Najib’s NEM could be seditious too, says Kit Siang

DAP’s Lim Kit Siang suggested today that Datuk Seri Najib Razak could end up being cited for sedition for proposing the New Economic Model (NEM) if he allowed Malay rights rhetoric to escalate unchecked.

The DAP advisor called on the prime minister to prevent his 1Malaysia policy from degenerating into a “hollow and empty” slogan, following a slew of attacks by Malay rights groups against politicians for purportedly questioning the social contract.

Najib has remained silent on such attacks as well as on recent incidents where two school principals were accused of making racist remarks against the Chinese and Indian communities.

“There is agitation and escalation of irresponsible rhetoric to classify legitimate and rational public discussion and debate as sedition and if such agitation is allowed, even Najib himself could be charged for sedition for unveiling the New Economic Model (NEM) on March 30,” said Lim in a statement today.

The NEM that was launched in March this year had called for affirmative action programmes to be based on “market-friendly and market-based criteria”, sparking a sour reaction from Malay groups who deemed the policy a threat against Malay rights.

Najib has now been criticised for backtracking on the New Economic Model (NEM) after he subsequently called the policy a “trial balloon” and maintained the 30 per cent Bumiputera equity target in the 10th Malaysia Plan.

“The Prime Minister must provide the leadership and set the example to ensure that good sense, reason and rationality is fully restored to public and political discourses and his 1Malaysia policy does not degenerate into a Malaysian sickness which all Malaysians deplore,” said Lim, also the Ipoh Timor MP.

Yesterday, Malay rights groups demanded that MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek be arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for purportedly “disregarding national interests” by pushing for the removal of the 30 per cent Bumiputera quota at the Chinese Economic Congress recently.

The Malay Consultative Council (MPM) led by Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali also accused Pakatan Rakyat (PR) of attempting to “destroy” constitutional monarchy, following allegations by Umno that several mosques in the Tasek Gelugor, Permatang Pauh and Jelutong areas had replaced the name of the King with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in Friday sermons.

Umno-owned Malay daily Utusan Malaysia also published a column last week threatening the onset of a “huge war” worse than the May 13 racial riots if a purported “new constitution” was passed, although Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Razak rubbished such claims as “coffee-shop talk”.