KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today accused the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalitions of playing up racial and extremist sentiments while campaigning in the Melaka state election.

The Bagan MP also warned Melaka voters that voting for the candidates fielded by these two coalitions would only return the same parties to government to continue their quibble for power at the cost of the public’s interests.

“There is already a Malay-Muslim government in Melaka and at the Federal government but yet it is warring with PN and BN coalitions openly attacking each other in the Melaka state general election. 

“Deploying lies by appealing to racist and extremist sentiments does not hide the fact that discriminating against minorities is not only immoral and against the basic tenets of the Federal Constitution, it is also divisive and does not bring any benefits to Malaysians, including the Malays/Muslims themselves,” the Opposition federal lawmaker said in a statement. 

Lim questioned the past Umno-led state government’s sale of sand and the award of land reclamation projects in Melaka to businesses friendly with the ruling parties.

“How does the massive land reclamation projects in Melaka, not in one or two spots, but covering the entire coastal line in Melaka help Malays/Muslims especially the livelihood of the fishermen, mainly Malay/Muslims?”

He claimed that the past state governments under both BN and PN were not able to justify these decisions.

“To cover up their inability to answer, racist and extremist sentiments are played up by BN and PN to distract attention,” he said. 

Lim was referring to the controversial Melaka Gateway land reclamation for which the approval was granted by the National Land Council.

Lim said that this is why policies targeted against non-Muslims such as the ban on the sale of alcohol in sundry shops, grocery stores and medicine shops by Kuala Lumpur City Hall. and the sudden ban on gaming number outlets in Kedah even though they are sold to only non-Muslims, were suddenly announced. 

“These businesses have been operating without any problems since Merdeka in 195. It is to try to blind Malays and Muslims from the real problems of their abysmal failure in managing Covid-19 pandemic and the economic recession.

“Such extremist tactics presupposes that Malays are gullible as not to be concerned about the real problems that affect their daily lives especially incomes and livelihoods as well as the future, health and safety in the new Covid-19 normal. 

“Further, it is also wrong to discriminate, neglect and target non-Muslims as a convenient excuse to hide their incompetence and failure to meaningfully improve the lives of Malay Muslims with higher incomes, better jobs and brighter future,” he said. 

Lim said there is no reason to ban the sale of alcohol in KL when it is sold not to Muslims but to non-Muslims. 

“Why ban gaming outlets in Kedah when it is patronised by non-Muslims? These are all PAS extremist rhetoric to pander to their conservative base. Unfortunately, PAS extremism is now condoned by GPS, MCA and MIC Ministers in the Cabinet,” he added.