Certain mass media, especially Utusan Malaysia, are part of the Barisan Nasional game-plan  to make next general election the "dirtiest" in history

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has said that the next general election will be the "dirtiest" in history, and it is the Barisan Nasional component parties which will make the next general election the "dirtiest" in history, with the Opposition parties the victims.

Certain mass media, in particular Utusan Malaysia, have been assigned major roles as part of the Barisan Nasional game-plan to make the next general election the "dirtiest" in history, distorting the statements of Opposition leaders in order to invite adverse public reactions on the basis of the slanted reports.

The latest instance is the Utusan Malaysia distortion of what I said in Seremban on Tuesday night, which was reported in its issue of 7th October 1999 under the heading "Pembangkang gugur slogan negera Islam", giving the impression that I had announced that PAS had dropped its Islamic State objective.

This is a gross distortion as I had never used the word "gugur" and I had never said that PAS had dropped the Islamic State objective or slogan. All I said was that the common election manifesto of the Barisan Alternative comprising DAP, PAS, Keadilan and PRM and  which will be announced some time this month makes no reference to the issue of Islamic state.

Based on this false report, Utusan Malaysia carried another report today purportedly on adverse reactions, attacking PAS for betraying its principles in dropping its Islamic State objective, as well as  attacking me for arrogating to myself the role as spokesman of PAS.

Everyone knows that Utusan Malaysia is UMNO-owned and controlled, but I would urge Utusan Malaysia journalists and editors to have at least the minimum respect for truth and facts, and not to distort the statements of Opposition leaders, even though they have a standard instruction to help carry out the Barisan Nasional game-plan to make the next election the "dirtiest" in history.

Otherwise, I would have to remind every Utusan Malaysia reporter I meet henceforth not to carry out the Barisan Nasional game-plan to make the next election the "dirtiest" in history.

Malaysians must be very discerning in what they read in the newspapers.  On the one hand, Barisan-Nasional controlled Bahasa Malaysia newspapers plug the line that PAS has sold out to DAP in dropping the Islamic State, but on the other, MCA and Gerakan are plugging the line that the DAP had sold out to PAS in  supporting the establishment of an Islamic State.  The MCA has even gone to the extent of accusing me of having become an "agent" of PAS.

There is no agreement between the DAP and PAS on the issue of Islamic state. PAS has not dropped its Islamic State objective and DAP has not given up our opposition to the establishment of an Islamic State.

As Nik Aziz said  in Kuala Krai yesterday, DAP and PAS have "divergent ideological stand" on the issue of Islamic state.

The co-operation of DAP and PAS in the Barisan Alternative is based on the urgent and imperative need for Malaysia to restore and re-establish justice, freedom, democracy and good governance and put an end to gross abuses of power, injustices, corruption,  oppression and misrule in the country.

The Barisan Nasional propagandists and their mass media can attack and question the DAP and PAS for co-operating in the Barisan Alternative, but they should stop telling lies and distorting the truth.


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