Friday, February 12, 2010


Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (picture) has confirmed this year’s annual Prophet Muhammad’s birthday procession, saying the Utusan Malaysia report about the procession being banned, which started a protest among the newspaper’s Umno owners, was a lie.

He denied Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s accusation of being anti-Islam for wanting to cancel the march and invited the deputy prime minister to take part in the three-day state celebrations at the end of the month.

Utusan Malaysia lied and I don’t want Muhyiddin Yassin to embarrass himself by believing that lie,” Lim told The Malaysian Insider last night.

The DAP secretary-general has been fighting a resurgence of accusations that he is anti-Malay, culminating in Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohd Hashim quitting PKR yesterday in protest of his administration. Lim has taken great pains to cater to Malay and Muslim sentiments by even taking part in the annual Prophet’s birthday procession two years ago.

“Don’t politicise the issue. The DPM should not rely on unverified information based on a report in Utusan. The report that we wanted to cancel the march are lies.

“I dare the DPM to join the procession when it takes place,” he said, adding the mainstream media have been intentionally blacking out news or telling untruths about the state.

Giving away 8,888 Free Cards! Get your Tune-In Card now!

Lim has banned Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times, dailies which are linked to Umno, over what he called misreporting and their refusal to carry his replies.

Muhyiddin, the deputy president of Umno, had commented on Utusan’s report of the cancellation, saying it may have been prompted by security concerns in light of the “heated political situation” there following the feud between the DAP and several PKR leaders there.

Umno has been intensifying its effort to drive the wedge between them further by depicting the split as antagonism between a Chinese government and frustrated Malay leaders.

Former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had also weighed in on the controversy, saying the cancellation of the procession gave a picture that the state government presumed that the procession would cause harm.

“Such an opinion should not have been in the mind of the state government because the Maulidur Rasul (Prophet Muhammad’s birthday) is celebrated every year,” the Bernama state news agency quoted him as saying.

news courtesy of Malaysian Insider

No comments: