Hishammuddin should challenge the mass media to publish my statement on
Marina Yusof’s speech after he had challenged Opposition parties to make
(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Last Wednesday,
UMNO Youth acting chief Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein challenged the leadership
of the Opposition parties to state their stand on the speech by Keadilan
vice president Marina Yusof accusing UMNO of sparking the May 13 racial
riots in 1969.
by Lim Kit Siang
On Thursday, I issued a statement as DAP response to Hishammuddin’s
challenge where I made the following important points:
my agreement with the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi
that bringing up the question of who was responsible for inciting the May
13 incident was not something that would benefit anybody, especially during
the run-up to the tenth general election.
my regret that it is the Barisan Nasional leaders who had been the
most guilty of raising the spectre of May 13 in every general election
in the last three decades.
In the past few months, Barisan Nasional leaders from the Prime Minister,
Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad downwards, had repeatedly raised the spectre
of May 13 to create fear among the voters so that they would vote
for the Barisan Nasional in the next general election - and even committing
offences of sedition in the process.
Call on all political parties and leaders to exercise statesmanship
in the run-up to the next general election by reaching a two-point agreement:
Firstly to end all references to May 13 riots in the run-up and during
the forthcoming general election and no political leader, party, candidate
or anyone for that matter should be allowed to threaten voters that if
any candidate or party wins, there is going to be bloodshed or repetition
of May 13.
Secondly, that an independent and representative commission of inquiry
be set up after the next general election into the causes of the
May 13 racial riots - not so much to find and punish the culprits of a
national tragedy which occurred 30 years ago, but to ascertain the
true facts and circumstances of its occurrence so as better to avoid its
If Marina has information or knowledge which could throw light on the
causes of May 13 riots, she would be able to make an invaluable contribution
in the discovery of the true history of May 13 in a more sober
and less heated and fevered atmosphere after the next general election.
However, my statement was "blacked out" in all the mass media which
had given Hishammuddin prominent coverage of his challenge to Opposition
parties to declare their stand on Marina’s speech. Hishammuddin should
challenge the mass media to give prominent coverage to the DAP response,
if he believes in fair and clean politics.
Furthermore, is UMNO Youth prepared to eschew political opportunism
and come out in support for my two-point proposal, namely end all references
to May 13 in the run-up and during the general election campaign; and an
inquiry into its causes after the general election.
*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary
Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member
of Parliament for Tanjong