Wednesday 11 May 2011

Guan Eng: Christian state a ruse to cover price rises

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng is lamenting that the Umno-led government has resorted to inciting religious sentiments to divert public attention from its “economic mismanagement and policy failures”.

NONELim - who is also Penang chief minister - said the recent increase petrol and sugar prices have “exposed the real malicious motive” behind the Umno leaders' purported alarm over allegations published in blogs and Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia that a conspiracy is afoot to turn Malaysian into a Christian state.

He was referring to the hike of RON97 petrol announced last Wednesday, to RM2.90 - up 20 sen since the last increase in April.

Five days later, the price of sugar went up by 20 sen to RM2.30 a kilogramme, a 10 percent rise from the price of RM2.10 a kilo.

According to Lim, Utusan's May 7 report alleging that DAP is conspiring with Christian leaders to change the federal constitution to allow for a Christian to become prime minister “is a desperate attempt by Umno to distract attention from economic mismanagement and policy failures that have caused the prices of petrol and sugar to rise”.

utusan malaysia kritsian agama rasmi“Ordinary Malaysians are heavily burdened by the rise in the cost of living which has made (earning a) livelihood more difficult," he said in a statement today.

“Oddly the price rises invariably come after a big victory by BN, whether in by-elections or state elections."

Dismissing claims that the latest price increase resulting from a cut in sugar subsidy would enable the government to channel RM116.6 million saved to development projects, Lim questioned why the government continued to subsidise independent power producers (IPPs) to the tune of RM10 billion last year if it was really concerned about freeing up funds.

In 2009, state petroleum firm Petronas' subsidies to IPPs amounted to RM19 billion, he noted. Cumulative subsidies up to last November since the gas price was fixed, to the power sector in 1997 and the non-power sector in 2002, amounted to RM126.6 billion.

azlanUtusan has therefore taken the easy way out of explaining the price rises with this dangerous lie against an easy target to bully.

“By failing to punish and stop Utusan from continuing this campaign of lies that Islam is under threat, the BN government is making Christians an object of hate and inciting Muslims against the minority Christian community.

“Such double standards by BN leaders lend suspicion that Utusan enjoys full immunity as an Umno-owned paper to spread dangerous lies and is allowed to conduct its campaign of hate against minority peaceful Christians, who are helpless to defend themselves.”
'Stumbling block to 1Msia'
Gerakan, meanwhile, called for an "immediate and transparent investigation" to be carried out on Utusan over the allegations that it had raised.

Saying this today, its vice-president Mah Siew Keong said the investigations need to be transparent and firm so that justice to Christian leaders is done and to show the falseness of the report.

gerakan youth agm 2007 051007 mah siew keong"It is important that the matter be attended to immediately because it has created a lot of tension in society," said Mah (left), who expressed disappointment that such an established newspaper has often been found making "inflammatory remarks".

"Malaysia is a nation where racial and religious issues are sensitive issues, and it is a common knowledge among the media workers that such matters have to be handled with sensitivity.
"However, Utusan Malaysia is doing the otherwise by producing inciting articles," said Mah, citing its reports over the "1Melayu 1Bumi" movement initiated by Perkasa as well.
"(As) Utusan Malaysia is clearly a stumbling block to the Prime Minister's 1Malaysia ideology, it is only prudent that the government deals with any party that tries to arouse racial or religious sentiments among the public if the government is to succeed in upholding the spirit of 1Malaysia."

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