departments instructing departmental heads to stop their officers from making statements touching on racial and religious sensitivities.
But Mohd Sidek’s warning that the government would not allow any action and conduct by a small number of the 1.2 million civil servants in the country contrary to the racial harmony forged by public officers as implementers of government policies had been like water down ducks back, “going into the right ear and coming straight out of the left ear” as illustrated Hamim’s action today – which is both an open defiance and contempt for the Chief Secretary’s circular.
This has compounded public disaffection at the total lack of political will and procrastination of the Najib premiership to take action against errant civil servants, not only against Hamim but also the two school principals although it is now 53 days since the first offence was committed by the Kulaijaya headmistress with her incendiary, racist and insensitive remarks against students in school.
The Cabinet cannot pass the buck of political responsibility to curb such anti-1Malaysia misconduct by public servants.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Unity and Performance Management) Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, when announcing yesterday that he would skip the Penang Gerakan EGM this Sunday because he would be attending the MCA AGM, had pledged to push for stern action against anyone, including politicians and civil servants, who make racist remarks.
Koh should realize that he had been responsible for the Cabinet portfolio of national unity since April last year, but never before as in the past 18 months had national unity in Malaysia been so under intense and escalating attack by the rhetoric of racial bigotry and religious extremism – all emanating internally from the Barisan Nasional and the bureaucracy!
Koh should ensure that the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday produces action to demonstrate that the Ministers have the political will to penalise Hamim and the two principals concerned and do not allow them to defy Najib’s 1Malaysia concept with impunity.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor