RETIRED DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has taken another swipe at former premier Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin beyond his “greatest failure” for not bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control during his reign as the backdoor prime minister (PM) for a 17-month period between March 2020 and August 2021
This was when the current Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman and Bersatu president approached him in 2016 after he was sacked from UMNO and before Bersatu was formed for DAP’s backing for him to become the PM.
“I declined as the DAP was committed to naming (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim as the PM-designate of then Pakatan Rakyat (PR), but the thought of the terrible idea of a ‘Malay first’ becoming PM of plural Malaysia entered my mind,” recalled the 81-year-old veteran lawmaker.
Speaking at the Klang Parliamentary and Pandamaran State Assembly Service Centre annual dinner last night (Jan 3), Kit Siang chided Muhyiddin’s 2010 statement as the then deputy prime minister that he was “Malay first and Malaysian second” as the latter’s “worst statement in his political life”.
“Can Muhyiddin explain why he violated the Constitution and the Rukun Negara (National Principles) by declaring that he was ‘Malay first’ even as Malaysia is a plural society and for ignoring the paramount importance of unity in diversity?” asked Kit Siang who last served as the MP for Iskandar Puteri.
Malaysia’s longest-serving Opposition leader in Malaysia who held the position for a total of 29 years on three separate occasions also cannot forgive Muhyiddin for having “the cheek to claim during his 15th General Election (GE15) campaign that only a few Malaysians died in the COVID-19 pandemic”.
“When Muhyiddin suspended Parliament and declared emergency on Jan 11, 2021 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, there were cumulative totals of 138,224 COVID-19 cases and 555 COVID-19 deaths,” reiterated Kit Siang.
“Six months later, when Muhyiddin resigned and Emergency ended, the cumulative totals increased over 10 times in COVID-19 cases and 24 times in COVID-19 deaths to reach nearly 1.5 million COVID-19 cases and over 13,000 COVID-19 deaths.”
With Muhyiddin serving as a lesson, Kit Siang stressed that the present unity government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim must honour the human rights of Malaysians with regard to freedom of expression to criticise the government based on facts and figures.
“But it must be firm against the extreme, divisive and toxic politics of lies, fear, hate, race and religion because they could destroy plural Malaysia and tear up the Constitution and the Rukun Negara,” he added. – Jan 4, 2023
Main pic credit: AP