Monday, May 9, 2011

Utusan is free to slander and lie. Only Umno and Utusan are above the law

May 09, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — The DAP warned Barisan Nasional (BN) today that it will have to bear responsibility for any undesirable consequences that may befall the Christian community resulting from its endorsement of Utusan Malaysia’s Christian Malaysia reports.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the ruling pact has deliberately refused to punish the Umno-owned daily for propagating its “hate campaign of lies” against the Christian community.
“By failing to stop the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia from continuing this hate campaign of lies, the BN government is inciting hate against the minority Christian community.
“DAP expresses grave concern that this hate campaign against Christians by Utusan Malaysia may not just stop at verbal attacks.
“The BN government has to bear full responsibility for any undesirable consequences on the Christian community in Malaysia based on Utusan's hate campaign of lies,” Lim (picture) said in a statement today.
The Penang chief minister also criticised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for promising to probe the report without stating that action would be taken against the daily for reporting false news.
“Clearly, the BN government has not only failed to stop Utusan Malaysia from continuing with such baseless attacks but has even encouraged them by promising action against Christian pastors and the DAP if found to be true.
“Why has the BN government not promised to take stern action against Utusan Malaysia when Utusan’s lies are exposed?” he asked.
Lim questioned if Utusan Malaysia now enjoys full immunity to spread unqualified allegations without facing the possibility of being punished for false reporting.
“It is utterly irresponsible of Umno to play with fire by spreading such lies through their newspaper Utusan Malaysia just to win Malay support at any cost.
“Many Christian leaders have expressed utter dismay at these provocative lies and denied vehemently that there are groups of Christian pastors working with DAP to create a Christian state and prime minister,” he said.
He added that the DAP has always endorsed Islam as the federal religion of Malaysia as enshrined in the Constitution and has always opposed the establishment of any theocratic state from any religion.
“This position of supporting Islam as stated in our Federal Constitution is even included in the DAP party constitution,” he said.
On a separate issue, Lim slammed Umno for leading a demonstration against him in Butterworth yesterday on the state government’s proposed toll-free alternative road from Jalan Bagan 29 to Jalan Siram.
He pointed out that the proposed road, which was initially set to cost RM5 million, had been brought down to cost only RM3.3 million after the state used an open tender system to source for contractors for the project.
“The contractor who won the project was a Malay contractor who brought down the cost further by another RM800,000 to RM2.5 million through close monitoring by Penang state executive councillor Lim Hock Seng.
“This is a classic case of a state government project costing less than the awarded tender price; that would never happen in a BN state, which would invariably cost more than the tendered price,” he said.
However, Lim said that BN and Umno had every right to oppose the project as it proves the difference in BN’s and Pakatan Rakyat’s policies.
“But no one has a right to run a campaign based on lies and Umno has no right to protest against something that is just not true.
“Or else, where would this end? If our country is built on lies, then collapse is certain,” he said, referring again to the Utusan Malaysia report.
“Malaysians regardless of race and religion must stand up together against Umno and Utusan Malaysia who are playing with fire and are ready to burn 1 Malaysia with the racist agenda of 1 Melayu-1 Bumi, 1 Cina of MCA or 1 India of MIC,” he added.

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