Even as Pakatan Rakyat leaders renew their pledge of loyalty to the King, ultra-Malay rights group MPM was dredging up an old accusation that the coalition was trying to turn Malaysia into a republic.
“It is further proof that Umno is in real desperation. They have lost all credibility with the people. The Malays increasingly see the party as full of liars and corrupt leaders who keep twisting and turning the truth to suit their own vested interests,” Bukit Gantang MP Nizar Jamaluddin told Malaysia Chronicle.
“It is sad to see a once-proud party deteriorate until it now has to rely on NGOs to cook up stories. This is indeed a pitfall that Pakatan must avoid.”
Pakatan leaders also pointed out it was impossible for what the MPM or Malay Consultative Council had suggested.
“This is baseless and pure lies. Firstly, you cannot amend the federal constitution just like that. Secondly, the Pakatan is 100 percent committed to the existing federal constitution in bringing about change and reform,” MP for Parit Buntar Mujahid Yusof Rawa told Malaysia Chronicle.
“Thirdly, any attempt to go against the constitution is not in the Pakatan manifesto or in our coalition’s Common Policy Framework. So again - this is another fitnah from MPM.”
The latest spin from Umno
Indeed, of late, Umno has ratcheted up the racial and religious politicking for which it is notorious for and has relied on for its survival as the ruling party since independence from British rule in 1957.
It has seized on very opportunity to portray itself as the defender of Malay rights, refusing to censure two school principals who hurled racial insults against the non-Malays. It also rushed to engage in a contrived verbal war of words with BN partner MCA, whereby its aim was to show that it would defend the Malay’s 30 percent equity target at all costs.
Then, Umno-controlled newspaper Utusan warned of an outbreak of civil war, even greater than the May 13 racial riots, because Pakatan had allegedly drawn up a 'new' constitution whereby Malay rights and the position of Islam as the official religion would be canceled.
The latest Umno-created incident was in Penang, where it accused Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng of asking state mosques to replace the King’s name with his. Guan Eng has denied it and the state Pakatan has reaffirmed its loyalty to the King in a special 10-point resolution. The episode is now starting to backfire on Umno as state religious officials begin to dredge out the facts.
Nevertheless, it has not stopped MPM from its latest spin.
“Quarters in society, mostly from Pakatan Rakyat, are trying to destroy the concept of constitutional monarchy. They want Malaysia to be a republic, and do away with the rights of our kings,” MPM secretary-general Hasan Mad told reporters.
“This latest incident is not new. It is an addition to other cases where there is a blatant disrespect towards the Royal institution.”