Umno media paints DAP anti-Islam, Anwar a traitor

(The Malaysian Insider) – The Umno-owned mass media continued its weekend attacks on the opposition, suggesting DAP is anti-Islam and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is willing to betray the Malays to be prime minister — both incendiary subjects in mainly Malay Muslim Malaysia.

Utusan Malaysia led the charge with articles and editorials on Saturday and Sunday that painted DAP being against the country’s official religion as a result of actions by two of its lawmakers.

“It’s the weekend so the Umno media knows that people have time to read, think and talk,” a media analyst told The Malaysian Insider.

Utusan’s Sunday edition Mingguan Malaysia slammed DAP MP Jeff Ooi for calling the missionary group Jemaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) an extremist organisation after an open dispute with one of its members, who sits on the Penang Municipal council.

Selangor local government exco Ronnie Liu was also attacked for overturning the seizure of beers from a 7-Eleven convenience store by council officers enforcing Islamic directives.

The Sunday newspaper then chastised Anwar, claiming the Malays are angry that he would threaten their rights in order to be prime minister.

Over at Berita Minggu, an op-ed article quoted academicians and Malay rights activists as saying the Anwar-led Pakatan Rakyat is just using the Malays to gain power.

DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang last week complained both newspapers were guilty of rank racism and have called Barisan Nasional ministers to castigate the Umno media.

However, none was forthcoming except deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who called for calm and defended Utusan, saying it was a reaction to protests that threatened Malay institutions.

But Kit Siang has been adamant that the newspapers are racist.

“When Umno’s two newspaper groups, Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times, openly flout Najib’s 1 Malaysia concept, how is the prime minister to convince all Malaysians that his Cabinet and administration are fully, sincerely and seriously committed to the 1 Malaysia concept and that it is not just an empty slogan like his predecessor Tun Abdullah’s slogan of ‘Cemerlang, Gemilang and Terbilang’ as the fifth prime minister of Malaysia?” he asked on August 4, referring to prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s slogan, meant to unite Malaysians.

But the Utusan group took a different tack this week, focussing on DAP leaders’ comments and actions that touched on Islam.