KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 – Lim Kit Siang has described Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s sudden “U-turn” to retain the Sedition Act as “buckling under pressure” and succumbing to threats by Umno rightists and extremists. Not mincing his words in a press statement released this evening, the Gelang Patah Member of Parliament said the move was also timed with the Prime Minister’s tabling of a White Paper to condemn the Islamic State (IS).
The DAP stalwart admitted that he now understood the sudden urgency to table a White Paper and move a motion in Parliament to condemn the terrorist group. “It is to camouflage Najib’s betrayal of the cause of wasatiyyah and his initiative of the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM), when he delivered his Umno presidential address this morning.”
Lim said the rightists, extremists and the opponents of the campaign of wasatiyyah now have a cause to celebrate, thanks to Najib’s move. Najib’s stance today contradicted the one he took in 2012 when he stated that the Act would be replaced with a Harmony Bill.
“It is nonetheless heart-rending to see the sixth Prime Minister succumbing to threats by rightists and extremists in Umno and Umno-sponsored non-governmental organisations and becoming a hostage to elements which are opposed to the policy of moderation and the GMM.”
In his policy speech at the 2014 Umno General Assembly this morning, Najib announced that the Act would stay. He said the decision was made after taking into consideration the views of the Deputy Prime Minister, Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri Umno, the grassroots and NGOs.