I am of the opinion that Kit Siang is trying to portray Ghani as a racial extremist so that he could neutralize Ghani's most important appeal among especially the Gelang Patah Chinese electorates - a moderate Malay leader who enjoys good relations with the Chinese and other non-Malay communities and has proven himself to be an effective menteri besar for the good of all Johoreans.
This I believe is Lim's tactic for the battle of Gelang Patah. Accuse his rival to be a Malay extremist so that the Chinese majority in the constituency will forget what Ghani had done to develop the place, and at the same time deflect his own racialist tactics and personality by accusing his rival of doing and being exactly that.
The following is the story of Lim's attack yesterday -
Ghani: Kit Siang is getting desperate
CHEAP SHOT: Gelang Patah BN candidate blasts opponent for insinuating he was a racist
JOHOR BARU: JOHOR Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman has expressed disappointment that his opponent for the Gelang Patah seat, DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, had accused him of playing the race card.
Ghani said Lim should not resort to insinuating that he is racist just to gain support from the Chinese voters who made up the majority of constituents in Gelang Patah.
"I believe that he (Lim) is getting desperate. Everyone knows that I am not racist, and that is why I think he is trying to paint a picture of me being one," said Ghani to the New Straits Times yesterday.
Earlier in the day, Lim had called for a press conference where he, among others, had accused Ghani of waging a campaign based on racial sentiments.
Lim had quoted reports by pro-opposition news portals which suggested that Ghani had tried to scare Gelang Patah voters about the consequences of voting along racial lines.
"Ghani is sounding more like Perkasa leaders Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Noordin as what he said (as reported by the news portals) is contrary to his image as a moderate, rational and level-headed leader."
Lim, who was reading a prepared statement, claimed Ghani's rhetorics also indicated that if BN loses in Gelang Patah, the coalition would also lose the Federal Government.
Ghani in his response stressed that it had never been his intention to scare the Chinese voters as suggested by the pro-opposition news portals. The websites quoted him as saying that there was a possibility that Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang may become the prime minister of the country in the event the opposition pact wins the general election.
"All I said was that I have read news reports that the opposition is considering Hadi as a possible prime minister. Just because I said that, does it mean I'm racist?
"What I actually pointed out was that Malaysians have a choice between someone such as Hadi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak as their prime minister and I believe they should choose the latter.
"I was not trying to scare the Chinese by saying that. I think that Johoreans whether Chinese, Malays or of other races should reject Hadi because having him as prime minister will be bad for our moderate Johor ways."
Ghani also believed that Lim's attempt at equating him with leaders of the Malay-rights group Perkasa was aimed at portraying him as a Malay extremist and therefore should be rejected by the Chinese voters in Gelang Patah. DAP leaders are known to use Perkasa as the Malay bogeymen in getting support from especially the Chinese electorate.
The outgoing Johor Menteri Besar had on nomination day on Saturday stated that he chose to contest in the Chinese-majority Gelang Patah constituency because he did not want the country to be more racially polarised.
"I want to defend Johor's moderate ways. That is why I want to contest in Gelang Patah. I don't want these people to bring new things which will divide us."
Gelang Patah has 106,864 voters comprising 52.4 per cent Chinese, 34.3 per cent Malays, 12.5 per cent Indians and 0.8 per cent others.
Read more: Ghani: Kit Siang is getting desperate - General - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/ghani-kit-siang-is-getting-desperate-1.262130#ixzz2RGSjI342