By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 - The DAP’s Lim Guan Eng is trying to politicise the Chinese New Year celebration by asking attendees to wear colours representing opposition-linked movements at a Barisan Nasional event in Penang this Sunday, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
The prime minister had also dismissed as “weird” the Penang Chief Minister’s accusation that his deputy is racist for calling him “stupid”, saying it is Lim who should be rebuked for his attempt to exploit a BN’s supposedly non-partisan Chinese new year open house for political gains.
BN deputy chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had recently scoffed Lim and called him “stupid” for calling on the public to wear yellow, green and red.
The colours represent the poll reform movement Bersih, the anti-Lynas group and change respectively.
“The statement made by the DPM is not racist. We are organising something that is meaningful to the Chinese community and Penang BN had intended to organise the said event so why taint it with all these political elements.
“If they want to organise a similar type of event we would not stop them. They can do so.
“Why is he coming up with all these obstacles for us to carry out our event,” ask Najib told reporters after chairing Umno’s supreme council meeting here.
The Malaysian Insider had reported that Penang BN is confident of wooing support from much of the state’s Chinese voters at Election 2013, with sources saying its Chinese New Year celebration in the Han Chiang school field will further boost its chances of winning the state.
The Han Chiang grounds was the venue of a mammoth rally by DAP and its allies during the Election 2008 campaign, and seen as its hallowed ground, but BN sources say there have been “winds of change for Chinese voters” over the past two years.
The Malaysian Insider understands that several surveys carried out by BN show the coalition having a firm 18 out of the 40 state seats with another five seats going either to BN or the current Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government.
It is learnt that learnt that Najib is due to spend the first two days of Chinese New Year in Penang, the key manufacturing and tourism hub now ruled by PR.
The Penang BN Chinese New year celebration will feature South Korean rap sensation Psy, who will backed up by an all-South Korean dance group to belt out his viral global and Malaysian hit, “Gangnam Style”.
The song debuted on the YouTube video-sharing site in July 2012 and has racked up at least 1.29 billion views. World leaders from President Barack Obama to United Nation secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon have followed the singer in his horse-style dance performed in the video.
Najib said Lim’s “erratic” reaction may have been caused by his jealousy of BN’s success in getting the South Korean star to perform at the ruling coalition’s event, instead of the DAP.
“Ubah (change) Style was copied from Gangnam Style,” the BN chairman said in reference to the DAP’s election slogan.Although much of the ongoing tit-for-tat between Lim and the BN leadership now centres around the Korean rap sensation,
Penang BN sources say the venue of the celebrations hold a bigger significance than the appearance of Psy, or Park Jae-Sang.
According to BN sources, Han Chiang has been Pakatan Rakyat and DAP’s stronghold for fund raising and rallies and is infamous for the 2008 catalyst rally which caused the Chinese wave of voters to swing to PR and DAP.
He pointed out that Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping, a key figure behind the Han Chiang school, has been seen as a close ally of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and has allowed PR fund raisers at the school grounds.
The Penang BN Chinese New Year celebrations are seen as the ruling coalition’s major push for votes ahead of Election 2013, which must be held by this June.