Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Utusan must apologise to Selangor Sultan, says lawmakers

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state lawmakers here are demanding that the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia apologise for criticising the Sultan of Selangor.

In the Malay daily’s weekend publication, Mingguan Malaysia, its editorial columnist, writing under the pseudonym Awang Selamat, questioned Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah for cancelling his plans to officiate right-wing Malay group Perkasa’s inaugural assembly on March 27.

The lawmakers also accused Awang of inciting racial hatred in his article.

“We would like to ask Awang who he was referring to with his statement ‘Why call yourself a Malay if you are too scared and following the lead of those who are eroding the position of Malays.’

“He also played up racial sentiments with his statement ‘They (Perkasa) have championed for the interests of Malays and Islam in accordance with the country’s constitutional framework. However, they are facing resistance from many parties, especially the non-Malays.’

“It seems that Awang Selamat is trying to show that his actions, together with Tun Dr Mahathir, to attend Perkasa’s first annual general assembly is better than the decision made by the Sultan of Selangor to cancel his attendance,” said Batu Caves assemblyman Amirudin Shari, on behalf of a group of PR assemblymen, today.

In his Sunday column, Awang Selamat praised Perkasa for defending the rights of Malays and Islam.

“Who has become the shield to defend the Constitution of being challenged and rewritten if not for NGOs such as Perkasa. In fact, Perkasa under the leadership of Ibrahim has sparked a new sense of confidence among the Malays.

“Do not forget Perkasa’s service. Don’t be trapped with the deception of those who want to threaten the status quo based on motives which are unknown.

“Awang is very thankful and grateful because Perkasa and several other NGOs have helped save the Malay political backbone in this country from collapsing. This was a result of a great conspiracy from the last general election which almost reached the summit,” Awang Selamat wrote.

The PR lawmakers also accused Awang Selamat and Perkasa of being disrespectful by using the monarchy for their political propaganda.

“We find that efforts to include the monarchy in the midst of a political crisis, with their narrow interpretation of the Constitution, is an act which is rude and pollutes the glory of the monarchy,” Amirudin added.

The state leaders also accused Awang of being hypocritical.

“We would like to ask Awang Selamat and Perkasa where were they when Bahasa Melayu was threatened and Malay reserve land increasingly eroded while only a few Malay politicians plundered the country for their self interests.

“We urge Awang Selamat to stop prostituting journalism for the specific interests of certain parties that deliberately want instability between different religions and races,” Amirudin said.

The lawmakers will table a motion in the state assembly’s next sitting on April 12 and identify what action can be taken against Awang Selamat and Utusan.

Amiruddin said that they would not be lodging a police report.

“We think it is better if we brought this issue to the assembly rather than lodging a police report because it can be discussed rationally,” he said.

Perkasa was formed soon after Election 2008 and has turned into a strong pressure group representing those seeking to defend the constitutional position of the Malays and the ‘social contract’.

It has been at the forefront of lobbying the government to retain the affirmative action policies favouring Malays in the New Economic Model (NEM) scheduled to be announced at the end of this month.

Perkasa is worried that the NEM will increase Chinese dominance of economy.

The director of its economic bureau, Dr Zubir Harun, has said that Perkasa is worried that the NEM will have a Chinese agenda and warned that the Chinese community will use the next general election to take over the country.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

No comments: