Never before had more lies been told in a by-election than in the Semenyih by-election – are they all shariah-compliant lies?

Never before in the history of by-elections in Malaysia had more lies been told than in the Semenyih by-election – and one must ask whether they are all shariah-compliant lies.

In fact, Semenyih will be remembered as the by-election where the term “shariah-compliant lie” made its first appearance.

One of the biggest lie concocted for the by-election is the lie there is a move to topple the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in the form of a vote of no confidence by Pakatan Harapan Members of Parliament in the forthcoming Parliament starting on March 11.

Is this a shariah-compliant lie?

A list of 101 MPs who had purportedly agreed to support the vote of no confidence against Tun Dr. Mahathir was even circulated on the social media, with eight MPs from Kedah, 10 from Penang, 14 from Perak, 17 from Selangor, seven from Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, two from Malacca, five from Negri Sembilan, 12 from Johor, four from Pahang, one from Terengganu, one from Kelantan, eight from Sabah and 12 from Sarawak – which was a total and sheer fabrication and falsehood.

Ask the 135 Pakatan Harapan-Warisan Members of Parliament, and none of them would have heard of the alleged no confidence motion to topple Mahathir as the Prime Minister.

Is this a shariah-compliant lie?

Among the latest lies spread in the Semenyih by-election is the accusation that the DAP was calling the shots in Putrajaya and controlling the Pakatan Harapan government.

PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi, for instance, told a UMNO Semenyih by-election ceramah that DAP was responsible for putting non-Malays into positions of power as the attorney-general, chief justice and de facto law minister, alleging that DAP had lobbied for these positions even before the 14th general election.

Although this is a far cry from the earlier lie that I would become the Prime Minister if Pakatan Harapan had won the general election, we must ask whether these new lies are “shariah-compliant” and permissible?

The Semenyih by-election on Saturday will be a crucial test whether Malaysian politics and public affairs are to take the high ground to promote national unity, understanding and harmony to leverage on the best qualities of the diverse races, religions, languages and cultures in the country to make them assets to transform Malaysia into a world top-class nation or regress to a very toxic and vicious brew of lies and fake news to incite suspicion, distrust, hate and fear among the different races and religions in the country, turn our diversity into liabilities and lock Malaysia into the trajectory hurtling towards a failed state.

I urge the voters of Semenyih to vote for Pakatan Harapan for we are committed to the New Malaysia where the nation would be admired and respected by the world as a top world-class nation, while a vote for UMNO will condemn the nation towards the latter direction.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri