Mahathir is trying to fish in troubled waters in the DAP in an effort to distract attention from the multiple national crises as well as UMNO’s internal problems

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is trrying to fish in troubled waters in the DAP in an effort to distract attention from the multiple national crisis as well as UMNO’s internal problems.

This is the Star report today of Mahahtir’s comment on DAP and me, which states:

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is guilty of maliciously publishing false news, which is an offence under the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

I did not impose the order to all DAP leaders, state committees, branches and members from talking to the press about the actions taken by the DAP Central Executive Committee against three national leaders. It was issued by the Chairman of the DAP Disciplinary Committee, Sdr. Ahmad Nor.

One national newspaper had made this item into its front-page headline, "Gag order on DAP members", with the following biased report: "A gag order has been imposed on DAP members prohibiting them from speaking to the media or issuing statements questioning the recent action taken against three national party leaders".

In the first place, it is not an order by the Disciplinary Committee prohibiting public statements "questioning" the recent CEC action against three national party leaders, but also statements supporting the action.

Secondly, if this is a gag order, I am also gagged as Party Secretary-General.

Mahathir has deliberatedly spread false news when he said that I had imposed directives at my whims and fancies, but I do not expect the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah to direct the police to open investigations with a view to prosecute the Prime Minister for maliciously publishing false news!  Is the Prime Minister prepared to publicly apologise for such a deliberate falsehood?

This is not the first time that Mahathir had tried to deflect national and international attention to allegations of corruption, cryonism and nepotism in Malaysia by accusing me of nepotism in connection with Lim Guan Eng. The last time I had responded to Mahathir by remarking that this  must be nepotism of the most unique and unprecedented kind in the world in sending Guan Eng to jail for 36 months, as what Guan Eng had received from such "nepotism" are not business opportunities, mega-contracts and mega-loans but a crown of thorns.

I am very annoyed that Mahathir has returned to his allegation of nepotism against me, just because these charges had surfaced inside the DAP. As Prime Minister, he expects his allegations of nepotism against me would be given prominent coverage, on radio, television and the printed media, while my rebuttal would be completely blacked out, and thus again deflect increasing national and world attention about KKN - corruption, cronyism and nepotism -in Malaysia.

I will give a full response to Mahathir’s allegation of nepotism against me in connection with Guan Eng at a media conference at DAP PJ Hqrs tomorrow at 12.30 pm tomorrow (Monday, June 15, 1998).

I will therefore not say anything more, except to congratulate Mahathir for his mind-boggling inventiveness in giving a new definition to cronyism, by claiming that all Malaysians are his cronies as they have received benefits from government policies.  May be  the Prime Minister should consider producing  a new Mahathir dictionary on corruption, cronyism and nepotism.

*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong