Utusan inciting racial sentiments to hide GE13 fraud, says Anwar

By Boo Su-Lyn

PETALING JAYA, May 7 — Umno’s Utusan Malaysia is fomenting racial sentiments to cover up alleged vote rigging in Election 2013, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

The Malay broadsheet front-paged the question “Apa lagi Cina mahu (What else do the Chinese want?) in what appeared to be an attempt to shape the results of the 13th general election, which saw Barisan Nasional’s (BN) worst-ever performance, by pitting Chinese votes vs Malay ones.

“The big mistake that an illegitimate government makes is to deceive people in the election and to whip up racial sentiments to cover up their misdeeds,” said Anwar (picture) at a packed press conference at the PKR headquarters here.

“When Datuk Seri Najib spoke of reconciliation, that I accept, but when he talked about a ‘Chinese tsunami’, that I reject,” he added, referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Analysts have said data from voting trends showed that the outcome of Election 2013 was not simply the result of a “Chinese tsunami” as Najib has claimed, but a major swing in the urban and middle-class electorate that saw a widening of the urban-rural gap.

But Utusan Malaysia, a newspaper that has represented the right-wing forces aligned largely with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, published several stories today blaming the Chinese for dividing Malaysia.

In the wrap-around front page today, Utusan Malaysia published a number of photographs which allegedly showed Chinese-looking youths wearing black to protest the results of the election.

The photographs are believed to have been lifted from the Internet and were also used by many right-wing bloggers aligned with Dr Mahathir.

Anwar accused Umno today of playing a “sentiment game”, pointing out that Utusan Malaysia’s front page was approved by the BN lynchpin.

DAP publicity chief Tony Pua said yesterday that Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) improved performance in Selangor was due to the “massive increase in Malay support”, particularly in the semi-rural belt of the country’s most industrialised state.

DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang has also noted that PR won several Malay-majority federal seats like Kuala Terengganu, Alor Star, Lumut and Sepang.

BN won Election 2013 with a smaller majority than the previous election and failed to retake Selangor and Penang, the two most developed states in the country.