By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 19.10.1987:
Information Minister, Datuk Mohamed Rahmat, should ‘rein in before the precipice’ and stop abusing his position as Minister to incite racial feelings or Malaysia will become another Sri Lanka.
I call on Information Minister, Datuk Mohamed Rahmat, to ‘rein in before the precipice’ and stop abusing his position as Minister to incite racial feelings or Malaysia will become another Sri Lanka. In such an event, as Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba, has said: “Kalah jadi abu, menang jadi arang”.
As Ministers of country, all Ministers must have one common duty, which is to preserve the harmony and well-being of the nation.
However, recently, a few UMNO seems to have become more interested in using the protection and privilege of their Ministerial positions to incite racial sentiments, which have raised racial temperatures in Malaysia a to a new height, whether by making very racist and even seditious utterances, or attending meetings where the most racist and seditious slogans are displayed.
What is more even shocking, UMNO is having meetings where the personal safety and security of reporters and cameramen from all language newspapers of Chinese descent could not be protected.
At the UMNO Youth rally in Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday the Chinese Malaysian reporters and photographers were told by both the police and the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid, that if they remained at the rally ground, the police could not guarantee their safety and security.
At the UMNO meeting of divisional representatives at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday, eigth Chinese Malaysian reporters from the various and English-language newspapers were pelted with mud and other objects during the speech of the Information Minister, Datuk Mohamed Rahmat and forced to leave in fear of their personal safety.
As Information Minister, Datuk Mohamed Rahmat should have used his position to bridge the communication between the various racial group, but he is doing the opposite – making the communication gap wider and more dangerous. He and other UMNO Ministers present like Anwar Ibrahim, Najib Tun Razak, and state leaders who are Mentri Besar or Chief Minister, shold have stopped the ‘attack’ on the Malaysian Chinese reporters, but thet just looked on! This is most irresponsible and deplorable, and I hope the MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP and PBS Ministers would have the courage to raise this issue in Cabinet on Wednesday.
If the Cabinet does not discuss the deteriorating national condition on Wednesday as the primary item in its agenda, then the Cabinet would become totally irrelevant to the dangers faced by the nation.
Datuk Mohamed Rahmat, in his speech, also openly violated the Cabinet decision last year that non-Malays should stopped being referred as ‘immigrant’ people, marking a major aggravation of racial relations where Ministers do not abide by their own Cabinet decision. This is again another issue which the MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP and PBS Ministers must bring up in Cabinet, if the Cabinet is not to lose all credibility and trust.