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Press Statement by Charles Santiago in Klang on Wednesday, 11th February 2009:

Derhaka, flunkies and UMNO thuggery

First we have a democratically elected Pakatan Rakyat government ousted in a well-executed coup. The shameless tactic was engineered by deputy prime minister Najib Tun Razak to shore up his image as an adept politician ahead of a power transition next month at the ruling UMNO internal elections.

Then we have an overzealous politician, Khairy Jamaluddin, calling for Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin's citizenship to be stripped. His rallying cry came at a demonstration attended by mostly UMNO members.

News reports say that Khairy worked the crowd to such frenzy that they were united in their view of killing any person who had committed treason. Mohammad Nizar was not just betrayed by elected representatives who were encouraged by UMNO to switch loyalties. He is now also branded a traitor.

Khairy incited the crowd and perpetrated hatred. The police, on the other hand, stood watch while protesters burnt posters of Mohammad Nizar. The aspiring politician must be frantic to score brownie points with UMNO members to burnish his image as party loyalist. After all he is gunning for the top UMNO youth post.

Pakatan leaders and specifically Mohammad Nizar were accused of inciting the people who had turned up at Kuala Kangsar to protest against the swearing in of Zambry Abdul Kadir. But there is not a whimper from UMNO and Barisan Nasional about Khairy's blatant attempt to create further chaos in Perak.

DAP Chairman and prominent lawyer, Karpal Singh, has also fallen prey to UMNO's political thuggery. It is his democratic right as a citizen to file a legal suit against the Ruler. But branding Karpal and Mohammad Nizar as traitors clearly shows that UMNO is trying to use the monarchy as a political tool.

Before the dust on the defection game could settle, we are faced with the resignation of another opposition leader, V Arumugam. He claims to have been threatened and offered RM5 million to join Barisan Nasional. We are also hearing similar allegations from other opposition representatives in Perak.

The Malaysian public are seething with anger over the unconstitutional takeover of Perak. Reports of dirty strategies by UMNO and the Barisan Nasional coalition government would only serve to further annoy the people.

Therefore, the MACC and police should act immediately and independently on the reports lodged by Arumugam, claiming he has been under the gun from UMNO and Barisan Nasional. The findings of these investigations must be made public as the people have a right to know if ruling politicians are using dubious means to compel elected representatives to cross over.

What can I say about Khairy? It is redundant to urge UMNO leaders to warn Khairy to zip up. They themselves brandish the sword and sneak in racist remarks to create fear among the public.

But such foolish calls should stop. Or they would create further political and inadvertently economic instability in the country.

* Charles Santiago, MP for Klang



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