Media statement by Zairil Khir Johari in George Town on Sunday, 1st April 2012:
UMNO, Utusan Malaysia and TV3 are warned to be held responsible for the personal and public safety of the Penang Chief Minister
The public safety of the Penang Chief Minister can not be treated lightly following dangerous racist lies by UMNO, TV3 and Utusan Malaysia that Lim Guan Eng had caused mosque land to disappear resulting in personal threats by Perkasa to confront Lim personally and violent and hate-filled language by UMNO leaders. These lies have been repeatedly played up again and again on TV and the BN-controlled press to create hatred against non-Malays and non-Muslim as well as Lim personally.
Penang UMNO Youth's lies against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng that he sold or caused mosque land to disappear can not be lightly dismissed as some stupid April Fool's Joke. Even though Lim had refuted these allegations as a desperate lie by UMNO Penang to claw back lost Malay support in Penang, UMNO and TV3 as well as Utusan Malaysia has continued to publicise and promote these dangerous lies.
It is most irresponsible and immoral that denials not only by Lim but also by Dato Seri Nazir Ariff, the Deputy Chairman of the developer that won the open tender bid for the 102-3 acre Bayan Mutiara land, were not publicized in the BN-controlled media. Many Muslims are very disturbed by these lies that have been played up and many have approached Lim personally for clarification. These Muslim members were completely shocked when they realised that these were bare-faced lies by UMNO and became very concerned about the safety of Lim.
These Muslim members of the public say that UMNO, TV3 and Utusan Malaysia playing such racial and religious lies against a non-Malay and non-Muslim leader like Lim, is sinful and unacceptable because they put Lim in personal danger. They advised Lim to be extra careful with his personal safety as such lies can inflame Muslim religious sensitivies and result in action by Muslims against Lim by those who believe in UMNO's lies.
Two days ago on Friday, Perkasa organized a demonstration against Lim on these lies in Komtar. I was informed that Perkasa behaved in a very crude and violent manner even threatening to confront Lim personally as reported in the New Straits Times on 31.3.2012 if Lim does not answer within 7 days. Would Perkasa organize the same demonstration and make the same threats against UMNO when these allegations are proven as lies?
Perkasa public threats to confront Lim personally are the type of threats to Lim's personal and public safety that Lim's Muslim supporters were concerned about. For this reason, UMNO, TV3 and Utusan Malaysia are hereby warned that they would be held responsible should anything happen to Lim as a result of such lies. The police should also take notice of the serious impact UMNO's lies exploiting religion on Lim's personal and public safety.
This is not the first time that Lim had been attacked by lies, as his son was also attacked by UMNO Online of sexually molesting his female classmate and that Lim paid RM 200,000 to cover-up the scandal. Even though the lies were exposed, to-date no action has been taken by the police.
UMNO's lies against Lim, comes close to the Johor Education Department intended seminar that warns of the threats of Christianization to Muslims. Even though the title of the seminar was changed, such attempted demonization of non-Muslims and non-Malays is extremely dangerous and harmful and must be stopped. UMNO's actions are contrary to Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak's 1Malaysia and incompatible with nation-building of a united harmonious multi-racial society.
* Zairil Khir Johari, Special Officer to Penang Chief Minister