By FMT Team
SIBU: The fact that Barisan Nasional is wielding its secret weapon against the opposition ahead of schedule means that it is rattled by the statistics indicating growing support for Pakatan Rakyat, said DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.
He said the moment it got out that support for Pakatan had moved from 40% to 44%, “BN brought out its secret weapon”.
According to him, the BN mantra “One vote for DAP is one vote for PAS and an Islamic State” is aimed at instilling fear in this predominantly Christian community.
“Under normal circumstances, it would have brought out this secret weapon two days before the by-election but the swing in support has rattled them.
“So they’ve brought out their weapon now in the hope of killing off the momentum (of vote swing),” Lim said.
The opposition is, however, unfazed by this attack, as the question of an Islamic state was no longer an issue.
“People in general are well were aware of BN’s tactic. They know that BN uses religion for political purposes,” said Lim last night.
He addded thast Pakatan had agreed in a common policy to embrace the spirit of the Federal Constitution, which acknowledges Islam as the official religion of Malaysia.
Earlier yesterday, DAP candidate for the May 16 Sibu parliamentary by-election, lawyer Wong Ho Leng, urged BN candidate Robert Lau Hui Yew to state his stand on the “Allah’ issue, which in early January tore the fabric of social harmony in the Peninsula.
Many blamed the attacks on churches and the series of anti-Christian protests in Peninsular Malaysia, following the Dec 31 Kuala Lumpur High Court ruling allowing Christians to use the term “Allah” in their worship and Bahasa Malaysia weekly publication, Herald, on the Umno-BN’s initial stand.
Since the nomination of candidates for the Sibu seat, Pakatan has been working towards making inroads in areas overlooked by the DAP in its previous attempt at wresting the seat from former late BN-Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) MP Robert Lau. Robert, who was deputy transport minister, died on April 9.
While DAP has stayed focused on winning the Chinese community, PKR is working on the native psyche and PAS on the Malay Melanaus and on dispelling notions that it is a Muslim extremist party.
On Sunday, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad and Kota Raja MP Dr Mariah Mahmud led a PAS team to meet worshippers at the Sacred Heart Church here.
Late on Saturday, some 60 priests had met with Pakatan leaders, including PAS members, in a closed door open dialogue. The response, according to an observer present at the session, was “exciting” and “revealing”.
The BN, meanwhile, has avoided the issue, side-stepping questions at every turn.
The Sibu by-election will see a three-cornered fight between BN, SUPP and independent Narawi Haron.
The constituency had has 54, 649 votes spread over three districts — Nangka, Pelawana nd Bawang Assan.