(Updated) GE15: Don’t trigger fear among voters, Guan Eng admonishes PAS, Bersatu leaders

Malaysians turn up in full swing during a ceramah in Kota Raja. Photo courtesy of Mohamad Sabu (Amanah President and MP candidate for Kota Raja) Facebook.
DAP National Chairman Lim Guan Eng (centre) during an election walkabout in Penang.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 – Telling people that it will be dangerous or that they will go to hell for voting Pakatan Harapan has been a common statement used by PAS and Bersatu leaders during their campaigning to trigger fear in voters, said DAP National Chairman Lim Guan Eng.

Responding to recent statements in the media including a video making its round in the social media, where Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is seen telling people that voting in Pakatan Harapan in the 15th General Election will be a huge danger (“bahaya besar”).

Also calling on voters not to vote for Barisan Nasional, Muhyiddin alleged that there were plans to “Christianise” the country and that “a Jewish group, with which the opposition parties could be in cahoots, was planning on taking over Malaysia and converting Muslims under a long term strategy.”

PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang, meanwhile has been calling the DAP a communist party in his campaign trails.

Hate speech can never be the solution to resolve the people’s problems of low wages, high cost of living and lack of equal opportunity, Guan Eng said in his statement.

“PAS leaders led by its President Abdul Hadi Awang have been identified by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) as one of the main amplifiers of “divisive, racist, intolerant and hate-based” narratives.

“CIJ disclosed that PAS have resorted to fear-triggering Muslim voters with phrases like ‘going to hell if you vote Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional’, and inciting violence against ‘kafir harbi’ (enemies of Islam), and for calling Malays to unite and fight against the Chinese (DAP) and Indians. Hadi and PAS have also resorted to ‘red-tagging’ in recent weeks, with the continued accusation of DAP being communists as they are allegedly atheist and promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) practices,” Guan Eng said.

Guan Eng also quoted Universiti Sains Malaysia’s communications expert Mahyuddin Ahmad saying in a statement: “Race and religion-based hate speech have been weaponised to create fear and antagonism against the Chinese, continuing to narrow the space for more inclusive politics in our democracy.”

The use of such hate speech has not resolved the issues of poverty in Kelantan which remains the poorest state in Peninsular Malaysia after 32 years of PAS misrule nor provide for sufficient water supply.

Lim said that the Pakatan Harapan coalition had listened to what the people desire during their campaigning.

“The people of Malaysia want economic issues to be prioritised so that they can live better. The people want their government to respect the Federal Constitution and respect the people. They want the government to encourage the rakyat to respect each other to unite the nation and create a harmonious society.

“Only by preserving freedom can we enjoy equal opportunity. Only by establishing justice, can we live in dignity. Only by pursuing good and clean governance can we enjoy prosperity. Only by upholding democracy can we ensure that the people and not cash is king.”