PENANG’S Pakatan Harapan leaders lodged several police reports today over an article on the Umno Online Facebook page alleging that DAP wants Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik to be replaced by his deputy, Teo Nie Ching.
They denounced the article as a tactic to spread false news and sow discord in the ruling coalition as Maszlee and Teo are from different component parties.
Maszlee is from the Malay-based Bersatu while Teo is from DAP, a predominantly Chinese party that has been accused by Umno as being anti-Malay and anti-Islam for decades.
Jelutong MP RSN Rayer said the police and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission must take action against the publishing of the fake news.
“We don’t want Umno Online to be the ‘batu api’ (instigator) that uses slander to sow discord within PH,” he said outside the Jalan Patani police station this morning.
The article, titled “DAP desak Mahathir pecat Dr Maszlee, lantik Teo Nie Cheng jadi Menteri Pendidikan” (DAP pushes Mahathir to sack Dr Maszlee, appoint Teo Nie Ching as Education Minister), was first posted on the blog kulihatlangitbiru.com on Monday.
It said that all DAP members nationwide were working hard to sign a petition to get Maszlee to resign, and that the petition had collected close to 60,000 signatures.
It also said DAP was forcing Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to sack Maszlee, who is seen by DAP as failing to do his job because he is pro-Malay.
The article also said that if Maszlee resigns, Teo would take over his post by default. A photo of DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang was also included in the article.
Umno Online shared the article on its Facebook page on Monday. The story has since gone viral and collected more than 2,000 likes and other reactions. Almost 900 people have shared the post while more than 1,100 left comments.
One commenter, Shahrul Mustafa, wrote: “alamak semua nak diganti cina… nasib imam bilal pn dia xminta ganti… melayu PH mesti suka ni (Oh no, everyone will be replaced by the Chinese… luckily they are not asking for imam, muezzins to be replaced… Malays in PH must like this).”
Despite DAP’s denial, the article has yet to be taken down from the blog or the Umno Online Facebook page.
Seri Delima assemblyman Syerleena Abdul Rashid said it was “so clear it is fake news and slander”, and an offence under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and Section 499/500 of the Penal Code for defamation.
She said Umno was using hatred and stirring racial sentiments to propagate fear as part of its divide and conquer tactic against PH.
“It is clear that they are threatened by PH’s strength and support… It is obvious that they are unable to steer discourse or even begin to discuss pressing issues in a mature manner.
“When they cannot divide the people, they try to split the PH parties. This is wrong.
“Our police reports are to show how serious this is, and that we want stern action taken against those responsible,” said Syerleena, who also lodged a report this morning.
Her DAP colleagues, Jawi assemblyman Jason H’ng and Bagan Dalam assemblyman M. Satees, also lodged police reports today over the article in Nibong Tebal and Butterworth, respectively.
Jelutong Bersatu division chief Omar Abdullah, Penang Amanah Youth leader Ghazali Mohamed Ismail and Bukit Gelugor PKR division deputy chief Amir Rudin Abdul Rahman said their DAP colleagues were right to lodge the reports.
Omar said Umno Online “cukup melampau” (has gone too far) with its actions to disrupt harmony in PH in its bid to confuse the people with false information and manipulation of facts.
Ghazali also slammed Umno for using lies, and racial and religious sentiments to create disunity among the people and PH.
He also urged the authorities to use the full force of the law to ensure such incidents do not recur. -THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
Najib rebuts Kit Siang, says never called for online attack on DAP
NAJIB Razak has denied Lim Kit Siang’s claim that he instructed Umno cybertroopers to launch an online offensive against DAP to weaken the Pakatan Harapan government.
The former prime minister and ex-Umno president said Lim has nothing better to do than to “think about Najib before going to bed, and writing statements about Najib in the morning as soon as he awakes”.
“(Lim) issues a statement this morning telling a lie that he received a WhatsApp message purportedly from me, instructing cybertroopers to attack DAP.
“I have never sent such a message. Kit Siang is still lying and slandering me,” Najib wrote on his Facebook page today.
Najib is currently facing multiple charges for corruption involving 1Malaysia Development Bhd, with the first of several trials ongoing.
According to Lim, the messages read: “Orders from HQ, please make sure that all postings are focused on DAP. If possible, use your creativity to tie it up with the issue of race and religion.
“According to messages from our intel, there will be more exposés on misappropriation (of funds) involving Umno members that will be surfacing. We will counter this by linking it to DAP. Make sure the team is focused on DAP, no matter what the issue is.”
Lim said Umno’s goal now is to break up Pakatan Harapan by highlighting rifts between the component parties and member politicians, after running out of ideas. – THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT