OPINION: What a coincidence!
The same day that Prime Minister Najib Razak lumped news portals with “keyboard warriors and cybertroopers” for “unhealthy practice of journalism” in an attempt to justify the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) blockade of the news portal The Malaysian Insider, there was another blast of lies against the DAP.
This was in the form of an alleged list of the “richest” persons in Malaysia (below) circulated on the Internet, with the DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister listed as the No 22 “richest” person in Malaysia, worth RM2.87 billion – preceded by 21 “richest” in Malaysia, ranging from Robert Kuok (RM42.2b), Ananda Krishnan (RM31.2b), Quek Leng Chan (22.3b) Teh Hong Piow (19.6b), Lee Shin Cheng (RM19.4), Lim Kok Thay (19.2b), Yeoh Tiong Lay (RM9.5b), Lao Cho Kun (RM6.5b), Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary (RM6.1b), Surin Upatkoon (RM4.8b), Kuan Kam Hon (RM4.6b), Tiong Hiew King (RM4.2b), Danny Tan Chee Sing (RM4.1b), G. Gnanalingam (RM4.06b), Lee Oi Hian & Lee Hau Hian (RM3.86b), Desmond Lim Siew Choon (RM3.82b), Vincent Tan (RM3.8b), Jeffrey Cheah (RM3.65b), Yaw Teck Seng & Yaw Chee Ming (RM3.16b), Goh Peng Ooi (RM3.06b), Tan Heng Chew, Eng Soon & Eng Hwa (RM2.9b) – and richer than others like Chen Lip Keong (RM2.61b), Ahmadyuddin Ahmad (RM2.42b),Lim Kuang Sia (RM2.4b), Lim Kang Hoo (RM2.32b), Shahril & Shahriman Shamsuddin (RM2.04b), Mokhzani Mahathir (RM2.02b), Ngau Boon Keat (RM2b), Ninian Mogan Lourdenadin RM1.98b),Azman Hashim (RM1.96b), Lim Teck Meng (RM1.48b), Chong Chook Yew (RM1.43b), Kong Hon Kong (RM1.37b), Leong Hoy Kum (RM1.24b), etc.
Has Guan Eng rocketed from a jailbird to become Malaysia’s 22nd richest person worth RM2.87 billion – in the league of Robert Kuok and Ananda Krishnan?
I did a quick search and found that it was Forbe’s 2016 Ranking of Malaysia’s 50 Richest, and the list was as correct except for Guan Eng’s listing as No 22’s Richest, when it should be Lim Wee Chai.
Guan Eng is no where in the list, or even among Malaysia’s Richest 500, 5,000 or 50,000 but Umno cybertroopers have no compunction to stoop so low as to “doctor” the list to malign and defame him and DAP leaders, as they had done in past, like the alleged RM1.5 billion Israeli donation to DAP in exchange for an Israeli naval base in Port Dickson, the purported DAP resolution to make Malaysia a “Christian state” or that I had been in Kuala Lumpur and led illegal “victory” street processions hurling anti-Malay abuses which provoked the May 13, 1969 riots when I was never in Kuala Lumpur after the May 1969 general elections and was in Kota Kinabalu on May 13, 1969 –all baseless and meretricious lies.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has urged netizens to report content which is offensive, incestuous, pornographic and false, with its Network Security Chief Officer for the Enforcement and Advocacy Sector, Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin asking netizens to adopt a critical approach and to report to the authorites for legal action to be taken.
However, DAP experiences with MCMC had been a most disappointing one, as numerous reports had been lodged with MCMC against false and insidious postings on the social media by Umno cybertroopers against DAP and DAP leaders but no action whatsoever had been taken by MCMC or the police against such blatant falsehoods and lies.
Najib therefore sounds very lame when he complains about “unhealthy practice of journalism” as he had closed his eyes to the most inflammatory and insidious abuses by Umno cybertroopers against DAP and Opposition leaders.
Najib’s lament is also no justification for the “sledgehammer” reaction to block access to The Malaysian Insider, in particular in reaction to the TMI report entitled: ‘Enough proof to charge Najib over SRC, says MACC oversight committee’.
The government has a plethora of laws against Internet abuse and the virtual ban on The Malaysian Insider is completely unjustifiable, especially as the news portal had not received any prior notice of the ban, part from being most undemocratic and repressive and a violation of the 20-year Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Bill of Guarantees of “No Censorship of the Internet”.
I call on the prime minister to uphold and abide by the 20-year Bill of Guarantee to the world of “No Internet Censorship”, immediately revoke the MCMC blockade and ensure that good sense prevails and refrain from the precipitate rush towards “parliamentary dictatorship” first foreshadowed by the rush to enact the National Security Council Bill in December last year usurping the constitutional powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Cabinet, the Sarawak and Sabah State Governments and the 11 State Governments in Peninsular Malaysia to enable the prime minister to unilaterally declare an unconstitutional “de facto” state of emergency.
Najib should come clean on the twin mega scandals, uphold the fundamental liberties and human rights guaranteed in the Constitution and be true to the oath of office as prime minister to protect and defend democracy in Malaysia instead of being the destroyer of the Malaysian Constitution and democracy.
Najib and Umno/BN government must not arrogate to itself the prerogative of deciding for Malaysians what are truths, half-truths, lies and opinions to form their judgments, but must continue to be true and faithful to the constitutional guarantees of fundamental liberties of Malaysians, such as freedom of speech, expression and beliefs and the Rukunegara principles of the Supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law.
LIM KIT SIANG is DAP Adviser and Gelang Patah MP.
-The Ant Daily