The statement by the UMNO Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob in Sungai Besar is typical of the lies and politics of hatred spouted by UMNO leaders, even in this holy month of Ramadan.
Ismail accused former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir of working with a group who wants to reject Malay special rights and Islam, and said that if Mahahtir is “with Lim Guan Eng and Lim Kit Siang that speak for itself”.
I challenge UMNO Ministers to cite just one case that I had been anti-Malay or anti-Islam in my 50 years in politics or they should stop their politics of lies and hatred and focus on how to unite Malaysians of diverse races and religions in the country to build a great, just and prosperous Malaysia.
I can cite a list of the racist speeches by Ismail and other UMNO leaders, including Ismail’s infamous call to Malays last year to boycott Chinese businesses, but can they cite just one instance of my being anti-Malay or anti-Islam in my 50 years in Malaysian politics?
I do not think there is another political leader who had suffered more sustained and greater demonisation in the past 50 years than myself, as I had been accused of all sorts of dastardly and evil deeds especially through the Barisan Nasional-owned and controlled mainstream media.
I have been accused of being anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-Malay Rulers, anti-Chinese-educated Chinese, anti-English-educated Chinese, anti-Indian, an agent of Russian KGB, agent of American CIA, agent of British M16, agent of Australian Intelligence Services, and a host of unimaginable allegations.
I had been accused of causing the May 13, 1969 riots in Kuala Lumpur, of having led illegal processions through the streets of Kuala Lumpur hurling anti-Malay slogans and provocations and even urinating in the house of the then Selangor Mentri Besar, Datuk Harun Idris, in Kampong Baru in Kuala Lumpur, as was portrayed in the film “Tanda Putera”!
But I was never in Kuala Lumpur during the May 13, 1969 days as I had flown to Kota Kinabalu early on the morning of May 13, 1969 to help in the belated election campaigning in Sabah and Sarawak and I learnt about the tragic events of the May 13, 1969 riots in Kuala Lumpur when I was whispered the shocking news while speaking at a massive public rally at the Sabah capital.
The police had a full record of my whereabouts during those tragic days of May 13, 1969, but the authorities’ knowledge that I was never in Kuala Lumpur during that time did not stop those-in-power from concocting and spinning the lie and myth down the decades that I was in Kuala Lumpur at the time and responsible for the May 13, 1969 riots.
The lies and falsehoods to demonise me have gone through various versions with new combinations and permutations.
The latest is the allegation that AMANAH leaders have become my stooges and puppets, and even the longest-serving Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir has become my latest puppet and stooge.
Imagine – Mahathir a stooge of Lim Kit Siang! Those who concoct such lies and falsehoods must have abandoned reason and sanity!
Many Malaysians have forgotten that at one time, DAP leaders were accused of being puppets and stooges of PAS, and this was why Karpal Singh and I lost in the parliamentary contests in the 1999 general election, when MCA and Gerakan propagandists cranked up such lies and falsehoods in the short campaign period in the 1999 general elections, alleging that a vote for DAP was a vote for PAS and a vote for Islamic State, and that there would be no Chinese schools to study, no pork to eat, and no temples for the Buddhists to pray.
May be it was the shocking defeat of Karpal and myself for the parliamentary elections in 1999 which woke up the Chinese and non-Malays to the MCA and
Gerakan lies and falsehoods that Karpal and I could be puppets and stooges of PAS or anyone else, and although the same lies and falsehoods were spread in the 14 years from 1999 to 2013 general elections, such lies and falsehoods that DAP could be puppets and stooges of PAS lost all credibility whatsoever.
However, the lies and falsehoods in the Malay areas that PAS leaders like Hadi and others were DAP stooges and puppets had a longer life-span, lasting up to the 2013 general elections, to the extent that after causing the disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat, PAS leaders copied the UMNO ploy to accuse AMANAH leaders of being stooges and puppets of DAP.
Let me ask PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang whether he was a puppet and stooge of DAP during the seven years of PAS in Pakatan Rakyat, and if not, why is PAS copying the unethical and dishonest UMNO tactics to falsely accuse AMANAH leaders of being DAP stooges and puppets?
UMNO is continuing its politics “divide and rule” through the adoption of the politics of race, but PAS is now emulating UMNO tactics of “divide and rule” using the politics of religion – totally abandoning the “PAS for all” slogan and approach of PAS in the seven years of Pakatan Rakyat.
DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, has also been accused of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam, when the Penang State Government in the eight years under Guan Eng had done more to promote Islam than the Barisan Nasional and Alliance governments had done in 51 years in Penang from 1957 to 2008!
In 1998, Guan Eng lost his MP-ship, parliamentary pensions and went to jail for 18 months, not because he had committed any crime of theft, robbery, murder or corruption, but because he had defended the dignity and honour of an underaged Malay girl!
Is there another case in the nearly 60 years of Malaysian politics of an UMNO/Barisan Nasional leader who was prepared to sacrifice his parliamentary position, pensions and gone to jail for standing up for the human rights of a Malaysian of another race and religion?
In fact, is there a single UMNO/Barisan Nasional leader who had been prepared to sacrifice his political future and gone to jail for defending the basic rights of a Malaysian of his own race and religion – never mind about a Malaysian of different race and religion?
Guan Eng and I do not ask for recognition, honour or gratitude for what we have done in our political struggle, because what we have done is expected of all patriotic Malaysians – but it clearly crosses the line of decency and morality to continue to indulge in lies and falsehoods to demonise Guan Eng and I as anti-Malay and anti-Islam, where there is no basis whatsoever.
Guan Eng and I are not anti-Malay or anti-Islam. We are not anti any race or any religion. We want all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region and even political affiliation to come together as patriotic Malaysians to save Malaysia from gross violations of human rights, corruption and socio-economic injustices which have blighted our beloved country and denied Malaysians the greatness they are capable of.
(Speech at the Pakatan Harapan Kuala Kangsar by-election ceramah in Kuala Kangsar town on Sunday, 12th June 2016 at 10.30 pm)