Unity D-G tells media, politicians to quit race-baiting
By Boo Su-Lyn
May 13, 2013
Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia has sought to pin BN’s worst-ever election result on the Chinese community. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, May 13 ― Putrajaya urged the media and politicians today to stop inciting racial tension after Perkasa vice-president Datuk Zulkifli Noordin accused the DAP yesterday of being behind the May 13, 1969 race riots.
National Unity and Integration Department (NUID) Director-General Datuk Azman Amin Hassan also said that Utusan Malaysia and other media publications should be “responsible with what they report”, even as the Umno-owned daily ran the headline “Bersatulah Melayu” (Malays, unite) on its front-page on the 44th anniversary of the riots today.
“The responsible authorities should take action against those who create feelings of animosity and hatred,” Azman told The Malaysian Insider today.
“Not only Utusan, but the whole media community and politicians shouldn’t make that kind of statement that hurts others’ feelings,” he added.
The police are investigating Utusan Malaysia for sedition after the Malay broadsheet ran an incendiary front-page report last Tuesday with the headline “Apa lagi Cina mahu? (What else do the Chinese want)”, that appeared to blame the Chinese for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) worst-ever electoral performance during Election 2013.
Utusan Malaysia also ran the headlines “Golongan muda Cina monopoli perhimpunan haram” (Young Chinese monopolise illegal rallies) and “DAP terus cetus provokasi” (DAP continues to incite provocation) today and published photographs of young Chinese protesting at the recent rallies in Penang and Petaling Jaya for free and fair elections.
Zulkifli, who lost the contest for Shah Alam in the May 5 general election as a BN direct candidate, blamed DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang last night for the bloody May 13 race riots and accused the DAP of using the slogan “Malai-seh” (Die, Malays).
Lim has frequently been pinpointed by right-wing Malay groups for the riots even though he had not been in Kuala Lumpur when the riots broke out.
Former Umno member Tamrin Ghafar had also cleared Lim while on the stump of the Election 2013 campaign trail, saying that Umno itself was behind the riots.
The son of former deputy prime minister Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba said he was told by former home minister, the late Tun Ghazali Shafie, that the May 13 riots were likely the result of an internal Umno coup against founding prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Umno leaders have continued to blame BN’s poor election results on a “Chinese tsunami” sparked by the DAP, a term that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had coined after results showed that BN retained federal power albeit with a smaller majority, after it won only 133 federal seats and ceded an additional seven seats to Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
Azman said today, however, that it was “not fair” to blame the Chinese community and called for a halt to the racial blame game.
“We have got to put a stop to this,” he said.
“We should put our nation first, then only our party and group. Now we should talk about unity; we should focus on how to build the nation up and progress,” added Azman.
Former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah joined the race debate yesterday when he warned the Chinese community to prepare for a backlash from the Malays for their purported “betrayal” against the ruling BN in Election 2013.
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