Thursday, May 15, 2008


The big blow against BN in the hands of the Opposition in the recent concluded 12th General Election had made BN leaders not only blaming each other, but, also went all way out to discredit the political leaders of the Opposition. The first target was Lim Guan Eng because Lim Guan Eng had shocked BN government by being the first DAP Chief Minister in Penang and when Lim Guan Eng was made the Chief Minister of Penang, UMNO leaders were not happy and twisted the speech of Lim Guan Eng on New Economic Policy. Guan Eng was never against the New Economic Policy (NEP), but, only wanted an equal and transparent distribution of wealth and equal economic opportunities for all and had just wanted that NEP be implemented by way of open tender. Such policy of open tender could give equal opportunity to all malays to participate in the NEP so that NEP is not for the benefit of cronies and people in the corridors of power only. To Guan Eng open tender was also necessary because many malays themselves were no happy with the way how the New Economic Policy was implemented. The twist of facts by UMNO leaders was purely to stir up racial politics against the Opposition, especially the DAP which all the while was painted by BN leaders as a Chinese party and of which was wrong.

After, Guan Eng, UMNO leaders including both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister had unnecessarily stirred up the emotions of the Malaysian public, especially the malays, by accusing Karpal as being disrespectful to the Sultan of Perak when Karpal was expressing his legal opinion touching on legal rights in the administration of the state government of Perak. Karpal never questioned the prerogative of the Sultan and also never disputed the fact that the Sultan was the head of the Islamic religion in Perak. Karpal also never said he disrespected the Sultan and the malays, but, the issue was turned by many quarters into a racial issue and politicized. They accused Karpal’s statement as being seditious and as explained by Karpal, is that, Karpal was only raising a legal issue and had nothing to do with race or prerogative of the Sultan as alleged.

Last week, the State BN through the Honourable Member for Balai Ringin, YB Snowdon Donald Lawan also stirred up the matter in the DUN sitting and this was very irresponsible which caused us in the DAP to stand up to defend Karpal. It was plain lucky that I stayed back to listen the speech while my comrades in DAP was busy with the press outside the Dewan. I had to make a reply to the allegation so as to put the record straight in the Hansard that Karpal’s issue was a legal and not a racial issue and I hope Sarawakians would understand this and not to aggravate the matter that would cause disharmony among the people.

My humble understanding of Karpal’s explanation is that, Karpal said it was purely a legal one because it only touched on the right to transfer a government servant by the present Perak Government of which DAP is part of the government. Although Datuk Jamry Sury was a director from the Perak Islamic Religious Department, unless the exception applies or unless the law otherwise say so applicable to Perak, Malaysians should understand that if Perak Islamic Religious Department was a government department, then, the officers in the said Department could be subjected to any law and directives applicable to other government servants in the state. There could not therefore, two standards of application of law when the classes of people affected are the same. Therefore, government servants from the Perak Islamic Religious Department, therefore, should be also be subjected to transfer like any other government servants from any other government departments. By this humble view, we are not questioning the prerogative of any rulers giving their royalties’ views on matters touching any officers of any Islamic Religious Department. Their views must be accorded the highest respect. Therefore, Karpal’s views had been twisted by many UMNO leaders.

Malaysians should not forget that in March 2008, 23 UMNO state assemblymen in Trengganu staged a public protest over the choice of the Mentri Besar of Trengganu and by doing so had nearly caused a constitutional crisis in Trengganu. The same sentiment was also shown by UMNO leaders in the choice of the Menteri Besar in Perlis and why no action were taken against these UMNO leaders while in respect of Karpal statements, the police swung into full investigation?

The Prime MinisterAbdullah Ahmad Badawi, being a Prime Minister of all Malaysians, had aggravated the situation in Karpal’s case by giving instruction to the Secretary-General of UMNO to lodge a police report against Karpal. The Prime Minister further aggravated the situation by publicly putting pressure on the Attorney-General to make a decision to prosecute Karpal. He should let the Attorney-General make the decision and should not unnecessarily put pressure or influence the Attorney-General to make a decision. The Prime Minister must know that his public speeches could carry a lot of weight and pressure on the matter. The Prime Minister should not have made such public speeches to influence the thinking of the general public and the exercise of the discretionary power of the Attorney-General. By doing so, if there would be racial disharmony and riots in the streets, there would not be any reason why Malaysians should not hold the Prime Minister responsible. What the Prime Minister should have done was to solve the matter and should have sought an audience with the Sultan of Perak to trash the matter so that racial harmony could be intact. By calling the Attorney-General to act on the issue, the Prime Minister was going against Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution because the Prime Minister has descended into the power of the Attorney-General by putting pressure on the Attorney-General to prosecution against Karpal. By calling the Attorney-General to prosecute Karpal, the Prime Minister had interfered with the absolute power of prosecution of the Attorney-General as enshrined in Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.

We must also understand that in the past UMNO leaders was said had always use racial issues to stir the emotion of the public to support the BN government. We should not forget the racial emotions created in previous elections in 1969, 1987 and 1999. DPM Najib when he was UMNO Youth leader was said took part in the Kampung Baru rally staged by UMNO Youth which led to Operation Lallang in 1987. If DPM Najib at that time had made seditious remarks, there should also be no reason why Najib should not be dragged in for investigation. Nazri had already said no one is above the law and let the law be strictly applied to all, without any consideration of colour, race and social status.

The most recent one by UMNO leaders in stirring racial or fear politics was the display of the kris, followed by stirring speeches by UMNO leaders, but, we should be glad that the people of Malaysia had not buy this. However, no action until today was made by the police and the Attorney-General Chambers to bring Hishammudin who drew the kris during UMNO general assemblies to court. If a common people drew the kris, it would be definitely the police would arrest them for possession of offensive weapon in public! This showed a display of double standard by the present government in the enforcing the law. UMNO leaders should realize that to stir racial issues to stay in power will not be good for UMNO and Malaysia. UMNO leaders should know that Malaysian voters had viewed the show of the kris as an act of crude arrogance which caused many UMNO stalwarts being rejected in many constituencies they contested in the recent concluded General Election.

No comments: