Take moral high ground, don’t fall into race, religious polarisation trap, Kit Siang urges Pakatan | Malaysia

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Umno president Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi and PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang at the Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah (Muslim Unity Rally) held at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur September 14, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang anticipates that there will be a concerted effort to escalate the tensions between race and religion in Malaysian politics following the PAS-Umno unity charter signed yesterday.

In a press statement, the DAP veteran said he foresees Umno and PAS cybertroopers swarming social media and filling it with falsehoods, fake news and hate speech, as they attempt to pit the different ethnic groups and religions of Malaysia against one another for political gain.

He said the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration can either “out-Malay” Umno and “out-Islam PAS” to win over the 2.5 million PAS and Umno supporters or keep its promises to the 5.5 million voters who supported it during the 14th general election and brought the coaltion to power by creating a moderate “Middle” Malaysia.

“Pakatan Harapan will fail and fall between two stools if it opts for the first choice,” he said.

Lim pointed out that the PAS-Umno alliance is a klepto-theocracy that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have approved of and is banking on the hope that PH can only hold on to Putrajaya for one term.

However, he admitted that PH will lose out if it tries to outdo the two newly unified parties on their own terms.

“But if the Pakatan Harapan government takes the high ground and is guided by the five pillar-promises of their manifesto the PAS-Umno alliance of klepto-theocracy is likely to implode even before the 15th general election,” said Lim.

He believes that the charter has already been violated because PAS leadership will never accept a non-Malay or non-Muslim as Malaysia’s prime minister, even though the charter’s first principle is honouring and defending the Federal Constitution.

Article 43 of the Federal Constitution, on the other hand, allows any Malaysian irrespective of ethnic background to assume the prominent position.

“A kleptocrat can become the prime minister of Malaysia, but not a clean, honest, God-fearing Chinese, Indian, Kadazaan or Iban. Yet PAS leaders claim that they are not racist, narrow-minded, extremist or anti-Malaysian!

“The charter also becomes a farce when it talks about “good governance” and yet the PAS-Umno alliance is silent about Najib’s kleptocracy!” Lim said.