PM cannot keep silent when his deputy in government has repudiated his call for national reconciliation

At the BN Thanksgiving Function held at the Sekolah Menengah Tengku Temenggong Ahmad in Kundang Ulu, Muar two days ago, Deputy Prime Minister gave an assurance that the government would lay greater emphasis on sections of the society who had supported the BN in the last general election to the extent that the party succeeded in continuing to administer the country.

"The clear message is that the majority of the Malays, Indians, bumiputera, Orang Asli, Siamese community as well as those in Sabah and Sarawak still support the BN. We will continue to give them greater assistance, that is what we will do," he was quoted as saying.

There is no doubt that Muhyiddin was sending a message to those voters who did not support BN that they would be penalized. It is also very clear that he was targeting the Chinese community for two obvious reasons, firstly the Prime Minister had mentioned after the May 5 polls result that BN’s dismal performance was due to Chinese Tsunami and secondly, Muhyiddin had missed out Chinese in his speech.

Punishing any voter for not supporting the government goes against the spirit of democracy and Muhyiddin’s message is totally unacceptable.

It is common to hear that in a mature democracy, voters will punish a political party for implementation of unpopular polices but in Malaysia, we have a government which thinks that it can punish voters as political revenge.

Muhyiddin’s remarks have shown that despite the nation having had 13 general elections, our democracy and BN politicians have yet to attain maturity.

I call on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib to make clear whether he agrees with Muhyiddin’s remarks.

Let me remind Najib that after the May 5 polls results, he has talked about the need for national reconciliation. He has also talked about wanting to be the Prime Minister for all Malaysians.

Najib cannot keep silent when his deputy in the government has uttered remarks which repudiate his call for national reconciliation.

In fact, Najib’s failure to halt Utusan Malaysia from going on with its race baiting articles and reports has resulted in the public perception that Umno conservative thinking has been on the rise after the May 5 polls and that he has become a lame duck Umno President and Prime Minister.

He has only himself to blame if such public perception becomes stronger due to his failure to repudiate Muhyiddin.

M. Kula Segaran DAP National Vice Chairman & MP for Ipoh Barat