Adnan Yaakob should resign as Pahang Mentri Besar if he persists in refusing to publicly apologise for his "lewd gesture" on Sanggang nomination day

Sanggang by-election media statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The Star today, under the heading "Pupils show posters of lewd gesture" quoted the Information Minister and UMNO Secretary-General Tan Sri Mohd Khalil Yaakob as saying that "Posters of Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob showing a lewd gesture have been distributed in primary schools".

According to The Star,  Khalil said the opposition had gone too far, adding that he was appalled by their tactic.

He said: "UMNO members were shocked to find these posters being distributed among primary schoolchildren."

Khalil said it was "unbecoming of the opposition to involve schoolchildren in this political fight".

He said: "I believe such tactics have gone way below human decency and the damage in the minds of these schoolchildren has far-reaching consequences."

I do not know whether Khalilís allegation  is true, but decent-minded Malaysians are shocked that Khalil is only "appalled" by the posters of the Pahang Mentri Besarís "lewd gesture" being distributed to schoolchildren, but not in any way "appalled" by Adnanís "lewd gesture".

It is indeed unbelievable that Khalil could agree that Adnan had made a "lewd gesture" and yet he and the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi could justify Adnanís "lewd gesture" in a public place before men, women and children. If so, what is wrong with the distribution of the poster with Adnanís "lewd gesture" to schoolchildren?  It may serve the purpose of showing schoolchildren the line between  acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and conduct.

It is only when Adnanís "lewd gesture" is generally condemned by society and the political leadership that the distribution of posters of Adnanís "lewd gesture" can be regarded as equally reprehensible.

In Malaysia, there is selective justice, selective prosecution, selective release of information and now there is selective morality and selective moral judgment.

The Barisan Nasional leaders should make up their minds as to whether there is anything wrong with Adnanís "lewd gesture".  If Abdullah and Khalil believe that there is nothing wrong with Adnanís "lewd gesture", then there is nothing wrong with the posters of Adnanís "lewd gesture" being distributed to schoolchildren.

It is only when Adnanís "lewd gesture" is condemned as beyond the pale of acceptable and civilised behaviour and conduct, especially by the head of a state government who should be a role model for the people and not just the young generation, that the the distribution of  posters of his "lewd gesture" could be condemned.

I call on the Barisan Nasional leadership to condemn in no uncertain terms Adnanís "lewd gesture" and to demand that Adnan apologise unreservedly.  It is only then that Khalil can take the moral high ground to deplore the distribution of the poster of Adnanís "lewd gesture" to schoolchildren.

Adnanís crude, vulgar and indecent gesture - which Khalil agrees is "lewd" - must be a central factor for the Sanggang voters on April 1, 2000, for it shows the shocking drop in moral standards of Barisan Nasional leaders - involving not only the Pahang Mentri Besar, but the entire Barisan Nasional leadership which  could come to Adnanís defence.

Is Adnan as Pahang Mentri Besar going to allow such "lewd gesture" to be made in the  Pahang State Assembly meetings especially when he feels "provoked" by the Opposition?

Adnan Yaakob should resign as Pahang Mentri Besar if he persists in refusing to publicly apologise for his "lewd gesture" on Sanggang nomination day.

*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman