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Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 20th August 2009: 

Let Muhyiddin answer whether he is for or against Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and why 1Malaysia concept is not the primary theme of Umno/BN in Permatang Pasir by-election instead of the very opposite?

The 52nd National Day is just ten days away but never before in the nation’s 52-year history have preparations for National Day celebrations been marred and threatened by so many black clouds – the A (H1N1) pandemic which has claimed 67 lives and the almost daily barrage attacking Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia concept in the exploitation of the race and religious cards by Umno leaders.

What is quite incredible is that the person leading the campaign of race and religion representing an open repudiation of Najib’s 1Malaysia concept is none other than the Deputy Prime Minister and Umno Deputy President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, as illustrated by his utterances in the Permatang Pasir by-election campaign.

Let Muhyiddin answer whether he is for or against Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and if he supports the 1Malaysia concept, why is this not the primary theme of Umno/Barisan Nasional in the Permatang Pasir by-election instead of a campaign line which is the very opposite repudiating everything that 1Malaysia stands for?

Even before the Permatang Pasir by-election, Muhyiddin had already spearheaded a vitriolic Umno attack on Pakatan Rakyat by remorselessly and relentlessly cranking up communal sentiments starting with his repeated charge that Parliamentary Opposition Leader and PKR chief, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is “a traitor to the Malay race” (with Umno divisions mobilizing all over the country to support Muhyiddin in calling Anwar a Malay “traitor), as well as other baseless and mischievous allegations that PAS has betrayed Islam by working with DAP and that DAP had insulted Islam by working with PAS!

Muhyiddin may think that he could play the role of a Malaysian statesman after the Permatang Pasir by-election on August 25, saying all the nice, good and proper things about the country’s biggest challenge to maintain unity and racial harmony among its people from various ethnic backgrounds in the few days before National Day on August 31.

Muhyiddin should know that it is the height of irresponsibility for a Deputy Prime Minister to be playing the race and religious cards to the hilt in the Permatang Pasir by-election, straining race and religious understanding and ties to the utmost just for the sake of winning votes, and then hoping to undo the great harm done to nation-building in the by-election in the few days before the 52nd National Day on August 31.

How can Muhyiddin convince Malaysians that he is being honest and sincere about 1Malaysia when the country celebrates the 52nd National Day when he can lead a campaign which repudiates the very essence of the 1Malaysia concept in the Permatang Pasir by-election less than a week before National Day?

What Malaysians want from a Deputy Prime Minister is not a political chameleon but a political statesman and Malaysian leader.

In fact, what Muhyiddin said in the past few days have also exposed the hollowness of the commitment of Umno/Barisan Nasional government to integrity and good governance.

For instance, in response to allegations that Muhyiddin had set a bad example and abused his powers as Deputy Prime Minister in using RMAF Nuri helicopters, not for official purposes, but for officiating Umno division functions in Sabah (which came to public knowledge last weekend when the military helicopter Muhyiddin was flying had a forced landing) was the arrogant retort: “It (the allegations) does not scare me at all”.

That shows Muhyiddin’s utter contempt for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) from the safety of immunity he enjoys despite the MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan’s most recent and lame protestation: “Everybody is the same and no one is accorded special treatment”!

Muhyiddin’s arrogance of power and contempt for integrity were again in display yesterday in his response to the Bar Council’s disbarment of the Umno candidate for Permatang Pasir by-election Rohaizat Othman for personal misconduct last year, likening the Bar Council’s fines to “parking tickets”!

What more need be said? These statements bespeak volumes!

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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