Opposition accused DAP Chairman Lim Guan Eng of fearmongering voters against ‘green wave’

Opposition accused DAP Chairman Lim Guan Eng of fearmongering voters against ‘green wave’

MALAYSIA — Lim Guan Eng, the chairman of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), has been accused by opposition leaders of fearmongering Penang voters against the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) by intentionally raising the 3R issues (Rulers, race, religion).

The allegations arose after an online portal reported that Guan Eng warned Penangites against the ‘green wave,’ allegedly stating that “if the green wave doesn’t like the temples they see, they would destroy them.”

However, Mr Lim stated that his statements were twisted by the news portal that made inaccurate translations from a Chinese media outlet, China Press. Despite the allegations, the former Finance Minister assured that he would cooperate with the police during the investigation.

In a report last Friday (7th July), China Press quoted Mr. Lim emphasizing that Penang is a state where people can freely engage in various religious ceremonies, which is a valuable aspect.

He also made an allegation that if the “green wave” dislikes Indian temples, they may try to demolish them, but as long as Penang exists, people can continue to worship freely.

“…in this green wave, if they dislike the temples, especially our Indian temples, kuil, they will demolish them and not allow you to worship. But remember, as long as Penang exists, you can still worship freely…,” Mr Lim said.

The term “green wave,” derived from PAS’s party color, refers to the growing Malay-Muslim conservatism championed by the Islamist party and its ally, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu). They formed the Perikatan Nasional (PN) alliance and garnered substantial support from Malay voters in the 15th General Election in Malaysia.

Guan Eng told Penangites don’t be like ‘Wu Sangui’

Mr. Lim went further and urged Penangites not to emulate Wu Sangui, a historical figure from the late Ming Dynasty who betrayed the dynasty by aiding the Manchu army in their conquest of China.

“We, as the righteous people of Penang, are not like Wu Sangui. Let’s not invite the ‘green’ troops into our state! (我们是有正义的槟城人,不是吴三桂,不要引‘青’兵入关!)”

“Fortunately, thanks to the united government, otherwise, you would still have to go to Singapore to watch the concert of the Heavenly King, Jacky Cheung.”

During his attendance at the Tian Fu Gong White Dragon King Tour event in Jelutong, Penang, Mr. Lim made these remarks: “Because the ‘green wave’ is very dangerous, if we are not careful, our basic rights will be exploited. Therefore, we must safeguard Penang.”

Soon after, Malaysia Now published a report based on China Press with the headline: “‘Temples will be destroyed, so stop the Mongols’: Guan Eng warns Penangites against ‘green wave’“.

The report stated that Mr. Lim “raised concerns about the potential destruction of Buddhist temples and the imposition of restrictions on non-Muslim lifestyles in Penang if the ‘green wave’ were to arrive in the state.”

The report quickly garnered attention from opposition leaders, leading to a series of police reports lodged against the DAP leader, urging action to address the stirring of racial and religious sentiments.

However, China Press later clarified that MalaysiaNow misinterpreted its report and falsely attributed statements to Lim Guan Eng regarding the ‘green wave’ intending to demolish Buddhist temples (tokong Buddha). The original article from China Press did not mention Buddhist temples or Chinese temples.

The Chinese media outlet subsequently published the verbatim of Mr. Lim’s speech during the event.

Malaysian police confirmed the investigation into Lim’s statement

According to Deputy Comm Datuk Suresh Kumar G. Suppiah, the Deputy Director of Bukit Aman CID (Forensics/Strategic Planning), the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has confirmed receiving multiple reports against Guan Eng following his speech regarding the “green wave” allegedly destroying temples and denying religious rights in Penang.

He further stated that the Special Investigation Unit (USJT) is currently investigating the matter.

The investigations are being conducted under the Sedition Act, Penal Code, and Communications and Multimedia Act, focusing on acts that may have a seditious tendency, statements causing public alarm and distress, and the improper use of network facilities.

“Investigations are ongoing and the public is urged to not speculate on that matter as it could bring about disruptions to the investigation process. Strict action will be taken on all parties that act to disrupt national harmony and security,” he said.

Lim asserts that his statements have been misconstrued

In response to the allegations, Mr. Lim Guan Eng has firmly denied them, as stated in his statement on Saturday (8 Jul).

“My Mandarin speech has been twisted as if there were parties intending to demolish Buddhist or Chinese temples. This is not true. ”

“I was referring to a case where a Hindu temple was demolished in July 2020 in Kedah.”

He expressed his disappointment that irresponsible parties have deliberately twisted his speech and portrayed it as if he were inciting religious and racial sentiments.

“It never crossed my mind to exploit the 3R issue for votes because I believe it would only harm the harmony of our multi-ethnic and multi-religious society within the country.”

BN Chairman came to the defense of Mr. Lim

According to Berita Harian, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Chairman of Barisan Nasional, came to the defense of Mr. Lim on Saturday, stating that certain parties are intentionally resurrecting the issue to tarnish Mr. Lim’s reputation.

The Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister acknowledged that he has read news reports about the allegations and characterised them as a character assassination aimed at defaming Guan Eng.

“I have also read those reports. Although it happened quite some time ago, it is being reiterated to tarnish Lim Guan Eng’s image.

“I believe that even if we have different political affiliations, it is essential to maintain good political conduct when dealing with these differences. Let us refrain from engaging in character assassination,” he remarked.

Opposition leaders criticize Lim for exploiting the 3R issue to instill fear in voters

Meanwhile, opposition parties continue to pursue the matter. Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal, the head of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) Youth wing Armada, demanded an apology from Mr. Lim for his speech.

He warned that Perikatan Nasional (PN) would not tolerate DAP if the party persists in capitalizing on the 3R issues during its state election campaign.

“We have checked and transcribed all recordings and Lim was clearly trying to pin the blame on the Kedah government. What he said was baseless, seditious, and fearmongering. It was a racist and extremist act towards us.”

“We demand that Lim Guan Eng apologise to Perikatan Nasional, Muslims and Malays over this matter. If anyone from DAP continues to play the race and religion card, we will make our objection known and demand an immediate apology,” he said.

According to Malay Mail, Ahmad Fayhsal also challenged Lim to take legal action against MalaysiaNow and China Press if he believes they mistranslated his statements.

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