Hishamuddin Tun Hussein should ensure that political sensationalism and irresponsibility have not become his new "cup of tea"


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Acting UMNO Youth Leader, Datuk Hishammudin Tun Hussein denied that it was his "cup of tea" when I accused him of sensationalism, irrational outbursts and indulging in the politics of fear and hatred when he attacked the DAP "sentiasa membawa isu sensasi dan mempolitikkan perkara yang boleh mencetuskan ruruhan kaum".

Hishammudin should ensure that political sensationalism and irresponsibility have not become his new "cup of tea", as he should know that the attack on the DAP in the past week was no different from and as baseless as the attack on the then Semangat 46 President, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah on the eve of the 1990 general elections alleging that  the former UMNO Vice President  had sold out the Malay race and betrayed Islam for wearing a Kadazan headgear purportedly with a Christian cross!

Clearly, no responsible political leader would have made such a sensational and irresponsible charge against the DAP, which was made solely with the ulterior motive to drive a wedge between the Opposition parties as well as to try to  block a new political awakening among Malaysians that they were being divided politically along ethnic lines to serve the interests of certain political leaders and not of the people themselves or the larger good of the nation.

Hishamuddin is not a political novice, in fact he comes from a very illustratious family in the country, and he should know what he did was a disservice to the people and nation when  he made such a baseless charge against the DAP.

Hishamuddin knows that Barisan Ministers have claimed that  Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia have  incorporated  the aspirations of Malaysian Malaysia - and if this is the case, why should he and other UMNO leaders suddenly get very worked up over it, denouncing it as "seditious" and likely to create racial tensions,  when in the last three decades it had been the DAPís platform both in the general elections as well as inside Parliament?

The reasons are very simple - UMNO leaders are worried that the Malays are beginning to realise that the DAP is not an anti-Malay or anti-Islam party as had been labelled by three decades of UMNO propaganda - which was shattered by the sacrifice of  DAP leader and former Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka  Lim Guan Eng, who was prepared to go to jail and lose his Parliamentary status to  stand up for the rights of a 15-year-old girl victim of statutory rape from another race and religion, when no single UMNO leader was prepared to stand up for her rights!

Hishamuddin alleged that DAP "sentiasa membawa isu sensasi dan mempolitikkan perkara yang boleh mencetuskan rusuhan kaum". Is he suggesting that Guan Engís championing of the honour, human rights and women rights of an underaged Malay girl victim of statutory rape could spark racial riots?

Former national UMNO leader, Tun Ismail had said thirty years ago that the Malaysian Malaysia concept was good for the country - where every Malaysian regard himself or herself as a Malaysian first and race second - but it could not be implemented immediately and required a few decades.

As Acting Leader of UMNO Youth in the new millennium, Hishamuddin should welcome the emergence of a new political scenario where Malaysians regardless of race and religion are coming  together to ensure that all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or status could enjoy justice, freedom, democracy and good governance - rather than try to impede such a trend by a throwback to the old politics of race, fear, bigotry or dirty tactics like the Barisan Nasionalís Tengku Razaleigh election scam of 1990.

(17/5/99)


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