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Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 21st July 2009: 

Nazri would do the country a greater service to warn New Straits Times group editor Zainul Arifin to stop his outpouring of communal poison which undermines Najib’s 1Malaysia motto and his credibility as Prime Minister instead of issuing baseless warnings against me in falsely alleging that I am trying to turn Teoh Beng Hock’s case into a racial issue

The de facto Law Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, seems to have found a new hobby. He is merrily issuing warnings against all and sundry, regardless of whether he has any basis for such warnings or not. Probably Nazri should be labelled Minister for Warnings.

Nazri warned me not to turn the death of Teoh Beng Hock into a racial issue. Teoh, the political secretary to Selangor DAP State Exco and State Assemblyman for Seri Kembangan Ean Yong Han Hwa died mysteriously on Thursday after plunging from the 14th floor of MACC on Thursday after going to MACC to co-operate in its investigations.

As a de facto Law Minister, Nazri should not act in any lawless manner. I challenge him to substantiate his warning by citing an instance where I have turned Teoh’s death into a racial issue?

If he can’t, is Nazri prepared to be gentleman enough to apologise for his baseless and unfounded warning?

I have dedicated my entire life to the ideal of a united, harmonious, peaceful, just and prosperous Malaysia and have approached Malaysia’s multi-faceted problems from the perspective of a Malaysian nationalist – and not from the vision of a Chinese, Malay, Indian, Kadazan or Iban chauvinist.

I regard Teoh’s death as an indictment of the Malaysian system of governance and not a racial problem.

I have never regarded the MACC as a Malay or Malay-controlled institution and this is why I do not regard Teoh as a victim of the failure of Malay government but the indictment on a Malaysian government, holding all the Barisan Nasional Ministers and component parties equally responsible!

It is racists like the New Straits Times group managing editor Zainul Arifin who could spout rank communalism who should be the subject of Nazri’s attention and warning.

In his Sunday article in Berita Minggu “Kematian Teoh timbulkan pelbagai spekulasi politik”, Zainul Arifin made the utterly irresponsible, abhorrent and baseless allegation against DAP and Pakatan Rakyat for harbouring the agenda to weaken Malay-controlled institutions like MACC in our campaign for justice for Teoh Beng Hock.

Zainul Arifin could even be so irresponsible as to resort to blatant race-baiting as when he demanded of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim: “"Why does Selangor Menteri Besar, a Malay, doubt the ability of those of his own race to act fairly and sincerely?"

I do not hide the fact that I am a strong and sustained critic of MACC and its predecessor the Anti-Corruption Agency as a Malay institution.

This is simply because of its dismal failure in the battle against corruption as illustrated by the unchecked plunge of Malaysia’s ranking in Transparency International Corruption Perception Index from No. 23 in 1995 to No. 47 in 2008 and the latest admission of MCA President and Transport Minister that corruption was deteriorated with the corrupt emerging from the “darkness” to operate in the open with impunity!

I have always regarded MACC, and before ti the ACA, as a Malaysian institution and criticized it of any failings not because it is a Malay-controlled institution but because it is a Malaysian institution.

Is Zainul Arifin suggesting that the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal is a Chinese scandal because three MCA Ministers and four MCA Port Klang Authority Chairmen are now implicated in it?

Not at all. Just as PKFZ scandal is a Malaysian scandal and not a Malay, Chinese, Indian scandal, the scandal and outrageous death of Teoh is a Malaysian scandal and not a Chinese, Malay, Indian, Kadazan or Iban scandal.

Twenty-five years ago, I was accused of being anti-Malay for exposing the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal. If today, there is still such mentality, Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan cannot have any meaning.

Zainul Ariffin has made a most racist and irresponsible statement, completely unbecoming of a top journalist heading a national daily.

Does Nazri endorse Zainul Arifin’s communal writings and if not why is there no warning from him to the New Straits Times group and its managing editor?

I shudder to think what would happen to Chinese and Tamil newspapers if their editors or writers had played the racial card like Zainul Arifin as their newspaper licences would have been suspended if not revoked immediately?

Why the double standards, Nazri?

Zainul Arifin’s racist article makes a complete mockery of the 1Malaysia motto of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

As Zainul Arifin is managing editor of Umno’s flagship newspaper group, the News Straits Times, are Umno leaders like Nazri prepared to dissociate themselves from Zainul’s racist article, take disciplinary action against Zainul and publicly apologise for Zainul’s racist and communal article.

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



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