Statement- Stop Warning and Threatening Mr PM



    Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM Malaysian Peoples Party) is utterly disgusted with the warnings and threats issued by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, vis--vis the Gerik arms heist and the role of A-Maunah, as reported by the media today. We would like to emphasise that anybody, including political leaders, has the right to express their views on this matter. There is nothing wrong criticising the government for its handling or mishandling of the matter, or even to demand the government to step down, so long as it is done lawfully.

    In a way, the government must be quite happy that it has gained political mileage from events that have been happening over the past one week. It has gained more praise from the neo-colonial media of the West for its relative efficiency in subduing a hopeless attempt by a group of so-called fundamentalists out to set up an Islamic state. At the same time, Dr Mahathir can also be more sure of greater popularity among a section of the people, majority of whom are non-Malays, who are concerned, quite rightly so, about stability and any form of extremism, particularly those identified as the Islamic type.

    In the past, it has been Mahathir himself who has been constantly showing disrespect of the law, committing contempt of court, and not displaying any common decency, by accusing people of being criminals, rioters and sodomists, even before they are found guilty by the court. Yes, even the court whose credibility has now been undermined by all kinds of action by the Prime Minister. What moral ground does Mahathir have to warn and threaten people the way he does?

    The government has become increasingly more undemocratic, unjust and repressive. The space for public dissent and free expression upheld by the Constitution is increasingly being closed. We only wish to say that if this goes on further without check, then the Prime Minister and the likes of him will only be encouraging political manifestions that he abhors, for instance, illegal instead of legal, extra-parliamentary instead of parliamentary, forms of struggle. Mahathir and the government have only themselves to blame for whatever is happening now. Let not the accusing finger point to others only.



    Dr Syed Husin Ali
    PRM President

    11th July 2000

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