The PAS-UMNO HPU and its Charter last Saturday have resulted in escalation of fake news and hate speech in the manipulation of issues of race and religion to polarise inter-racial and inter-religious relations in the country

The PAS-UMNO Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah (HPU) and its Charter last Saturday have resulted in the escalation of fake news and hate speech in the manipulation of issues of race and religion in the past five days to polarise inter-racial and inter-religious relations in the country.

First, UMNO Vice President and former Minister, Datuk Ismail Sabri perpetrated the fake news that Jakim and the halal certification process had been transferred to the Finance Ministry, and disseminated the hate speech to create alarm, fear and hate among Muslims that non-Muslims are now responsible for the halal certification process.

Next, on Malaysia Day on Monday, PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang perpetrated the vile and divisive fake news at a Malaysia Day function in Bintulu that DAP wanted to give control of the state and its wealth to the Chinese and disseminated the equally vile and divisive hate speech to create alarm, fear and hate among Malays and Muslims that the DAP was “the biggest leader” in the Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya to ensure “the wealth for Chinese only, not for all people; other people are left behind”!

Third, since the PAS-UMNO HPU and its Charter, there had been an upsurge of vile and divisive fake news and hate speech on the social media exploiting the 3Rs to depict a false picture of DAP as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Royalty.

Fourth, the PAS Deputy President, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man yesterday ramped up the attack on DAP alleging that it was pursuing a “Christianisation agenda”, citing as example the speech by the Deputy Youth and Sports Minister and DAP MP for Bukit Mertajam, Steven Sim, at a “New Malaysia Narrative” forum on “Anak Malaysia? Our Story of Past, Present and Future Malaysia” at Mega Chinese Methodist Church in Kota Damansara.

I was shocked by Tuan Ibrahim’s allegation when I first read it in the media, but Steven Sim has since explained that he was speaking to Christians in a church and had discussed their responsibilities as Malaysians.

He said he highlighted In his speech values from the Bible as a guide to become good Malaysians, for example, justice; transparency; helping the meek and poor; (and) rejecting corruption, oppression and racism.

He did not criticise or touch on other religions, and in fact urged Malaysian Christians to be good citizens who practiced such values.

Can Tuan Ibrahim explain what was wrong with Steven Sim speaking at a church forum advising Christians to be good citizens?

Is Tuan Ibrahim going to suggest that all politicians should be banned from speaking at houses of worship, whether mosques, churches or temples starting with PAS leaders?

I agree with Sim that Tuan Ibrahim should respect freedom of religion as enshrined in the Federal Constitution and to stop spreading hate and division among Malaysians of various races and religions.

Tuan Ibrahim should heed the statement by the Herman Shastri, the General Secretary of the Council of Churches in Malaysia (CCM) who said that the PAS Deputy President should not imply that the forum was used for political propaganda, and to stop insinuating that the church was promoting it.

I commend the Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman for his defence of his deputy minister from Tuan Ibrahim’s fake news and hate speech, urging for a stop of the politics of hate and “let us build more abridges together as a united Malaysia”.

For Tuan Ibrahim’s information and other like-minded PAS and UMNO leaders, DAP has no Christianisation agenda and they should stop making such vile and baseless accusation against the DAP. I am a Buddjhist and not a Christian.

But I expect an avalanche of fake news and hate speech in the coming days, weeks and months to create alarm, fear and hate so as to polarise race and religious relations to envelop the social media after the PAS-UMNO HPU, which is why the National Co-operation Charter signed by the leaders of two parties was actually a Charter for Fake News and Hate Speech.

PAS leaders make the most feeble attempt to deny that the alliance they formed with UMNO was an alliance of klepto-theocracy, as singularly absent is any PAS condemnation of the the global kleptocrat, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the monstrous 1MDB scandal. In fact, Najib occupied a place of honour at the PAS-UMNO HPU.

DAP had previously formed an alliance with PAS to form Pakatan Rakyat together with PKR, but the coalition was clearly based on a set of principles which was spelt out in a Joint Statement of the leaders of DAP, PKR and PAS on 12th April 2008 which declared, viz:

“The policies of Pakatan Rakyat are centred on objectives that have been agreed upon and accepted by the leaders of the three parties that are keADILan, DAP and PAS. Among these are to develop this country on the basis of justice, create opportunities for all citizens to enjoy national prosperity and to accord priority to those who are poor and marginalized.”

But when Hadi as the PAS President decided on implementing Hudud without agreement from DAP, it sounded the death knell for Pakatan Rakyat.

DAP will never endorse the PAS-UMNO HPU like MCA and MIC as it had been violated even before the ink of the Charter was dry – in violating the Federal Constitution as the PAS leadership does not accept a non-Malay Malaysian as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, as provided by Article 43 of the Malaysian Constitution.

I have said that I do not foresee a non-Malay becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia in my life-time, but the PAS leadership rejects any possibility of an “Obama moment” for a non-Malay Prime Minister, even if it takes 100 years!

But PAS leaders can accept a kleptocrat as a Prime Minister, proving that the PAS-UMNO alliance is really one of klepto-theocracy and the National Co-operation Charter is nothing more than a Charter by PAS and UMNO leaders to peddle fake news and hate speech to polarise race and religious relations in Malaysia.

It is most ironic that PAS leaders are talking about revival of Islamic “Golden Age” through the PAS-UMNO HPU and its Charter, when there is no instance in human history of a civilisation able to establish a “Golden Age” based on kleptocracy, fake news and hate speech!

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri