Source: http://www.mmail.com.my/ (By Pearl Lee, 5/2/10)
Pakatan Rakyat leaders were forced into damage control mode following the controversial and firebrand PKR Member of Parliament Zulkifli Noordin's blast at coalition partner DAP as a "chauvinistic party" that should be kicked out of Pakatan Rakyat. PKR and DAP politicians in Pakatan Rakyat closed ranks and lambasted Zulkifli, saying that his comments were unbefitting of a Pakatan Rakyat member. They said that Zulkifli's views were his own and called for disciplinary action against him. Zulkifli had, in a newspaper report yesterday, said that Pakatan Rakyat and PKR in particular would die a premature death if the "chauvinistic party" was allowed to execute its racially discriminative dogma and it no longer shared a common ground with PKR and PAS. He had said it was a fallacy to believe that Pakatan will lose Chinese votes if DAP was kicked out. The Kulim Bandar Baharu MP had also said that if PKR continued to give in to the antics of DAP, the people would soon reject them.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng of DAP said PKR should immediately sack Zulkifli as he appeared to not know how to handle himself. "PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should sack him by the end of the month. If not, he is going to be a big problem for us in the next general election." He said Malaysians as a whole cannot tolerate such extreme views as even the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was trying to promote racial unity through his 1Malaysia programme. "You can have a street poll and ask the people if we are a chauvinist party as claimed by Zulkifli," Lim said. He took potshots at Zulkifli's outburst, saying that this could be due to "some psychological problems". "On one hand, he is very arrogant and on the other, it seems as if he is also suffering from some form of inferiority complex as he does not know how to handle himself."
DAP Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai viewed Zulkifli's action as being in tune with Barisan Nasional's and his comments were being exploited by certain quarters. "The BN and mainstream media have always framed DAP as a Chinese chauvinistic party. This is why we have made a solemn pledge that if we come to power, we will abolish the Official Secrets Act (OSA), abolish the need for the media to renew its licence every year, introduce a freedom of information act and also prohibit political leaders from own ingequity in media establishments," Tan said. He believed that Zulkifli was being used as a tool to split PKR and Pakatan Rakyat. "He (Zulkifli) is more a BN man than a PR man." He also described DAP as a party that had always promoted and cherished the very principle of multi-racialism and "it's a principle the party is not going to change".
DAP's Klang MP Charles Santiago also echoed Tan's views saying that certain quarters were capitalising on controversial statements by Zulkifli to show that there were cracks in Pakatan Rakyat. "He (Zulkifli) is a chauvinist as his ideals are only that of Islam and Malays. Although I am not a Muslim or a Malay, to my understanding, Islam promotes Muslims and non-Muslims living in harmony with each other. "Even the constitution says that we are all equal whether you are a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Bidayuh. Everyone has a stake in this country," Santiago said. He suggested that disciplinary action be taken against Zulkifli as it appeared as if his party was unable to discipline him.
PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa said Zulkifli seemed to show no remorse despite being hauled up by the party's disciplinary committee for lodging a police report against Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad over the "allah" issue. "He is making his own future in the party more difficult and is more or less inviting expulsion." He said that although the party welcomed criticism, it had to be done properly and through the right channel. "The Pakatan coalition in Selangor is working very well. There may be differences at times, but we solve it amicably and we have a good working relationship at all levels, particularly at the State level," Sivarasa said.