PETALING JAYA: DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang says the appointment of Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein as special functions minister is a political and strategic measure because attempts to demonise Pakatan Harapan (PH) have failed.
Claiming that Umno has started to realise that Malay voters are not falling for the “worst escalation of demonisation campaign” against him and other PH leaders, Lim said Prime Minster Najib Razak moved to make his cousin, Hishammuddin, the “second most powerful man” in government.
“This also puts Hishammuddin over and above Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Umno deputy president.
“It can only mean that the intensification and escalation of the demonisation campaign by Umno and BN with the help of the media they control, have not given BN leaders solace or relief,” Lim said in a statement today.
On Wednesday, Najib announced the appointment of Hishammuddin as special functions minister. The latter will still keep his portfolio in the cabinet as defence minister.
“My political record of the past 51 years, and those of DAP, are an open book. We support justice and fundamental economic and political rights for all Malaysians, not just for any one race or religion.
“We are in fact more Malaysian than those who are attacking us,” Lim said.
The Gelang Patah MP also brushed aside criticism that he was controlling other PH leaders, including PKR de facto head Anwar Ibrahim, president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu.
“For 15 years, from 1998 till the 2013 general election (GE13), I was accused particularly by MCA and Gerakan propagandists of being a stooge and puppet of Anwar Ibrahim.
“But suddenly, after GE13, I have turned around to make not only Anwar and Wan Azizah, Azmin, Mat Sabu, but also (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) and (PPBM president) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as my puppets or stooges.”
“How is this transformation possible, except in the realm of Umno and BN lies and falsehoods?” he said.