Guan Eng accuses PAS of pushing envelope of extremism and racism in Malaysia

DAP’s Lim Guan Eng accused PAS of bringing religious extremism and racism in Malaysia to a new and dangerous level. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
DAP’s Lim Guan Eng accused PAS of bringing religious extremism and racism in Malaysia to a new and dangerous level. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has hit out at PAS, accusing it of bringing religious extremism and racism in Malaysia to a new and dangerous level.

He argued the Islamist party was doing so by openly and unashamedly discriminating, marginalising and excluding non-Muslims and non-Malays.

“Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, from PAS, has unashamedly reiterated Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) objective to win a two-thirds majority in the next general election, to redraw election boundaries in a way that will benefit Malays and Muslims,” Lim said in a statement.

He said Khairuddin's remark of gerrymandering constituencies is clearly unconstitutional made at the expense of Malaysians who uphold parliamentary democracy, particularly non-Malays and non-Muslims.

“PAS clearly wants a different Malaysian identity, a mutant variation that has no place for diversity, inclusiveness and a multi-racial or multi-religious Malaysia.

“Nothing is stated in the Federal Constitution that there can be redelineation of constituencies based on race and religion. Such racial and religious gerrymandering contradicts the fundamental democratic principle of equal representation and value of one-person, one-vote,” Lim said.

The Bagan MP also called out Khairuddin for his rationale that redrawing electoral boundaries with a racial and religious bias is aimed at restoring the rights of the rakyat who have been oppressed for far too long, especially states on the east coast, Kedah and Pahang.

“If Khairuddin is correct that the people in these states have been oppressed, he must remember that it is not non-Malays or non-Muslims who have done the oppression, but Muslim and Malay leaders he is now working with in the PN government.

“Instead of punishing the oppressor, why then 'oppress' non-Muslims and non-Malays by denying them their constitutional rights?” he said.

Lim went on to finger PN members from other parties including MCA, GPS and MIC, whom he accused of being culpable for PAS' insistence on racial and religious electoral apartheid, which he said not only diminishes but also denies non-Muslims and non-Malays the value of their voting rights, as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.

“Further, PAS' newspaper Harakah Daily, prints an inflammatory and defamatory article that pours scorn on non-Malays or non-Muslims, especially those who are Christian by faith, helping Malays or Muslims,” he said.

Lim cited the recent instance of Universiti Utara Malaysia senior lecturer Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, who questioned the motives of DAP’s Bukit Mertajam MP and former deputy youth and sports minister Steven Sim in helping a Malay-Muslim in his own constituency.

“Kamarul maliciously labelled Sim as a Chinese Christian evangelist, even though Steven does not do any preaching at any church. He even compared Sim’s gift of a motorcycle to a similar aid of a motorcycle given by a Malay deputy minister to a Malay-Muslim, even though social media users pointed out that Steven Sim is no longer a deputy minister and had no access to government funds.

“Why is PAS giving space to those who appear to frown and pour scorn on non-Malays or non-Muslims helping Malays or Muslims by labelling them as Chinese Christian evangelists?” he questioned.

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