Utusan should be blamed for manipulating Muhyiddin’s statement on the May 13 issue

SHAH ALAM, 11 July: Utusan Malaysia should be blamed for manipulating the statement by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sir Muhyiddin Yassin, regarding the May 13 issue raised recently, said the DAP Advisor, Lim Kit Siang.

Lim said that the Umno newspaper’s actions caused Muhyiddin to receive various criticisms when they reported that he warned that another conflict may happen due to racial and religious tensions that are worsening in the country.

Muhyiddin merely expressed fear that such clashes could happen if Malaysians do not preserve racial harmony.


Utusan Malaysia published an article on July 5, titled ‘Tidak mustahil 13 Mei 1969 berulang – TPM’ (13 May 1969 may possibly repeat – DPM), reported that Muhyiddin said: “Because of that, there exists all kinds of assumptions when ethnic ties become strained and unhealthy. This can cause that event and I do not want to mention the particular date (13 May 1969).”

Lim said that Utusan Malaysia inserted May 13, 1969 to his quote in parentheses.

“If Muhyiddin’s Pagoh speech had been “manipulated,” then the culprit is none other than Utusan Malaysia. This was because it was Utusan Malaysia which reported Muhyiddin’s warning of another May 13 riot in the context of worsening ethnic relations allegedly because Malays and Islam were under siege (clearly implying that this was because of the attacks by non-Malays and non-Muslims),” he said on his blog.

He said that although he welcomes Muhyiddin’s clarification and that it must be taken with a big pinch of salt.


“But in national interest, I will give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that henceforth nobody will issue May 13 threats to any particular community.

“I have many questions to ask Muhyiddin, including why he had not immediately issued such a clarification instead of allowing six days to elapse before doing so,” he said.

Lim said that Malaysians should learn from the furore of the last week to be careful and not to be careless with our public statements and avoid insensitive and provocative expressions which undermine racial and religious understanding, harmony and peace.

“Isn’t it more useful, productive and patriotic for all Malaysians to unite regardless of race, religion or region to make Malaysia a great and successful country, acknowledged by the world as a model of a plural nation where there is rule of law, good governance, human dignity, freedom and justice for all Malaysians instead of undermining the country’s great potentials in all fields of human endeavour by incessantly stoking the fires of ethnic and religious hatred and conflict?” he said.


Muhyiddin’s statement angered politicians from the opposition, including the Penang Deputy Chief Minister II, Prof P Ramasamy, who challenged the DPM and lodged a police report against him.

However, yesterday Muhyiddin expressed regret that there were some parties who distorted his statement regarding the May 13 tragedy.


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