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Saturday, August 28, 2010

PM's zero tolerance for racism should start with Utusan :Kit Siang

Malaysia Chronicle

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang has urged Prime Minister Najib Razak not to disappoint Malaysians with empty promises and instead show the way by taking swift action against Umno-owned newspaper Utusan for fomenting racial hatred and two headmistresses for allegedly hurling racial slurs.

On Friday, Najib had pledged “zero tolerance” towards racism and action against those found guilty of it.

“It is welcome although belated – provided it is not an empty declaration. Najib’s belated declaration raised the question whether he means what he says for two reasons,” Kit Siang wrote in his blog.

“Firstly, it has taken him two long weeks to make his first public statement since the deplorable incident at the launch of the Merdeka celebrations of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Kulai, where the school principal Hajah Siti Inshah binti Mansor said: “Pelajar-pelajar Cina tidak diperlukan dan boleh balik ke China ataupun Sekolah Foon Yew. Bagi pelajar India, tali sembahyang yang diikat di pergelangan tangan dan leher pelajar nampak seakan anjing dan hanya anjing akan mengikat seperti itu.”

“Secondly, lack of “zero tolerance” against delay in taking action against racism. How long more is needed by Najib and Chua to establish whether the school principals of the two schools in Kulai and Bukit Selambau schools had made derogatory, offensive and insensitive remarks which completely negates Najib’s 1Malaysia policy, Vision 2020, the Rukunegara and the Malaysian Constitution rendering them completely unfit to continue as school principals?”

According to Kit Siang, two Cabinet meetings have since come and gone – Wednesdays 18th August and 25th August – with the issue still unresolved.

He slammed “outspoken” MCA president Chua Soi Lek for publicly denying that the government was slow in taking action against the two headmistresses.

Then there is Utusan

Kit Siang also pointed out Utusan, which has angered Malaysians especially the non-Malays with articles like Elak perang besar – Harussani enggan dedah pihak terlibat wujudkan ‘perlembagaan baru' (17th August) and Benar, perang besar boleh berlaku di Malaysia (18th August).

According to Kit Siang, Utusan also sought to stoke religious sentiments when for four consecutive days, it put Penang Chief Minister and DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng on its front-page headlines, viz

Nama Guan Eng ganti Agong – Disebut doa khutbah Jumaat. Umno Pulau Pinang Bantah – 20th August 2010.
Ahli kariah sahkan doa khutbah Jumaat guna nama Guan Eng – 21st August 2010.
Lagi nama Guan Eng dalam khutbah – 22nd August 2010.
Pasukan khas siasat khutbah guna nama Guan Eng – 23rd August 2010.

“The question that must be asked is whether Utusan Malaysia front-page coverage is to foster inter-religious harmony and goodwill or because of a larger agenda to do the opposite. Najib should therefore walk the talk of a zero-tolerance policy for racism and religious incitement starting with Utusan Malaysia with zero-tolerance for delay in taking action,” said Kit Siang.

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