DAP today challenged Umno leaders, including Prime Minister Najib Razak and its secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to show evidence that the opposition party had received funds from Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said Umno must apologise if it failed to come up with proof.
“This (allegation) is a lie. We want Umno, Najib or Tengku Adnan to show proof that Kuok gave money to DAP.
“I want to know too (if money was given). As party secretary-general, I have no knowledge that he had ever given DAP money.
“If they can’t show proof, they must apologise to Kuok and DAP,” Guan Eng told a press conference in Penang today .
Last week, blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin in his portal said that the Hong Kong-based Kuok had been channelling funds to DAP.
Following this, Umno leaders including Najib made comments targeting the tycoon. Najib said the billionaire businessman, dubbed the “sugar king”, became successful in his career because of the government’s help.
Tengku Adnan also reportedly criticised Kuok, saying the latter had “bit the hand that fed him”, and forgotten his roots. He also accused Kuok of stirring up racial sentiments.
“I do not know why he (Kuok) wants to stir a sentiment and purportedly wants this country to be run by the Chinese. This can hurt the Malays and Bumiputera,” he was quoted as saying in the New Straits Times.
Guan Eng also condemned the Barisan Nasional-controlled mainstream newspapers that had reported the Umno leaders’ remarks against Kuok, and that the tycoon had channelled money to his nephew James Kuok to be donated to DAP.
He described the reports as “racist, extremist and baseless attacks” against Kuok and DAP.
“Normal for them to attack DAP, but this is a 94-year-old man. He is a Malaysian we can be proud of due to his success overseas. Instead of celebrating him, baseless attacks are being made against him.
“They are lies and slander to incite racial sentiments and make people hate a Malaysian businessman who have done so well overseas,” the Pakatan Harapan deputy president said.
“In a democracy, everyone has the right to support any political party or make contributions. But it doesn’t give anyone the freedom to lie, make falsehoods and fake news.
“We have said this already. DAP has no financial relation or connection with Robert Kuok,” he said.
Guan Eng, who is also Penang chief minister, said he had been photographed with James, a restauranteur, but that did not make the latter’s uncle a benefactor of his party.
“I have also been photographed eating together with Najib at official functions,” he said.
Guan Eng said BN should stop “playing with fire” by stirring up racial and extremist sentiments.
“It is very irresponsible. It is senseless. BN is out of its mind, panicking. It is resorting to such tactics to stay in power,” he said.
He also took a dig at BN’s Chinese-based component MCA for having no courage to confront Umno leaders who had made remarks against the Chinese, who “have been bullied for 60 years.”
“MCA doesn’t seem to understand why the Chinese are not supporting BN, and why MCA only has seven parliamentary seats and 11 state seats.
“They betrayed the Chinese for their own positions and interests,” he said.
Yesterday, his father DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang also denied ever receiving contributions from the businessman, calling the allegation “fake news” by the Umno and BN machinery. James had also reportedly denied the claim.