Open airing of grievances doing harm to PH, says Guan Eng

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng addresses delegates at the Penang DAP convention in Perai today.

BUTTERWORTH: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today told party members not to publicly declare their unhappiness over matters related to Pakatan Harapan parties as it would only cause the coalition more harm than good.

Lim said the open wrangling was made worse when media outlets continue to highlight the “meaningless quibbles, idle gossip or on the issue of Anwar Ibrahim’s transition” on a daily basis.

He said the debate on the transition issue, especially, was bordering on destabilising the government.

According to him, the matter should have been settled and dusted by now, as Dr Mahathir Mohamad had indicated that he would hand over the reins to Anwar after the Apec Summit in November next year.

“I don’t want to comment about the family problems of other parties as we have family problems of our own as well.

“Let us discuss them in closed sessions because what is happening to other parties can happen to us. The impact and effect on us is inevitable.

“The subject on the PM handover should be dropped, too. Let us not be fooled by front-page play-ups by the media, and focus on delivering our election manifesto,” he told the 376 delegates at the Penang DAP convention in Perai here today.

Lim criticised a section of the Chinese newspapers for continuing to pander to Barisan Nasional and giving him little space when he talks about government policies.

He also said the recent issue of schoolchildren singing Negaraku in Mandarin should not have been subjected to a police investigation.

This was because the Mandarin and Tamil translations of the Negaraku had already been in place in government-approved textbooks as early as 2014, he said, adding that a reminder to sing the national anthem in Bahasa Malaysia would have been sufficient.

He said the polemic that ensued over the matter had left many non-Malays and non-Muslims slighted and feeling that they were targeted.

“When the Negaraku was sung in Arabic by a school, there was no action taken. Those who sang in Mandarin were only following the textbooks issued in 2014 and used in 2015.

“Why is no one asking which BN minister allowed this at that time?

“DAP agrees that Negaraku should only be sung in BM. Since students were given the translated text in Arabic or Mandarin, then a reminder that Negaraku be sung only in BM and not in other languages is sufficient.

“There is no need to warrant a full police investigation. Just leave our kids alone and keep politics out of schools,” he said.

Lim also spoke of the constant attacks by Umno and PAS against DAP, which he described as anti-extremism and a moderate party.

He said Umno’s Omar Faudzar claiming DAP was registering voters from China and India, and opposition leader Ismail Sabri claiming the finance minister was not deciding on halal certification were “despicable lies” peddled by Umno.

“We want wassatiyah (middle path), not assabiyah (tribalism). We practise moderation, that is why the DAP is hated,” he said.

He said that despite PAS’ continued attacks, he had approved a total of RM192 million to the Kelantan government, when it twice requested for financial aid as the state did not have money to pay its civil servants.

“We counter the hate and threats from our opponents with compassion and good governance, despite PAS’ vilification of DAP leaders,” he said.