Sunday, February 14, 2010

'Procession-gathering': LGE strikes out at Umno, KJ

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng struck out today at those he described as a small 'racist' segment of people who he claimed had selectively disclosed documents to suggest his government had cancelled the 'Maulidur Rasul' (Prophet Muhammad's birthday) procession.

Speaking to reporters after attending the state government's Chinese New Year open house at Komplex Tun Razak (Komtar) in Georgetown, Lim set his sights on Utusan Malaysia and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin for seeking to provoke racial sentiments over the matter.

Utusan and Bernama both reported earlier this week claims that the state-organised procession to commemorate Prophet Muhammad's birthday had been cancelled.

Even former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who chairs the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim), weighed in on the issue, saying the cancellation of the event gave the impression that the state government presumed it would have harmful repercussions.

NONEIn an immediate response to the reports, Lim denied the procession had been cancelled and described the reports as being "a lie". He also said that this year's procession would go ahead as planned.

Lim also said ministers of the BN-led federal government were welcomed to participate.

Lim should clarify

NONEOn his blogspot, however, Khairy posted images of a letter - derived from another pro-Umno blog - to suggest Lim was being less than truthful.

The letter, dated Feb 5, 2010, is said to be a circular from the office of the Penang state secretary addressed to all heads of state and federal departments and statutory bodies as well as to the heads of Penang's municipal councils.

The government's committee on the state-level celebration of Prophet Muhammad's birthday had in a meeting on Feb 3 had decided that the Maulidur Rasul procession “has been cancelled”, the letter reads.

A 'Gathering of the Ummah (Muslim community)' would instead be held on February 26 to which all heads of government were requested to attend, the letter reads further.

Reacting to the 'disclosure', Khairy said Lim “should clarify the matter honestly and sincerely, in line with the aspiration of his administration to be one that is competent, accountable and transparent.”

Khairy also pointed to the website of the Penang Islamic Affairs Department, which on its front page, contains an advertisement for the Feb 26 gathering, but none for a procession.

Different letters

Atpenang government cny open house 140210 lim guan eng Komtar today, Lim again denied that the Maulidur Rasul procession had been cancelled and accused his detractors of trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.

The Penang government, Lim said, had issued three letters on the procession, none of which contained any 'final decisions' on the matter.

The first letter, dated Jan 13, discusses the parade in general terms and requests those to whom it was addressed to reply by Feb 19, said Lim.

The second - which Lim said is the one that Khairy and others are referring to - was issued on Jan 15 to all mosques and Islamic organisation.

That letter requested feedback on the matter of expanding the scale of a indoor Maulidur Rasul gathering.

In a third letter dated Feb 12, Lim said further, it was clearly stated that both procession and gathering would be held.

“There is a small segment of people who are play with racial sentiments. They wrongly interprete matters. They have only one letter in hand, and this is misleading.

“It is like a blind person trying to comprehend an elephant. The person is gripping only the tail of the elephant, but has concluded that what is in his hand is actually a snake,” said Lim.

“We have issued three letters, but they did not read all three. Then they decide to make a false statement on the matter.”

Lim also criticized some Malay-language and English-language press failing to carry the Penang government's statements over the matter.

news courtesy of Malaysiakini

1 comment:

Chauncey Gardener said...

It is really a wonder that Oxbridge trained Khairy would make such disingenious statements without checking the facts.

One wonders if he applied any diligence to his coursework and if he did, then why does he not apply the same ethic to his present "career"?

And then, there are other forces at work such as Perkasa who seem bent on creating a us-against-them environment in Malaysia. Unfortunately, there are pro-UMNO elements who will follow blindly and disregard the facts. Dangerous !