11 Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day - I never accuse Ghani Othman as a 'racist'

Johor Mentri Besar, Johor Barisan Nasional Chairman and BN candidate for Gelang Patah, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman is reported in the media of expressing his disappointment that I had accused him of playing the race card.

He said I should not get 'desperate' and insinuate that he is racist just to gain support from the Chinese voters who made up the majority of constituents in Gelang Patah.

He told New Straits Times: "I believe that he (Lim) is getting desperate. Everyone knows that I am not racist, and that is why I think he is trying to paint a picture of me being one".

I do not know where Ghani got this report, just as I am equally mystified where Ghani got the report that I had said that if I win in Gelang Patah, PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang will become the Prime Minister.

I had never said that Ghani is a racist. I do not believe Ghani is a racist. This is what I said about Ghani two days ago:

"The BN candidate for Gelang Patah, the four-term Johor Mentri Besar, Datuk Ghani Othman, is a classic Malay gentleman who is respected for his moderate and rational views. I have no qualms in giving credit to him for bringing development and progress to Johor in his 18 years as Mentri Besar.

"But he does not sound like himself in his first two pronouncements after the Nomination Day on Saturday, as captured by these Malaysiakini headlines:

  • Ghani rails against Pakatan's "racial polarisation"

  • Ghani: If Kit wins, Hadi might be PM

"Ghani is sounding more like Perkasa leaders like Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Noordin as what he said is completely contrary to his image as a moderate, rational and level-headed political leader.

"Is this the price that moderate leaders have to pay if they are to stay and survive in present-day UMNO, whose most powerful leader is not Najib Razak but Mahathir?"

It would appear that Ghani is surrounded by very bad or sinisters advisers who seem to want to destroy Ghani's reputation as a moderate, rational and level-headed political leader.

Let me reiterate. I never accuse Ghani Othman as a "racist" , I believe he is not a "racist" and I invite Ghani to join me in making the Battle of Gelang Patah and the Battle of Johor a clean, fair and gentlemanly contest of ideas and visions with no playing of the race or religion cards or money politics.

This will be our greatest contribution to Malaysian politics, especially as the 13GE is expected to the dirtiest general elections in history, not only in terms of the lies and falsehoods, race and religion cards, which will be deployed (I expect the worst examples of such "dirty politics" to be unleashed in the last three days of the 13GE campaign) but the scale of money politics which put previous general election campaigns to shame.

Lim Kit Siang Pakatan Rakyat candidate for Gelang Patah