Race and religion dominate BN’s campaign

(The Malaysian Insider) PERMATANG PASIR, Aug 20 — Race and religion seem to be the cornerstone of Umno’s by-election campaign here, beginning with the labelling of its rivals as enemies of the Malays.

Deputy Prime Minister and Umno No. 2 Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin, in a ceramah held here last night, blasted Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders as arrogant, claiming that some have dared to question the rights of the Malays and Islam.

"They have questioned the social contract, the status of Islam and the Malays in this country which are enshrined in the Federal Constitution," he said before some 500 party supporters.

"Don't get me wrong, I am a deputy prime minister for all Malaysians. The rights of the non-Malays should be upheld but do not question the rights of the Malays," he added.

Muhyiddin makes a point at the ceramah last night. — Picture by Jack Ooi

Muhyiddin, Umno's most senior leader, claimed that throughout his career, he has never witnessed what he claimed as opposition disrespect towards Malay rights and believes that the March 8 victories have made them "bolder and more arrogant."

Just as in the past, Muhyiddin also chided PAS for defending DAP which has been painted as anti-Islam by Umno leaders.

Earlier, Umno and Barisan Nasional information chief Ahmad Mazlan made subtle hints that PAS was DAP's stooge, citing the beer sale issue in Selangor as an example.

"PAS say takbir, DAP say take beer," Ahmad said, drawing laughter from party supporters.

Despite being heavily criticised for its racial attacks, and even risking compromising Prime Minister and Umno-BN president Datuk Seri Najib Razak's all-encompassing 1 Malaysia concept, last night's ceramah indicated clearly that Umno will continue to use race and religion as fodder against its rivals.

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