GEORGE TOWN, May 9 (Bernama) -- Eleven Penang Barisan Nasional (BN)
assemblymen today challenged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to repeat his
statement, which they regarded as seditious and racist, outside the State
Penang opposition leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said if Lim believed he was not
guilty and refused to apologise, he should be willing to repeat the statement
Lim was quoted as saying: "If Umno returns to power, I feel Hindu temples
will be threatened."
The chief minister, however, said that when he made the statement, he was
referring to the recent demolition of a temple located in the area of Penang
Port by Penang Port Sdn Bhd.
Speaking to reporters here today, Azhar said the word ''threatened'' used by
Lim was dangerous and seditious as it could lead the Indians to hate Umno and
BN-CHALLENGE 2 GEORGE TOWN
Azhar said all BN reps were disappointed with Lim''s statement which clearly
implied that Umno, if given power to rule, would threaten Hindu temples.
"Is Umno, which comprises the Malays and Muslims, that bad? He (Lim) is
trying to make us fight with the devotees of other religions.
"This is a culture of a cheap street politics. Only dirty politicians
practise such a culture," he said.
Also present at the press conference were 10 other BN reps who did not
attend the state assembly sitting today in protest of Speaker Datuk Abdul Halim
Hussain''s decision at yesterday''s sitting to reject their motion to bring Lim to
face the Assembly Rights Committee following his statement.
On his indefinite suspension from the state assembly, Azhar said he would
not bow before the Assembly Rights Committee as he had lost confidence in the
state legislative assembly.
BN-CHALLENGE 3 (LAST) GEORGE TOWN
"Let the people judge them. There is no use for me to face the Assembly
Rights Committee because from my experience, whatever you say, you will still be
blamed," he said.
Azhar was again suspended from the state assembly, this time indefinitely,
after he said that the assembly''s verbatim record could be manipulated during a
war of words before he walked out with 10 other BN reps at yesterday''s sitting.
He said he used the words ''could be manipulated'' and not ''had been
manipulated'' to imply that there was a possibility of misrecording.
On Aug 17, 2010, Azhar was suspended from the state assembly for six months
for using the word ''May 13'' during a war of words with Lim.
AZE AZE NHA