It continued: "He did not complete his threat but he did not need to."
I did not follow the live telecast speech of Mahathir when winding up the 55th UMNO General Assembly yesterday, but I have read the transcript of his speech and I am most struck both by his threatening tone and his baseless allegations against Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press.
Mahathir also made threatening and baseless attacks on the DAP and me, among other targets, but we are used to such Mahathir outbursts - although the Prime Minister seems to be entering into a new and menacing political phase, which I will deal with on another occasion.
His ferocious attack on Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press, however, cannot be allowed to be unchallenged.
DAP calls for an independent commission of inquiry to establish whether Mahathir's allegations against Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press are fair or completely unfounded - that they had been guilty of inciting racial hatred against the Malays and the government, and secondly, that they have become puppets of the DAP to win back Chinese support after the 1999 general elections and create hatred among the Chinese towards the Barisan Nasional and the Prime Minister.
In his speech, Mahathir even said: 'We cannot have one race which is free to spread all kinds of slander and accusation discrediting the government while reining in another race,' painting the false picture against the Chinese in Malaysia.
If Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press were guilty as alleged by Mahathir, then they should openly apologize for their seditious conduct and even be charged in court under the Sedition Act.
However, if Mahathir had been misled to make such baseless allegations against Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press, as he admits that he does not read the Chinese language, then he should have the humility to publicly withdraw and apologize for the unwarranted allegations.
I am so confident that the allegations which Mahathir had made against Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press are so outrageous, preposterous and untrue that I propose that the independent commission into Mahathir's allegations against the two Chinese newsapers be headed by the Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sir Dr. Koh Tsu Koon.
This will be a good occasion for Mahathir to learn who to believe or disbelieve when getting information whether about the Chinese newspapers or the views and wishes of the Chinese community.
Mahathir asked why the MCA could not purchase Chinese newspapers like Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press when Malay newspapers could be owned by political parties, citing Harakah by PAS and Utusan indirecty by UMNO, mischievously asking whether the Malaysian Chinese are asking for "special rights" denied to the Malays.
It is most regrettable that Mahathir is trying to communalise the issue. DAP has declared that there should be an end to political party ownership of the mass media if there is going to be free, independent and responsible press. There should not be any further concentration of political party media ownership as would be the case if MCA is allowed to acquire the two Chinese newspapers as the country should be working towards the dilution and eventual termination of political party ownership of the mass media - with MCA relinquishing ownership of Star and UMNO relinquishing ownership of Utusan.
The comparison with PAS' Harakah and DAP's Rocket is completely inappropriate, as they are party organs, just like UMNO has Merdeka and MCA its Guardian - which cannot be discussed with public newspapers like Nanyang Siang Pau, China Press, Star, New Straits Times or Utusan Melayu.