KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 ― Lim Guan Eng today suggested that Barisan Nasional’s (BN) harsh treatment of those responsible for last week’s Merdeka Day misadventures despite a failure to address similar transgressions by hardliners in Umno and Perkasa will alienate its non-Malay support.
The DAP secretary-general said the action will also serve to
highlight the government’s apparent bias after having ignored unruly
behaviour displayed previously by to Malay right wingers.
Lim pointed out that unlike the political leaders, the youths who
mooned over or trampled on photographs of the country’s leaders and
raised a pre-independence flag during last week’s Merdeka Day
celebrations had not committed the acts with malicious intent.
“But this Perkasa... they are extremists. These youths, they just want to have fun, they do not know what they are doing.
“But others, they have done this three, four times. Not only stepping
and burning photographs but even performing Hindu funeral rites for me.
This is not just an insult to the Hindus but also to the Muslims,” he
said in a press conference in Penang earlier today.
The Bagan MP pointed out that unlike the young mischief makers,
several of whom have apologised for their actions over the week, those
from Perkasa and other pro-Umno supporters have yet to come forward to
do the same.
Despite this, Lim said the authorities appeared overly determined to
throw the book at the youths, even opening a probe against them under
the Sedition Act, a law that the government has promised it will repeal
He urged the government to have a “big heart” and accept the
apologies offered by the two teenagers over the picture-stomping
incident, saying it was punishment enough their actions were heavily
In a separate statement here, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang suggested the
same, and urged a Cheras-based private college to reverse its decision
to expel one of the teenagers, the 19-year old boy from Batu Pahat.
“This incident just shows that Perkasa is Umno and Umno is Perkasa.
Clearly, they do not need the non-Malay votes,” Guan Eng said.
“The way they behave... BN does not need the non-Malay votes, they do
not want the non-Malay votes and I think this message has been passed
Other opposition politicians have railed against the authorities for
the speed with which they have reprimanded the youths for the incident,
noting a failure to do the same against pro-Umno, pro-BN and Perkasa
activists who previously committed the comparable offences.
Malay right wing group Perkasa had in May this year organised a mock funeral for Lim.
The group’s leaders, as well as other pro-Umno activists have also
held numerous protests where the photographs of prominent Pakatan Rakyat
(PR) leaders and civil society activists like Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan
were trampled on or even torched.
Shortly after the April 28 Bersih rally in the city, a group of army
veterans had also performed butt exercises outside Ambiga’s home.
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