Frenzy over stomping of Najib portrait shows up BN as exploiter of racist sentiments, says Guan Eng
GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has demanded an assurance from Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein that he would seek the prosecution of Barisan Nasional supporters who defiled his portrait in mock funeral rites last May.
Commenting on Hishammuddin’s promise of swift legal action against activists who stomped on pictures of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak at Dataran Merdeka last week, Lim said BN’s frenzied reaction to the outrage was a far cry from the muteness that greeted the May incident.
This was further proof that BN would exploit racist sentiments in the belief that it would help it win elections, he said in a statement yesterday.
Lim, who is DAP secretary-general, also demanded action against BN supporters who committed offensive acts against Bersih leader S Ambiga.
Referring to Hishammuddin’s promise to act “decisively and expeditiously” against the defilers of Najib’s portraits, he noted that no action had been taken against activists who had committed similar offences against opposition leaders.
Perkasa has been blamed for many of these attacks on opposition figures. Indeed, activists from the Malay rights groups have often claimed responsibility for them.
“To date no court action has been taken against these BN political desperados,” Lim said.
“Clearly BN practises selective prosecution, double standard and even outright racism by not expressing the same indignation and demands for stern action against extremist Perkasa members.
“It appears that non-Malay Pakatan leaders like myself will be persecuted and humiliated while opposition Malay leaders will be hounded with lies of sex scandals.
“This reveals the attitude of the BN and serves as a grave warning to Malaysians that BN is prepared to exploit extremist racial and divisive politics to win the next general election.”
Lim branded Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon and other non-Malay members of the Najib administration as cowards for being quick to condemn the outrage against the prime minister but muted when the victim was himself or Ambiga or some other non-Malay figure.
He also said Koh, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, was being irresponsible when he blamed Pakatan for the Dataran Merdeka incident.
“The real tragedy of non-Malay BN ministers like Koh is not just his subservience to Umno but that he has trained a new generation of Gerakan leaders to be equally subservient to Umno leaders until the humiliation of non-Malay leaders is acceptable.”
Another DAP figure joined the fray today, demanding the punishment of Barisan Nasional Youth activists who stepped on and torched a portrait of Lim on Nov 30, 2009.
RSN Rayer, the Penang assemblyman for Seri Delima, said he could not understand why the authorities had not prosecuted those activists, whom he identified as local leaders and members of BN’s youth wing, mostly from Umno.
He said they committed the offence right in the presence of a squad of policemen. “But till today no action has been taken on those BN Youth members. Why?”
He called on Hishammuddin and Criminal Investigation Department chief Mohd Bakri Zinin to act without fear or favour.
“There should not be double standard in law enforcement,” he said.
Meanwhile, Parti Cinta Malaysia vice-president Huan Cheng Guan condemned the Dataran Merdeka incident, saying the insult on Najib and the raising of an alternative Malaysian flag was “exceedingly shameful, disgusting and utterly un-Malaysian”.
Huan said it showed how fear, hatred and intolerance were being deliberately stirred to the highest level through “unhealthy demonstrations”.