CM uses goodwill inter-faith dinner to bash Umno

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng took the opportunity at the MCCBCHST function to campaign for Pakatan Rakyat.

(FMT) – Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng last night used the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) Penang inter-religious goodwill dinner to criticise Umno, the backbone of the ruling Barisan Nasional.

The event, which was supposed to foster closer relations between the different religions in the country, was turned into a political forum by Lim taking potshots at Umno and the ruling BN.

He also took the opportunity to campaign for the opposition pact, Pakatan Rakyat, saying that the coalition of three opposition parties – PKR, DAP and PAS – has managed to bring about good change since the 2008 general election.

“Umno has taken a very extremist view that does not respect the rights of non-Muslims. For instance, an old Indian shrine was demolished by Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) controlled by the federal government last year. To-date it has not fulfilled its promise to rebuild the Hindu shrine.

“Umno leaders have also not respected the requirement of providing land for non-Muslim places of religious worship on development approvals. When Umno slandered me with lies that I had sold off mosque land in Bayan Mutiara to Ivory Property Group by open competitive tender, it failed to mention I had also sold off non-Muslim religious land.”

“Clearly, Umno did not mention non-Muslim religious land because the previous Umno state government thinks non-Muslim have no right to being provided with non-Muslim religious land,” he said.

“I wish to stress that the state government had not sold off mosque or non-Muslim land in Bayan Mutiara as such religious land is a requirement for approval by local councils. If no Muslim or non-Muslim land is provided, then no development orders will be given. And the state government will provide for non-Muslim religious land,” he said at the dinner.

He also took a potshot at Perkasa calling it a racist and extremist organisation.

“All Malaysians regardless of race, religions or gender are treated as our children by embracing love and rejecting hate, promoting peace and rejecting violence so that everyone can live with dignity.

“There is deep concern that there is no action against those involved in violence or condone violence by racist and extremist organisations such as Perkasa.

“When a young Chinese girl was handcuffed for stepping on the picture of the prime minister, why was similar punishment not given to the Perkasa leaders who conducted a Hindu funeral rite in front of my house?” the Penang chief minister asked.

Lim said while God does not take sides based on political party lines, “there are those who have recently claimed that they are the chosen people, and that their party has been chosen by God to rule the country”.

“I believe that rather than asking whether God is on our side of our party, we should ask whether our party is on the side of God, good moral values like justice, integrity, freedom and truth,” he added.