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Daim: “Too many idiots” believe Umno’s racial rhetoric

May 6, 2019

Daim Zainuddin, among prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s closest advisers, said today that far too many are falling for the racial and religious narratives spun by the opposition to destabilise the ruling government.

In a recent interview by This Week in Asia of the South China Morning Post, Daim said while the Umno-led opposition’s ploy to fan racial sentiments is expected, he had hoped Malays would “think rationally” instead of falling for such narratives.

This, he said, is especially because Malay support is already fragmented, split “five ways” between PAS, Umno, Amanah, PKR and Bersatu.

According to Daim, the former chair of the Council of Eminent Persons, among the issues being racialised include the helming of the Finance Ministry by Lim Guan Eng, and its alleged takeover of Lembaga Tabung Haji assets.

“Who stole the money? You still want them (BN)? You can have them.

“Finance Ministry buys (Tabung Haji assets) for RM19 billion. You are not happy? Something wrong,” he said.

“Oh, (Umno says) the ‘Finance Ministry is Chinese’. What Chinese? This is a Pakatan Harapan government. You have to think rationally.

“Only idiots believe these things, and there are too many idiots around, I say.”

Daim, himself a former finance minister, was referring to last year’s transfer of over RM19.9 billion of Tabung Haji’s underperforming assets to a government-owned special purpose vehicle (SPV) in a bid to rescue the ailing fund.

This caused a stir among opposition leaders, who questioned the transfer of assets to the SPV under the Finance Ministry.

Putrajaya was later forced to clarify that Tabung Haji remained under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Department, not Lim’s ministry.

According to the SCMP report, this is among the ways Harapan’s critics play up the image of DAP as a Chinese-dominated party, purportedly out to control the government and remove Malay special privileges.

“Think logically”

The Haparan government, according to Daim, is pleading with Malaysians to “think logically”.

“We are here together. We have to build up strength together… there is no other alternative than living together in a multiracial society.”

Also quoted in the SCMP report was Syehredzan Johan, political secretary to DAP veteran politician Lim Kit Siang, who said his party and Harapan had not done enough to counter the “untrue” narrative.

“The narrative is there, it is alluring but it is not true,” he said.

“We have not done ourselves any favours by not pushing back hard enough, to say this is not a DAP government, this is a consensus government.”

This was echoed by other Harapan leaders, including Wanita PKR chief Haniza Talha and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Marzuki Yahaya.

“Malay voters want to see Malay leaders protect and uphold the rights of Malays … you need to be seen to be doing it,” Haniza said.

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From → Malaysia Upclose

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