Late last night, I was quite tickled by a flurry of headlines in news portals like “Muhyiddin says not Kit Siang’s latest recruit in ‘Save Malaysia’ campaign” (MMO); “I’m my own man, not your recruit, Muhyiddin tells Kit Siang” (Malaysiakini); “I’m nobody’s recruit, says Muhyiddin” (TMI) and “‘I am not Kit Siang’s recruit’, says Muhyiddin” (FMT).
I never said that the former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin was my “latest recruit” in my speech at the Johor Pakatan Harapan Chinese New Year Open House on Sunday night.
Let me reproduce the relevant part of my speech about the three messages the Johore Pakatan Harapan wanted to send out from the Chinese New Year Open House in Muar:
“Thirdly, the message we want to send out to Johorians and Malaysians is that the greatest objective in the 14th General Election is not whether Pakatan Harapan can replace UMNO/BN in Johore State and Putrajaya Federal Governments, but whether Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region and even politics are capable of uniting on a common national platform to ‘Save Malaysia’ from becoming a failed state because of rampant corruption and widespread socio-economic injustices and a ‘rogue state’ where there is no Rule of Law and those in power can abuse their powers with impunity.
“’Save Malaysia’ from becoming a failed and rogue state must now be the rallying cry for all Malaysians, starting from Johor, and I am glad that more and more Malaysians are taking up this patriotic call before it is too late.
“The latest recruit to the ‘Save Malaysia’ agenda is none other than the former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin whose message at the Chinese New Year Open House in Pagoh was the urgent and imperative need for Malaysians to unite to ‘Save Malaysia’ from becoming a ‘failed state’.
“Muhyiddin lamented that the biggest problem facing Malaysia today is an absence of the spirit that ensures that its leaders hold fast to good values and dare to speak up truthfully and honestly.
“He called for ‘the start of the struggle’ for Malaysia to recover its greatness, to make Malaysia a great nation, and not a country heading in the direction of a ‘failed state’ because of rampant corruption and widespread socio-economic injustices.
Only the dumbest and those grossly deficient in the English language and general comprehension would use what I said in my speech in Muar on Sunday to mount an attack on Muhyiddin on the ground I had had claimed the Deputy Prime Minister is my “latest recruit” in the “Save Malaysia” campaign – which I had never done so, especially as “Save Malaysia” is not my monopoly but the responsibility of every patriotic Malaysian.
“University of UMNO graduates”, whether Ministers, national bureau chiefs or cybertroopers, should attend English language lessons and polish up on their levels of comprehension so that they would not continue to make howlers like the UMNO Information Chief claiming that the RM2.6 billion donation deposited into Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal banking account is “not a big sum” to face one general election and having to run away from the media when asked to elaborate on the matter; or a Deputy Minister who wanted action to be taken against food outlets which mislead Muslims with their “pork-free” labelling to mean halal when “pork free” simply means what it says and says what it means that it does not supply pork meat, nothing more nothing less. The term “pork free” does not mean “halal”.
But is the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali’s exoneration of Najib from any criminal wrongdoing in the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM42 million SRC International scandals intended to mislead Malaysians and the world into believing that the Najib government is one of integrity, accountability and good governance?
Finally, let me reiterate that I never claim monopoly to the “Save Malaysia” campaign, which must be the responsibility and challenge of every Malaysian, including patriotic UMNO leaders, the three million UMNO members and 21,000 UMNO branches.
Whether the “Save Malaysia” campaigns whether inside or outside UMNO, can find a meeting point, only time will tell.