Published on: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Kuala Lumpur: Lim Kit Siang listed clean and fair elections in a five-point wish list to Utusan Malaysia Monday, after the Umno-owned daily targeted the DAP veteran in an editorial titled "What more does Kit Siang want?" as part of its ongoing campaign against the party.
With a clean election system, Lim said the prime minister today would not be Datuk Seri Najib Razak but Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, pointing to BN's loss of the popular vote despite winning the majority 133 seats in the 222-seat Parliament.
"As a result, for the first time in the nation's history, the nation and Parliament will have a prime minister whose legitimacy is under a cloud as he does not command majority popular vote as compared to Anwar," he said.
Apart from clean elections, the DAP veteran also told Utusan Malaysia that he wanted a more democratic Malaysia, the restoration of the rule of law, a world-class education and a safe, green Malaysia.
The newly-elected Gelang Patah MP again found himself the centre of attention in today's edition of the Malay language daily, which carried an article suggesting that Lim could expect a strong reaction from Malays over what the paper considered insults to Umno.
Under the headline "What more does Kit Siang want?", the newspaper's senior editor Zulkiflee Bakar accused Lim and the DAP of endangering the safety of Malaysians and breaking the law in a series of allegedly illegal rallies held in the past few days.
"What more does Kit Siang want? Isn't it enough that during campaigning Kit Siang who supposedly fights for true democracy lets DAP leaders insult Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders? Isn't he happy when the DAP has succeeded in resisting PAS's Islamic fight including for hudud?" asked Zulkiflee in his column.
"So we ask, what more does Kit Siang want? Didn't he think that what he is doing right now, including insulting Umno leaders, might incite a reaction from the Malays?" he added, warning the DAP adviser to not "play with fire" in flaming the people's sentiments.
The newspaper has been consistently targeting the DAP and Chinese voters in its tone of coverage and editorials since last week's general elections.
This time, Lim hit back at the paper for its relentless attack against him and the DAP, accusing the Umno-owned daily of setting a "disgraceful record" in Malaysian journalism by allegedly daring to publish rumours on its front page.
He claimed the daily's editors were trying to please their political "masters" by leading the campaign to demonise his party with daily news reports and editorials carrying incendiary remarks and racially-charged criticisms.
"How low can the Utusan editors plumb to in their scraping the bottom of the barrel to placate and please their Umno masters?" he asked in a statement here.
The DAP veteran noted that Utusan's weekend edition Mingguan Malaysia had front-paged a report Sunday on rumours that a DAP official had allegedly attempted to bribe the Registrar of Societies to get the party deregistered.
"There is no... truth or basis whatsoever," he said. "But what is shocking is that Utusan could put such a rumour on its front page, creating the most disgraceful record in Malaysia and world journalism, where rumours become front page news."
Lim said he was even prepared to debate with the Umno-owned Utusan but predicted that the paper was unlikely to be interested in any such rational debate apart from pursuing its alleged campaign to "demonise me".