Hadi is dividing Malaysians, says Guan Eng

Lim Guan Eng says Hadi Awang is always trying to divide Malaysians.

PETALING JAYA: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today hit out at PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang for continuously trying to divide Malaysians.

He said the latter’s “highly provocative statement” on the need for the anti-ICERD rally to go on was the latest example of this.

“PAS wants to protest and are opposed to the fact that Muslim MPs are outnumbered by non-Muslim MPs in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

“Instead of preaching national unity among all Malaysians of different ethnic and religious backgrounds, Hadi continues to try to divide Malaysians, by pitting the Muslim majority against the non-Muslim minority,” he said in a statement here today.

Lim said Hadi’s insistence on going ahead with the rally, in spite of Putrajaya’s stand, clearly showed that the demonstration was no longer about protesting against ICERD, since the ICERD issue was no longer relevant.

“Rather, it is about the political survival and making political capital for PAS. DAP will leave it to Malaysians to decide, whether Hadi is making provocative statements pitting Muslims against non-Muslims, is extremist or responsible?

Lim also rebutted the figures on MP numbers given by Hadi, saying these were inaccurate.

According to Lim, Hadi had said that there were 66 non-Muslim MPs and 58 Muslim MPs in PH, when in actual fact, there were 62 Muslim MPs in the pact.

“The Bumiputera MPs, who include the non-Muslim Bumiputeras, outnumber the non-Bumiputeras 70 to 58 in the PH coalition.

“Does Hadi consider non-Muslim Bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak as not equal to the status of Bumiputeras, just because they are not Muslims?” he asked.

Lim, who is finance minister, also pointed out that the Cabinet, led by the prime minister, had already decided that it would not proceed with the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

He said within the Cabinet, Muslims outnumbered non-Muslims, where, of the 28 Cabinet ministers, 17 were Muslims (61%) and 11 were non-Muslims (39%). He further stated that among the 27 deputy ministers, 18 were Muslims (67%) and nine were non-Muslims (33%).

“Furthermore, there are 140 Muslim MPs compared with 82 non-Muslim MPs in Parliament. How can Muslim rights be threatened when Muslim MPs comprise 63% of MPs in Parliament?

“Using Hadi’s logic, shouldn’t the non-Muslims feel threatened by the 63% of Muslim MPs in Parliament?” the Bagan MP questioned.

Lim also said rather than just focusing on matters from “a single racial lens or one-dimensional religious perspective”, one should be looking at the bigger picture.

“We want to make decisions which benefit the entire country and for Malaysians of all races, religions and backgrounds. We want to strengthen our institutions, improve our governance and uphold our integrity.

“After all, despite being led by a Muslim prime minister in the previous government, this did not prevent us from being branded as a global kleptocracy as a result of the 1MDB scandal, whose debts we will be servicing for the next 30 years.

“Similarly MIC and MCA leaders were also caught in financial scandals, highlighting that corruption is colour-blind or affects equally both Muslims and non-Muslims,” he said.

Lim said if Hadi still wanted to go ahead with a rally, even though the issue had been rendered irrelevant, then he should use the occasion to protest against the financial scandals which had taken place under the Umno-led Barisan Nasional.

“This would be better, rather than distract the country from these financial scandals and corruption. This would be the right thing to do for all Malaysians, both for Muslims as well as for non-Muslims,” he added.