PETALING JAYA: DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has denied a claim by Prime Minister Najib Razak that the Royal Malay Regiment might be disbanded if Pakatan Harapan (PH) takes over Putrajaya in the 14th general election (GE14).
He said DAP would never support such a move and would instead ensure that under a PH federal government, the regiment would reach greater heights as a premier defence force of the country.
He said Najib was trying to fish for police and army votes when he reportedly claimed that “certain quarters” wanted to break up the regiment because it was supposedly not in line with the concept of “Malaysian Malaysia”.
“He warned that the armed forces and the police may be trimmed in size as ‘the other side believes the civil service is too bloated’,” Kit Siang said in a statement following his speech at a “kopitiam” talk in Simpang Renggam, Johor, this morning.
The Gelang Patah MP advised Najib to apologise for the “fake news”.
On Friday, Najib had told a dinner gathering with the armed forces and police in Kuala Lumpur that the people should choose a government that was capable of setting the proper direction for the nation.
He said a leadership that did not understand the aspirations of the country would reduce the size of its civil service, including that of the armed forces, the police and educational services.
“It is not that I want to raise this sensitive issue but I want all of us to realise and appreciate the fact that we need to choose the most suitable and precise leadership for the aspirations and future of our country together,” Najib said.
Kit Siang also said he endorsed the statement by Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) president Brigadier-General (Rtd) Mohd Arshad Raji who said that it would be “virtually impossible” for any party to disband the Royal Malay Regiment due to constitutional safeguards as well as the unit’s long history.
In his statement today, Arshad said he and many other retired Royal Malay Regiment officers and other ranks were “puzzled, confused and apprehensive” over Najib’s remarks.
“Although the prime minister did not specifically mention what he meant by ‘Malaysian Malaysia’, one could assume that he was referring to the opposition parties, particularly the DAP, because it was the DAP that was the proponent of the ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ concept since the 1970s,” Arshad said.
“Educated and informed Malaysians can see that DAP has often been used as a bogeyman to frighten off the Malays. Politics has for too long drawn on communal lines,” he added.
In GEORGE TOWN, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said he was willing to resign as Penang chief minister and retire from politics if DAP wants to disband the Royal Malay Regiment if it won the polls.
“This is clearly a malicious lie. The DAP and I have never said anything about disbanding any army group.
“This is more than fake news … but they will bully the Penang CM,” Lim said at a press conference today.