Friday, May 14, 2010

Dr M using May 13 to frighten Malaysians

KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Lim Kit Siang today accused Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed of using the May 13 rally issue as a “spectre to frighten Malaysians”.

Lim, who is DAP adviser, slammed the former premier’s justification to participate in the now-aborted rally in Kuala Terengganu, saying that “he is defending the indefensible”.

“Mahathir is not wanting people to learn about the real cause of May 13. He is using this as a spectre to frighten Malaysians into not accepting the idea of new politics of racial understanding,” Lim (picture) told The Malaysian Insider.

The DAP politician pointed out that Dr Mahathir’s actions “have shot his own justifications” as in his 22-year reign as PM, he had never once organised a rally similar to the aborted May 13 one.

“If what he (Dr Mahathir) said was bona fide, why didn’t he arrange such a rally back when he was prime minister for 22 years?

“I myself had called for a royal commission to look into the events of May 13, 1969 during my first parliamentary session (as MP),” said the Ipoh Timur MP.

Dr Mahathir had earlier today defended his decision to participate in the controversial May 13 rally, saying Malaysians must not forget the 1969 race riots so that the country would not allow history to repeat itself.

The former PM, who retired in 2003, was planning to attend the rally — themed “Melayu Bangkit (Malays Arise)” — organised by Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (Gertak) and government agency Terengganu Integrity Institute. It was postponed following a public outcry.

“I feel that if we forget our history then we will repeat this history. There is a well-known saying that those who forget the lessons of history will be punished by repeating their mistakes over and over again. That is my belief,” Dr Mahathir had told a press conference at Yayasan Al-Bukhary.

“I am not going there to stir up feelings between the different races but I am going to remind them that if we do not take care of this problem of race, then we going to repeat our mistakes. If, of course, I go then I will be called a racist,” he had said.

Lim, in response, claimed that by justifying the reason to participate in such a rally, Dr Mahathir had “ill-intentions” which did not help promote peace and understanding between different races in the country.

“Dr Mahathir’s actions and words are not aimed to help Malaysians to rise above the barriers of divisive sections of our society,” quipped Lim.


The Malaysian Insider

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