Apr 23: PAS’s candidate for the Sepang parliamentary seat has proposed that the Pakatan Rakyat government declare May 13 every year as ‘Unity Day’, as a way to put to rest one of the nation’s darkest chapters in its modern history.
“I propose that if PR takes over Putrajaya on May 5, that May 13, 2013 – eight days into PR’s rule – be declared a day of unity or love,” said Hanipa Maidin (left).
Hanipa, a prominent lawyer who has represented the party in many high profile cases, said the move will put an end to any attempts to fan racial hatred.
He added that UMNO-BN leaders had always raised the spectre of racial riots ala-May 13.
Recently, Wanita UMNO chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil drew widespread condemnation for saying that May 13-style riots could be sparked in the event of UMNO’s defeat at the coming polls.
Hanipa pointed out that UMNO’s election machinery had been instilling fear into the minds of the Malay electorate in rural areas, where the reach of new media are limited.
“This political motive is designed to instil fear among the voters so they do not vote PR,” he stressed.
In 1969, Malay-Chinese riots left hundreds of people dead. Since then, UMNO politicians during every general election campaign would warn that the party’s defeat could lead to a repeat of the riots.
“Let’s give a new image to May 13 – the image of racial harmony, not racial discord!” said Hanipa.