Matter of grave concern that the disease of political vendetta and vindictiveness will become a national pastime of the UMNO leaders at least until the UMNO party elections in May

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): It is a matter of grave concern that the disease of political vendetta and vindictiveness will become a national pastime of the UMNO leaders at least until the UMNO party elections in May.

This follows the statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad yesterday that the Federal Government may follow the Malacca State Governmentís lead and stop dealing with banks whose staff back the opposition.

Mahathirís stand is most unfortunate as it had hardened the position of the  Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Datuk Wira Mohd Ali Rustam who had earlier said that the state government would  review the  decision to transfer funds from two banks if their staff stop  wearing opposition party badges to work after a flurry of criticisms.

Because of the upcoming UMNO party elections, UMNO leaders are now disregarding national interests and would probably take to ridiculous and unhealthy lengths their political witch-hunt against lawyers, doctors, architect, surveyors, valuers and banks whose staff support the opposition as well as discriminating against opposition-prone constituencies and states.

UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders should learn to make a clear distinction between party and government and that the constitutional right of the people to support the party of their choice does not detract in any manner from their right as citizens and taxpayers to development without discrimination.

If the politics of vendetta and vindictiveness of UMNO leaders are to be taken to its logical conclusion as to justify the victimisation of supporters and areas which support the Opposition, then voters and areas which support the Opposition should be entitled to withhold payment of taxes and rates so that their right to development is not discriminated against.

If any bank employee had broken the law in violating bank secrecy laws, action should be taken against them but this cannot be an excuse for a blanket action of discrimination against specific banks or groups of Malaysians.

Mahathir as Prime Minister should provide leadership and example in the politics of reconciliation among Malaysians to heal the national wounds after the dirtiest  general election in the nationís history, instead of giving his approval for another round of politics of spite, vendetta and vindictiveness to plumb new depths of dirty politics in Malaysia.

(17/3/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman