The Sungai Kandis by-election is Islam versus kleptocracy

Lim Kit Siang

The Sungai Kandis by-election next Saturday will be a crucial test of whether former Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has succeeded in equating Islam with kleptocracy in Malaysia.

It will also be a crucial test as to whether Najib’s irresponsible, vicious and toxic politics of race, religion, fear, hate and lies, which failed to make the impact he had hoped in the 14th general election, still have traction in Malaysian politics.

In GE14 campaign, a major plank of the Najib strategy was to demonise DAP and Pakatan Harapan to incite fear and hatred based on fake news, lies and false information.

He sold the line that if Umno was defeated, the Malays in Malaysia will perish as DAP, allegedly anti-Malay and anti-Islam, would dominate the Pakatan Harapan government with me as prime minister.

Umno lost its unchallenged position as the political party with majority support of Malay voters in GE14 because there were sufficient Malay voters who were intelligent and sophisticated enough to see through the humbug of such propaganda, and rejected Najib’s vicious and toxic politics.

They do not want, in particular, to equate Malays and Islam with kleptocracy.

This vicious and toxic politics of race, religion, hate, fear and lies have returned in the Sungai Kandis by-election campaign of Umno.

With the support of PAS, led by its president Abdul Hadi Awang, the Umno by-election campaign theme is the lie that Malays and Islam are perilously under threat under the new Pakatan Harapan government after the GE14.

Will the voters in Sungai Kandis by-election succumb to the Umno/PAS false propaganda that the Malays and Islam are perilously under threat under the Harapan government, and misled into believing the vicious and toxic politics equating the future of Malays and Islam with Najib’s kleptocracy?

Najib had sang praises for the Umno by-election candidate, but it is significant that in his maiden speech as an opposition MP last Thursday, Najib raised none of the issues about Malays and Islam perilously under threat – which should be Najib’s guiding theme if he really believed this to be the case under the Harapan government.

This one incident more than any others highlight not only Najib’s political dishonesty and opportunism, but that of the Umno/PAS campaign in the Sungai Kandis by-election who claim that Malays and Islam are in peril under Harapan.

Do MCA and MIC support this Umno/PAS by-election campaign theme?

This is why I am asking for the third time for the MCA and MIC national leadership to declare whether they want the Umno candidate to win or lose in Sungai Kandis.