Razaleigh should advise Adnan to apologise for his crude, vulgar and indecent gestures to show that there are UMNO leaders who can distinguish between proper and acceptable from improper and impermissible conduct for Mentris Besar and Ministers

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob has blamed the Opposition for blowing out of proportion the issue of his behaviour during the Sanggang by-election nomination day, claiming that he just could not tolerate it when the PAS supporters shouted nasty remarks like Hancur Barisan and Mampus Barisan.

From the earlier responses by Adnan and other UMNO leaders, including the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the people was under the impression that the "provocation" to justify Adnanís crude, vulgar and indecent gestures was a "tit-for-tat" for similar crude, vulgar and indecent gestures by PAS supporters.

Now, Adnan has openly admitted that PAS supporters never showed crude, vulgar and indecent gestures, but shouted Hancur Barisan and Mampus Barisan.  It would appear that ordinary PAS supporters are more civilised in their conduct than the Pahang UMNO Mentri Besar and State Chairman!

I do not know whether PAS supporters had shouted Hancur Barisan and Mampus Barisan in Adnanís hearing, but there is no doubt that Barisan Nasional leaders and members had shouted and done  even worse things in elections, none of which could be used as justification for national and state political leaders, particularly a State Mentri Besar, to show crude, vulgar and indecent gestures in public.

During the Nov. 29, 1999 general election, women Gerakan election workers  at a polling station in Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency told voters arriving to cast their votes that they should vote for Barisan Nasional and not the DAP or there would be no temples to pray.   All this was done within my hearing distance and that of the Gerakan candidate.  Would such blatant  lies and falsehoods be justication for the showing of crude, vulgar and indecent gestures as Adnan did on Sanggang by-election nomination day?

The issue of Adnanís crude, vulgar and indecent gestures has now become a bigger  issue than just about   the proper conduct of the Pahang Mentri Besar, as Adnanís shocking public misconduct had been defended by as high a personality as the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The bigger issue concerns the morality and propriety of public conduct of the Barisan Nasional leadership, especially as  the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad also appears to  condone Adnan for his misconduct  by his silence for fear of losing votes in the Sanggang by-election.

At this rate of degeneration of public conduct and behaviour of Barisan Nasional leaders, it would not be long before Barisan Nasional MPs would be showing such crude, vulgar and indecent gestures in Parliament - as a sequel to the sexist  remarks and sexual harassment of women MPs by Barisan Nasional MPs.

Kelantan UMNO liaison chief, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has said that he would be in Pahang  on Monday and Tuesday to campaign for the Barisan Nasional in the Sanggang by-election.
The first thing Razaleigh should do in Sanggang is to advise Adnan to apologise for his crude, vulgar and indecent gestures to show that there are UMNO leaders who can distinguish between proper and acceptable from improper and impermissible conduct for Mentris Besar and Ministers.  This would be a reminder of the great loss to UMNO for its undemocratic constitution and structure in not allowing free democratic contest for the top UMNO party posts to give UMNO an opportunity for reform and renewal.

In the 1990 general election, as Semangat 46 President, Razaleigh was the victim of one of the dirtiest election tricks in Malaysian election history when the full resources of electronic and printed media were mobilised to portray him as having sold out the Malay race and betrayed Islam for purportedly wearing a Sabah tengkolok with a cross when they were in fact padi grains.

Would Razaleigh had been justified in the last few days of the 1990 election campaign to go up and down and country to show crude, vulgar and indecent gestures directed at UMNO leaders and members for such despicable lies and falsehoods?

The question now  is not just Adnan having to apologise for his crude, vulgar and indecent gestures, but also the UMNO leadership must apologise for defending Adnanís unacceptable behaviour for the past five days.

(25/3/2000)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman