Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 25.1.2014.
DAP urges all Penangites to remain calm and prove BN and UMNO wrong that their efforts to provoke the fires of racial and religious hatred will not jeorpardise the multi-racial and multi-cultural harmony assiduously built up in Penang over 200 hundred years. This singular success of not just tolerance but more importantly respect for diversity achieved by Penang, has won international recognition and was a key factor behind the listing by UNESCO of George Town as a World Heritage site.
The latest effort by UMNO to raise tensions in Penang happened yesterday when UMNO Tanjung supported a Muslim non-governmental organisation demands that local authorities ban the open selling of pork in the state. Solidarity and Charity Organisation (Isco) claimed that the selling of pork openly in areas like Lebuh Chulia, Jalan Kuantan, Jalan C.Y. Choy was a disregard to Muslim sensitivity in the state.
Such open selling of pork has been done in the past when BN was in power and has never been an issue. Further the areas mentioned are predominantly non-Malay residential areas of more than 90%, and is not in a predominantly Malay kampong. Even in Kelantan with a 95% Malay-Muslim population, pork can be sold openly and hung up in markets without any problems or complaints. It is time that UMNO learns from PAS how to respect non-Muslim rights and sensitivities.
It is wrong and racist for UMNO to only single out pork sellers. State government policy is for the local authorities to act at the appropriate time against all illegal traders regardless of race and religion without singling out any particular trade.
This latest effort by UMNO to stir up racial and religious tensions, follows the censoring of pictures of pigs’ faces in the International New York Times by Malaysian authorities, which has attracted widespread negative international media attention. With UMNO now calling for the ban of open selling of pork and the censoring of pictures of pigs’ faces, are questioning whether these actions are taken in concert to heighten tensions by further restricting the past practices of non-Muslim and non-Malays.
The Penang state government will not dance to this extremist and racial tune of UMNO and urges everyone to ignore UMNO’s rabid demands to preserve national harmony. If UMNO is sincere, they should be questioning why Malaysian Malay-Muslim leaders or personalities are financing firms filled with sex and vulgar words, or are involved in gambling, casino and gaming companies or have interests in beer companies. UMNO’s failure to do so only reveals their real motive of distracting public attention away from their inability to improve the livelihood of the rakyat and imposing price hikes in sugar, petrol, TNB power tariffs and highway tolls by the BN Federal government.
—–Mandarin Version ——-