BN’s Repressive Tactics, Beginning With Forcing DAP To Hold A Party Re-election 4 Years Later After Our Last Re-election In 2013, Banning G25’s Book And Forcing Political Cartoonist Zunar To Cancel His “Ketawa Pink Pink Exhibition In Penang, Is A Harbinger Of More Oppression Should BN Win The Coming 14th General Elections.(e/c)

Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General and MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 30.7.2017.

BN’s repressive tactics, beginning with forcing DAP to hold a party re-election 4 years later after our last re-election in 2013, banning G25’s book and forcing political cartoonist Zunar to cancel his “Ketawa Pink Pink” exhibition in Penang, is a harbinger of more oppression should BN win the coming 14th general elections. Even though Penang is ruled by Pakatan Harapan state government that promotes freedom of speech and artistic expression, there is no guarantee that Zunar can hold his exhibition featuring 50 pieces of his artworks due to alleged threats from his opponents.

Zunar said he was supposed to hold the event dubbed “Ketawa Pink Pink” tomorrow on Beach Street, from 8am to 12pm, but was forced to cancel his cartoon exhibition in Penang because of threats from a group of troublemakers from UMNO Penang. Instead of holding their own cartoon exhibiton, they had distributed posters urging their members to come and “visit” Zunar’s exhibition.

DAP can understand Zunar’s fear of physical intimidation when last year, his exhibition in Komtar resulted in not only Zunar being physically attacked by a Penang Umno youth member, while the police arrested him under the Sedition Act. UMNO Youth President Khairy Jamaluddin should be ashamed of such behaviour of UMNO Youth members which Zunar described as “very rowdy and aggressive”.

DAP agrees that the banning of the book by G25, which is a collection of essays ‘Breaking the Silence: Voices of Moderation – Islam in a Constitutional Democracy’, is “illogical” and “utterly ridiculous”, when the authorities failed to explain how the book is prejudicial to public order. This is not just another example of the Malaysian government suppressing free speech.

The BN government’s refusal to give reasons, lends suspicion that this is a naked abuse of power intended to send a chilling message and extract political capital in the run-up to the general elections. G25 comprises former top civil servants, diplomats and pro-BN personalities such as Dr Chandra Muzaffar. Dr Chandra said the ban is an attempt to curb balanced, rational and open-minded thinking on matters pertaining to the practice of Islam in Malaysia and that the essays were not just about the practice of Islam, but about upholding the Federal Constitution.

Instead of banning books, civil action of defamation can always be filed if any party feels offended. Clearly BN is intent in maintaining Malaysia as both a kleptocracy and autocracy, with neither room for dissent nor protection for genuine whistle-blowers of corruption at the highest levels.

LIM GUAN ENG

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民主行动党秘书长兼峇眼区国会议员林冠英于2017年7月30日在吉隆坡发表声明:

国阵的镇压手段始于威逼行动党重新举行党选,距离2013年党选已经事隔四年、G25撰写书籍被列禁书、强迫政治漫画家祖纳取消他在槟城的“Ketawa Pink Pink” 漫画展,所有形式的压迫都是国阵在第14届大选志在必赢的预兆。

国阵的镇压手段始于威逼行动党重新举行党选,距离2013年党选已经事隔四年、G25撰写书籍被列禁书、强迫政治漫画家祖纳取消他在槟城的“Ketawa Pink Pink” 漫画展,所有形式的压迫都是国阵在第14届大选志在必赢的预兆。就算槟城由希望联盟州政府治理、推崇言论自由和艺术创作自由,但是由于遭到反对者的威胁,我们无法保证祖纳可以展出他的50幅作品。

祖纳说他原本计划早上8时至12时在土库街举办“Ketawa Pink Pink“画展,但是由于收到来自槟城巫统的滋事分子的威胁,他被逼取消他的漫画展。他们不但没有主办自己的漫画展,反而派发海报,叫他们的党员来“参观”祖纳的展览。

行动党可以理解祖纳担心受到身体伤害的威胁,去年,他在光大的画展不但导致他遭受巫青团成员的攻击,还被警方以煽动法令逮捕。巫青团团长凯里应该对巫青团这种被祖纳形容为“粗暴及激进”的行为感到羞耻。

行动党也同意,有关当局也无法解释G25的新书《打破沉默:中庸之聲-宪法民主中的伊斯兰》如何妨碍公共秩序是不合逻辑及荒谬的。这只不过是马来西亚政府打压言论自由的另一个例子。

国阵政府拒绝给出理由,更加让人怀疑,这是赤裸裸的滥权,为了来届大选发出警告讯息,用尽政治资本。G25成员包括许多顶尖的公务员、外交使节甚至是亲国阵人士如詹德拉慕扎法。詹德拉慕扎法说,这个禁令是有意遏止有关马来西亚伊斯兰教的平衡、理性及开明的思想,有关禁书的内容不仅是关于伊斯兰,也与捍卫联邦宪法有关。

与其把它列为禁书,任何感受冒犯的人士大可进行民事毁谤诉讼。很明显地,国阵要继续在马来西亚的盗贼及独裁统治,容不下异见、也不会为贪污的吹哨人提供保护。

林冠英

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