GE14 | Lim Kit Siang has accused Ismail Sabri Yaakob, whom he described as the "turtle egg" Umno minister, of attempting to frame the coming general election as a battle between the Malays and Chinese as well as between Islam and its enemies.
The DAP veteran also asked if the Umno leader and the party-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia would be charged under the Anti-Fake News Act 2018.
Lim was responding to Ismail's warning that the special rights of the Malays and uniqueness of Islam would be eliminated if DAP and Pakatan Harapan win the election.
The turtle egg jibe refers to a controversy in 2015 when the caretaker minister came under fire from conservationists after a photograph of him at a dinner where turtle eggs were served went viral.
Ismail denied eating the eggs, citing his high cholesterol level and later filed a lawsuit against Sabah-based newspaper Daily Express over the matter.
Meanwhile, Lim pointed out that Harapan's basic documents, including its election manifesto, had been clear and specific in giving unconditional support to Article 153 on Malay special rights and Article 3 on Islam as the official religion of the Federation.
“There are people who are trying to put back the clock of Malaysian nation-building by sowing distrust, hatred, and animosity instead of fostering greater tolerance, harmony, and unity in multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural Malaysia.
“The 'turtle-egg' Umno (caretaker) minister is one such character, who is trying to frame the 14th GE as a battle between Malays and Chinese as well as between Islam and enemies of Islam, when it is, in fact, a battle between (caretaker prime minister) Najib (Abdul Razak) and Umno kleptocrats against the people of Malaysia.
“The 14th general election is a battle between Malaysians to want to save Malaysia from a kleptocracy ending up as a failed and rogue state and Malaysians who do not care whether Malaysia is the international laughing-stock because we have become a global kleptocracy as a result of the multi-billion dollar international 1MDB scandal,” he added in a statement.
Lim also warned that Ismail's and similar allegations were most irresponsible and dangerous, and if unchecked, could spark off chaos and conflagration in Malaysia.
“Will the 'turtle-egg' Umno minister be arrested and charged under the Anti-Fake News Act to save Malaysia from political desperadoes who are prepared to risk Malaysia's peace, harmony, and tolerance... in pursuit of their selfish ends?” he asked.
The Anti-Fake News Act was gazetted on Wednesday and came into power with immediate effect.
Press freedom groups and global watchdogs have criticised the new law on the grounds that it would further stifle press freedom and freedom of expression whereas Lim claimed that it was crafted to shield Najib from the 1MDB scandal.