Did any of the PAS leaders, including its president Hadi Awang, censure the MP for Kepala Batas, Siti Mastura Muhammad, for her racist, incendiary and slanderous comments against DAP MP Lim Guan Eng’s family?
Actions and words, have consequences. Siti Mastura, may want to reflect on the following ten points.
It all started when she made a condescending and offensive speech at a PAS event in Kemaman last week.
She alleged that Lim Kit Siang, his son Lim Guan Eng, former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, and former Malayan Communist Party (MCP) leader Chin Peng a.k.a. Ong Boon Hua, were all related.
She claimed that Lee Kuan Yew, Lim Kit Siang and Chin Peng were cousins. She probably wanted the audience to think Lee and Lim were closet communists.
No MP, no matter how junior or inexperienced he or she is, should be allowed to badmouth the respected leader of a foreign nation, and souring good relationships.
Siti risks starting a diplomatic rift with our southern neighbour Singapore. Countries are constantly involved in delicate negotiations, be it in trade agreements, concessions, territorial disputes, or other diplomatic matters.
Siti should think first before opening her mouth.
Secondly, for several months, some PAS MPs have launched racist tirades on the non-Malays. Temples have been dismantled, and bizarrely, the uniform of airline cabin crew and nurses have been criticised.
These criticisms should stop. The reason they continue is because these bullies are rarely punished for their unacceptable remarks and actions.
Politicians like the PAS MB for Kedah often make derogatory remarks against the non-Muslims. It is the failure of punishment that irresponsible PAS MPs continue to be offensive.
Thirdly, Siti claims to hold a doctorate. When she did her PhD and was asked to submit her papers, she would have had to follow a strict code of not plagiarising and equally importantly, to verify the sources of her information.
Why did she fail to fact-check her sources? As a PhD holder, she ought to have known better.
It is the failure of punishment that irresponsible PAS MPs continue to be offensive.
Fourthly, why was she so careless and irresponsible in failing to verify her sources?
She may be a busy woman but as an MP, she has political aides who can be instructed to undertake the “fact-check”.
So, were her aides incompetent? Was Siti careless or did she not care about the information she was releasing to her audience? It says a lot about her attention to detail.
Fifthly, Siti’s offensive speech is a sad reflection on the failure of some nationalists and conservatives to integrate with non-Malay and non-Muslim Malaysians.
She should have known that Chinese surnames are very informative. The Chinese surnames show the origins of their families, which differ in terms of migratory patterns and historical development in China.
MP Teo Nie Ching summarised the Chinese surnames description. Lee is Lee Kuan Yew’s surname, and he is a descendant of the Hakka clan. Lim Kit Siang’s surname is Lim and he is Hokkien. Whereas Chin Peng a.k.a. Ong Boon Hua is Hokchia. They are not cousins and all of them come from different families.
Sixth. The PAS we see today is an aggressive arrogant version of the PAS led by the spiritual leader, the late Nik Aziz Nik Mat.
Nik Aziz was open, humble and accommodating, whereas Hadi Awang has failed to show any leadership.
Seventh. The MPs who insult other races are a prime example of the failure of our education system.
Is Siti not aware that we have values and one of them is not to make racist comments or snide remarks about another?
Did her religion not teach her not to lie about others? Does she not know about morals, and is she not at all civic conscious-minded?
Eighth. The fact that Siti is an MP is a sad reflection on the voters. How on earth did someone as crass and irresponsible as Siti become an MP?
She was voted in by her constituents. What did she give them apart from negative publicity and a possible lawsuit from those she offended?
Ninth. Siti said that “reference material” on her claim of a family conspiracy in DAP had been handed to the police. Her lawyer said it was up to the police to determine whether the material was authentic.
The police should not be wasting valuable resources verifying the authenticity of the reference material.
Being racist and making slanderous remarks about other people is a crime, and Siti is only trying to divert attention on the investigation by the police.
Tenth. Siti knew that what she did was wrong. She wanted to scare her audience or make them hate DAP politicians and also the Singaporean leadership by insinuating that the Lim family and also the family of Lee Kuan Yew have communist tendencies.
She did this to incite hatred of the DAP and dismiss our historical ties with Singapore.
Siti may pretend to be innocent of the storm she has created, but the converse is probably true.
In all probability, she wanted to stoke fear in the electorate. They will have older family members who lived during WWII and the Emergency. People were fearful of the atrocities committed by the MCP.
Siti Mastura should resign, or be fired and be brought to court for slander and for inciting hatred between the Malays, non-Malays and Singaporeans.
(Mariam Mokhtar is a Freelance Writer.)