PETALING JAYA: Two prominent Barisan Nasional politicians took aim at the DAP chiefs today in a continuing row over a campaign to buy Muslim-made products, which has been interpreted as a boycott of non-Muslim made goods.
Former Umno president Najib Razak said Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng of the DAP are the “most inappropriate people” to be the face of the government’s efforts to squash the campaign. He said Pakatan Harapan was making a “big mistake”.
Kit Siang was once accused by Dr Mahathir Mohamad (in his previous term as prime minister) of being the most racist person in the country, said Najib, while Guan Eng had described formal ties between PAS and Umno as amounting to a “declaration of war” on non-Malays. (Lim had later amended the statement to a warning that the union of the two Malay parties could target non-Malays.)
MCA president Wee Ka Siong posted a strongly-worded video tonight lambasting Guan Eng for his criticisms of purported MCA inaction, and urged Lim to “go back to school” for not understanding what he had said. He said Lim should not “make up stories” and asked if he did not like it that people were living in harmony.
Najib accused the DAP of “intentionally wanting to promote the campaign so it can be made into a racial political issue” to win back support among non-Muslims, after the DAP had come under severe criticism over issues such as the introduction of Jawi calligraphy lessons in vernacular schools, and speeches by the controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
Najib noted that Kit Siang and Guan Eng belonged to the same party as Nga Kor Ming, who in March, had branded the PAS-Umno collaboration as akin to the Taliban of Afghanistan taking over the country.
“Find other leaders like Nurul Izzah (Anwar) or Wong Chen (both of PKR) to be the voice of the critics,” Najib said. “Why find Kit Siang and Guan Eng?”
The buy Muslim-made products first campaign began on social media recently, with the Bumiputera community urged to avoid buying products made by businesses owned by non-Bumiputeras.
Lim had attacked PAS and Umno leaders earlier today who “continue to lend support to this divisive and destructive campaign”. He had also taken the MCA and MIC to task for not “daring to raise their objections directly to their political masters in PAS and Umno”.
But Wee said he had already issued a statement on Sept 2 condemning “irresponsible” groups who had called for the boycott. “If you didn’t read (it), that’s not my fault,” he said.
He said Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had told him that Umno was not behind the boycott.
If those behind the boycott had committed a wrong, then action should be taken. “If this is considered to be economic sabotage, then take action against them because you are in power now.”
However, Muslims were only exercising their prerogative if they decided to be prudent and only buy halal products.
“If you take that to mean they are boycotting things, then I’m sad. I feel you have to go back to school and resit for SPM so you pass or… get merit (‘kepujian’) in SPM Bahasa Malaysia.”
Wee also reminded Lim of his two challenges for a debate over the Penang tunnel issue, and his challenge of Lim’s qualifications as an accountant. He said he had not been slapped with a lawsuit over the latter issue.