Tuesday, April 26, 2011

PAS warns UMNO leaders over support for Utusan's racism

KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 26 : The latest campaign by Perkasa mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia in calling for the "1Melayu, 1Bumi" has earned condemnation from PAS vice president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (right).

Tuan Ibrahim said the paper, called in the wake of the BN's heavy defeat in Chinese-majority areas in Sarawak, failed to understand the voting pattern of the Chinese.

“Chinese voters rejected SUPP, but it does not mean they reject Malays. The winners were DAP's Chinese candidates, the ones who lost were also Chinese from SUPP.

"The issue of Chinese uniting to reject Malay candidates does not arise at all,” he told Harakahdaily.

Tuan Ibrahim, who is also PAS state commissioner for Pahang, said the idea of "1Melayu" underlined UMNO’s failure in understanding the situation in Sarawak, and the people’s desire to end race-based politics.

The paper's call however gave rise to cracks between prime minister Najib Razak and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin, after the latter openly sided with Utusan Malaysia.

“It is the voice and desire of the Malay community and also Malaysians in general. If we read Utusan, we can see that there are also reports on other things.

“Just like other media, there are pro and cons. We cannot stop a media from reporting what it wants to report but there is a limit,” Muhyiddin was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insider.

Muhyiddin was responding to calls by an irate MCA to boycott the right-wing daily, warning that such a movement would lead to an apartheid-like system in Malaysia.

'Not Malays' voice'

Tuan Ibrahim however dismissed the claim that the UMNO-owned paper was the Malay’s voice as "far-fetched", saying "dignified Malays would definitely reject any call for a narrow movement such as 1Melayu, 1Bumi" because it could further worsen race relation in the country.

“UMNO's narrow racial politics shows it has failed miserably to be the backbone of the people of various races and religions in governing the country.

"Allowing Utusan Malaysia to continue to fuel racial sentiments is very dangerous to the future of Malaysia," he added, and advised Muhyiddin "to be careful not to ignite racial fire".

Earlier, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang (pic) accused Muhyiddin of opposing Najib’s '1Malaysia' concept by endorsing the "1Melayu, 1Bumi" campaign.

“How can Muhyiddin give endorsement to Utusan Malaysia’s call for ‘1 Melayu, 1Bumi’ when it is clearly an open affront and repudiation of Najib’s 1 Malaysia signature policy?

"Or is Najib Prime Minister for 1Malaysia while Muhyiddin is Deputy Prime Minister for 1Melayu? Is Najib’s 1Malaysia only meant for non-Malays while Muhyiddin’s 1Melayu reserved for Malays?” he asked.

Lim said Najib's deputy had committed "another open defiance and challenge of Najib’s authority and legitimacy as Prime Minister", recalling Muhyiddin's “I am Malay first, Malaysian second” statement last March.

“Or will all the Cabinet ministers from UMNO, MCA, MIC, Gerakan, SUPP and the other Sarawak and Sabah component parties dig their heads deeper into the sand to pretend that they are not aware of such open policy conflict between the prime minister and the deputy prime minister — between 1Malaysia and 1Melayu?” he further asked.


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