KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 — Taking aim at its political enemy DAP, Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa went on social media urging Malaysians to “rise up” and rid the government he claimed was “infested” with extremist elements, and preserve the country’s peace and harmony.
The tweet, made yesterday during the long Deepavali weekend holiday, was likely meant to rally the so-called moderates and drew 231 “likes” and 79 retweets at the time of this article’s publication.
But far from inspiring unity, the Ketereh MP drew backlash from a segment of Malaysian Twitter users, based on their replies.
Anti-Umno Malaysians responded by putting up the proverbial mirror against Annuar’s own party, and said voters did exactly what the Umno leader had asked for in the 2018 general election.
“We did, Tan Sri. That is why Barisan Nasional is no longer in power,” one Twitter user named Mo, adding: “Where have you been?”
Mo’s reply received 63 thumbs-up at the time of publication. Other Twitter users appeared to share a similar sentiment in response to Annuar’s attempt at treading the middle ground.
Many found the Umno leader’s message about fighting racists and extremists ironic, and pointed to his own party leaders’ propensity to campaign on divisive issues when they were still in power or even as the Opposition today.
“While liberalism and socialism are important elements for harmony society, religion extremism, racism are what PAS and DUmno propagate all this while,” posted a Twitter user by the name Vince.
The brickbats followed Annuar’s abrupt tweet yesterday calling for Malaysians to rid the country of all sorts of extreme elements, including socialists and liberals who now hold power within the government.
He called them extremists, communists, socialists, terrorists, while also suggesting there were Christian evangelists conspiring to divide and disrupt harmony.
“Rise up Malaysians,time to get rid and clean up our govt from being infested by extremist,racist,communist,socialist,terrorist,evangelist,liberalist AND SAVE OUR HARMONIOUS MULTIRACIAL MSIA” the Umno leader said.
The tweet was likely aimed at the DAP. In a subsequent post written as a response to controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Annuar said to bring down the DAP and save harmonious and multiracial Malaysia was “our duty”.
“It’s our duty to bring down DAP and save harmonious n multiracial Msia,” he wrote.
It was unclear as to what had prompted the tweet, but the DAP is currently on the defensive over several controversies that have implicated current and former leaders.
Two of the party’s state lawmakers were arrested for suspected ties to a defunct terrorist group in Sri Lanka, while a former member has been accused of promoting communism through a propaganda comic intended to promote China’s Belt and Road Initiative.