Utter bunkum, Kit Siang says after Utusan claims non-Malays escaping punishment

DAP’s Lim Kit Siang asserted that Utusan Malaysia enjoyed both ‘immunity and impunity’ over articles that he categorised as seditious and inciting racial and religious hatred. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
DAP’s Lim Kit Siang asserted that Utusan Malaysia enjoyed both ‘immunity and impunity’ over articles that he categorised as seditious and inciting racial and religious hatred. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — Utusan Malaysia’s demands for non-Malays to be equally punished for incitement was ironic as the newspaper regularly escapes censure for its provocative articles, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said today.  

Skewering the daily’s editors for their claims that authorities were selectively allowing non-Malays to escape punishment for offensive remarks, the DAP national advisor recounted instances when Utusan Malaysia enjoyed the same bias it was now attacking.

“It is the height of irony that Utusan Malaysia is complaining about selective prosecution and investigation when the Umno-owned daily has been the biggest beneficiary of such criminal oversight and abuses of power by various enforcement agencies...” Lim said in a statement today.

He further asserted that the newspaper enjoyed both “immunity and impunity” over articles that he categorised as seditious and inciting racial and religious hatred.

Among others, he pointed to Utusan’s report based on an unsubstantiated blog post alleging that DAP planned to form a Christian state and install a Christian as prime minister, and a front-page article titled “Haram sokong DAP (Forbidden to support DAP)”.

Challenging the newspaper to show evidence of the authorities’ alleged bias towards non-Malays, Lim said the DAP would wholly support a probe into any form of selective prosecution in the country.

Lim said DAP would even back a royal inquiry to cover all cases of prosecutorial bias dating back to the start of the Mahathir administration over three decades ago.

“Will Utusan Malaysia support this proposal?” he asked.

Rather than the selective non-prosecution that Utusan is alleging, Lim said authorities were instead targeting political opponents and activists to stifle dissent.

He pointed out that he was currently the subject of a sedition investigation launched by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, stemming from his tribute piece calling for justice for political aide Teoh Beng Hock who died in custody over five years ago.

Writing under their shared Awang Selamat pseudonym this morning, the editors of Utusan Malaysia complained that authorities were not pursuing cases of provocation by non-Malays with the same vigour they displayed in incidents involving Malays.

They added that this has led to blatant insults against Islam that could no longer go unpunished.

They then cited Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who previously said a Chinese youth who complained about the volume of Muslim prayers should be charged for the remarks, given that a Malay woman was prosecuted for a road rage incident involving an elderly Chinese man.

The editorial piece then alluded to the possible consequences if authorities did not act as the newspaper’s editors demanded.

“Awang is also worried that extremists and even militants will react with violence, which we all want to avoid.

“But if this happens, we know the source and who is seen to have failed,” they wrote. 

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