Monday 13 August 2012

Kit Siang: Is Utusan against the first three PMs as well?

Utusan Malaysia’s continued claim that it is haram (forbidden) to support DAP was an attack against the first three prime ministers whose stand is that Malaysia is a secular state, said DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang.

In a press release today, Lim said those behind the campaign to use religion against DAP were “anti-national extremists” who are prepared to repudiate the legacy of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Abdul Razak Hussein and Hussein Onn.

“This is because those behind Utusan’s ‘Haram sokong DAP’ campaign cannot be so naive politically as not to know that the next target of the campaign will be the first three prime ministers.

“The DAP’s stand that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as the official religion is exactly the stand taken by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Abdul Razak and Hussein in the first 24 years of the nation’s history  from 1957 to 1981,” said Lim.

What followed, said Lim, was the start of the ‘Haram sokong DAP’ campaign during Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s premiership, in which the latter declared on Sept 29, 2001 that Malaysia was an Islamic state.

“Let me ask Mahathir whether by indirectly distinguishing himself from the first three Prime Ministers, is he in fact giving his endorsement to Utusan’s ‘Haram sokong DAP’ campaign?” asked Lim.

‘Utusan a threat to 1Malaysia’

While commending Umno supreme council member Saifuddin Abdullah for publicly disagreeing with the campaign, Lim said the former was a lone voice and the onus is on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to stop Utusan from continuing its campaign.

He said that if Najib fails to put the brakes on Utusan, he is allowing the newspaper to continue calculated attacks to cause racial and religious distrust, which will ultimately undermine his 1Malaysia policy.

“Even worse, he would be demonstrating that he has not only failed to be a prime minister for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, or class, he is unable to prove that he is prime minister for all factions and groups in Umno and BN,” he said.

Last week, Utusan ran back-to-back front page reports which quoted several Islamic scholars as stating that it was against Islam to support the secular DAP.

In an editorial piece today, the newspaper’s Awang Selamat said Utusan was merely doing its duty, airing views from different quarters, while DAP’s criticism of the news reports was an attempt to silence the Islamic scholars.

“Even before they are in power, they are already trying to silence the ulama,” he said.

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