When the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday personally led three senior UMNO Ministers to attack the Pakatan Rakyat with the canard that PR wanted to replace the national flag Jalur Gemilang, it was more than anything else a reflection of their sense of desperation about UMNO/Barisan Nasional prospects in the impending 13th General Election than respect for the truth.
I do not believe that with all the police and intelligence resources at their command, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein could be unaware that there is completely no basis whatsoever in the canard that Pakatan Rakyat wanted to change the national flag.
The change of the national flag is never a Pakatan Rakyat agenda and has never been discussed or raised in any Pakatan Rakyat meeting.
This was why I had yesterday twittered in response to the allegation that PR wanted to change the national flag:
“Never came across such scatter-brained idea before. UMNO/BN dirty-tricks dept very busy”
I had not expected the UMNO leadership to be so desperate about their prospects in the forthcoming general election as to jump on the issue as if it is a “God-sent” to accuse the Pakatan Rakyat of disloyalty and being anti-national, throwing in other lies and falsehoods against the PR like wanting to abolish the royal institution and turn the Malaysia into a republic.
But what was really surprising was this “political offensive of lies and falsehoods” was so high-powered, as it was not left to the army of UMNO/BN cybertroopers, but was spearheaded by none other than the Prime Minister himself, with three senior UMNO Ministers, viz Hishammuddin, the Minister for International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamed and the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar providing the back-up to mount the quadruplet of attacks on the Pakatan Rakyat yesterday.
But these attacks were clearly cooked up by the UMNO/BN dirty tricks department, for there is no truth whatsoever in the allegations that the PR wanted to change the national flag or to abolish the system of constitutional monarchy.
This was the reason for the later chronology of my eight tweets yesterday on the subject:
1. Signs UMNO dirty tricks department fast at work? http://goo.gl/3ttJt Mustapa warns bid turn Malaysia into republic – amend Constitution/flag (TMI)
2. Rising paranoia of UMNO/BN leaders with hyperactivity by dirty tricks department? http://goo.gl/0o2ej Najib wants BN ‘wall’ around Putrajaya (TMI)
3. Hysteria + paranoia! How come I know nothing about it? http://goo.gl/F9QF8 Najib alleges PR behind bid to replace national flag (TMI)
4. Can Najib tell us more about what PR has decided that DAP leaders know nothing about? Umno dirty tricks department really work overtime involving PM
5. Reminds me of old film, Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World. PR leaders from PKR PAS also do not know what Najib talking about http://goo.gl/F9QF8
6. UMNO dirty tricks dept concocting “agenda” for PR like change flag/Constitution to allow PM/UMNO leaders to get hysterical, irrational, extremist
7. Fourth UMNO Minister same day make baseless charge PR wants to change Jalur Gemilang http://goo.gl/DiX9a PR has lost direction says Noh Omar (TMI)
8. Next UMNO Minister to tell canard about PR want 2change national flag – after Mustapha Hisham Najib Noh Omar? Having pack of liars in Cabinet?
Pakatan Rakyat, through its various policy pronouncements, including the Pakatan Rakyat Common Policy Framework in December 2009 and the Buku Jingga on December 2010, had reiterated the PR’s commitment to uphold the fundamental features in the Malaysian Constitution, in particular “to defend the role and responsibility of the institution of Constitutional Monarchy”.
It is the height of irresponsibility for the Prime Minister and senior Umno Ministers to spearhead the Umno/BN dirty tricks department’s campaign of lies and falsehoods against PR as when the four UMNO Ministers repeated the canards that PR wanted to change the national flag and to turn Malaysia into a republic.
Everyone is expecting the 13th General Election to be the dirtiest in the nation’s history of elections.
Is Najib prepared prove them wrong, and as head of Barisan Nasional make a national compact with the Pakatan Rakyat to conduct a free, fair and clean election campaign in the 13th General Election in keeping with his claim that Malaysia is the world’s best democracy?
Najib should be reminded that “Stopping Dirty Politics” is one of the eight demands of Bersih 2.0 for clean, free and fair elections. As Bersih 2.0 rightly pointed out in its statement of May 24, 2012:
“In addition to repeated instances of political corruption, politics in Malaysia has grown increasingly dirty in recent times. There have been increased incidences of personal slandering, distortion of issues and spreading of rumours and lies.”
The ball is in Najib’s court. Is he prepared to set an exemplary leadership to ensure clean, free and fair elections or is he going to spearhead the “dirtiest general election” in the nation’s history?
If the former, then the first thing Najib should do is to disband UMNO/BN’s “dirty tricks department” which have been responsible for the heap of lies and falsehoods against PR leaders lately.