Guan Eng dismisses criticism over his reaction to PAS-Umno union

KUALA LUMPUR: Lim Guan Eng today dismissed criticism of his remarks yesterday describing the formalisation of ties between Umno and PAS as a “declaration of war” on non-Malays.

The DAP secretary-general said he had since amended the statement, following criticism that it could fan the flames of discontent among different races.

“Maybe you did not read my amended statement. I will only say this once. Read the amended statement,” he told reporters at a press conference after launching the Industry Digitalisation Transformation Fund (IDTF).

The statement has since been amended to Lim warning that the union of the two Malay parties could target non-Malays.

“The flirtation between Umno and PAS is over. Now they are targeting the non-Malays and non-Muslims under the banner of ‘Malay unity’,” he was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.

MCA president Wee Ka Siong said that Lim’s use of the phrase “declaration of war” to describe Umno-PAS unity would worsen racial ties.

“You are also indirectly inviting the opposing side to respond to your declaration of war. I cannot imagine the implications if Guan Eng does not retract his statement and apologise,” Wee wrote on his Facebook.

A similar criticism was also made by former Kepong MP, Tan Seng Giaw.

Lim today said he was not surprised by Wee’s comments.

“Of course they will ask for action to be taken against the opposing party, but for new friends in Umno and PAS, they will not do so.

“This is a normal game of politics,” he said.

Lim’s earlier statement was in response to news that Umno and PAS were studying ways to forge political cooperation, with the announcement of a technical committee to bring both parties closer.