PETALING JAYA: DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has dismissed as “rubbish” criticisms by Umno Wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil that the appointment of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman was a “drama” to cover up DAP’s dominance in the coalition.
The Gelang Patah MP said such “propaganda” only showed the contradictions aired by Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders who also claimed that the PH’s new leadership lineup showed the DAP to have been relegated in the opposition framework.
“I am not surprised that Shahrizat has uttered such rubbish, but I forgive her as she has to earn her keep as she is being paid ministerial remuneration allegedly as special adviser to the prime minister on women’s affairs. But what a waste of public funds,” he said.
“I want to give (Prime Minister) Najib (Razak) and his propagandists a piece of free advice, that they should be consistent and credible or their propaganda campaign of lies, fake news and false information will come to naught,” he said in a statement today.
He claimed that the BN leaders were trapped by the contradictions between claiming DAP leaders were the puppet-masters in PH and alleging that DAP leaders had been sidelined and marginalised.
On July 21, Shahrizat had told the Gelang Patah Umno Wanita delegates’ conference in Johor Bahru that Lim and the DAP were the “de facto” leaders of the opposition.
She said the appointment of PPBM chairman Mahathir was only a drama to attract Malay votes, as the real master in the coalition was the DAP.
She said DAP was the backbone of PH, and not PPBM or even PKR, as it had the most number of seats in Parliament among all the opposition parties.
“This appointment is merely a drama to draw support from Malay voters, when the dominant party is actually the DAP,” she said.
“This means that whoever gives votes to them is voting for the DAP. Is that what you want?” she added.
In a statement read after a PH presidential council meeting on July13, it was announced that Mahathir and PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim would be chairman and de facto leader of PH respectively, while PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would be president of the coalition.
It also announced PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu as deputy presidents of PH.
On July 14, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak asked why none of the highest posts in PH went to a DAP leader despite the party having the most number of MPs in the coalition.
“Is DAP being sidelined or was this an intentional move so that the opposition pact is perceived to be dominated by the Malays?” the former Sabah chief minister said.
He also said PH could never match BN which he claimed had a “track record of cooperation between different ethnic groups and tolerance between its leaders, without compromising party principles”.