(File pix) DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang. Pix by Mikail Ong

GEORGE TOWN: Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Dr P. Sivamurugan has brushed aside Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy’s statement that DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang is the best candidate to lead the country as prime minister.

He said Ramasamy’s remarks were nothing more than a political statement.

“They (DAP) failed in their bid to have their candidate become the Menteri Besar of Perak back in 2008. How will that happen at the federal level?

“They know it is something which will never happen...they know it is impossible,” he told the New Straits Times.

Ramasamy, in his opinion piece which was published in news portal Berita Daily, had said that of all the political party leaders in both sides of the divide, the humblest was none other than Lim.

He also went on to say that the opposition to the idea of Lim becoming the prime minister mainly emanated “from the racist and bigoted Umno circles”.

The results of the March 2008 general election in Perak saw DAP win 18 state seats while PKR and Pas had seven and six seats, respectively.

However, Pas’ Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaludin was appointed as the menteri besar then.

Meanwhile, Sivamurugan also cautioned that if the opposition pushed ahead with the idea, this would affect their share of the Malay votes.

“As a Muslim-majority nation, it is accepted that the prime minister has to be a Muslim leader, although ethnically it can be Indian, Chinese or any other ethnic group.

“By pressing for a non-Muslim leader, this can be used as a campaign tool to win Malay support to ensure a Muslim leader will remain as the next prime minister,” he added.

Meanwhile, PAP vice-president Rahmad Isahak said only liberal-thinking Malays and those willing to "sell away their dignity' would make Lim the prime minister if the opposition wins in the 14th general election

“Where lies the integrity and dignity in defending the rights of the Malays and Islam if a Muslim politician is so eager to make Lim the prime minister from among the Muslim leaders in Pakatan Harapan?

“Such a situation is an early warning sign that the Muslim leadership of the three parties in Pakatan Harapan are expected to be in a quandary and bow down to DAP’s wishes in the issue of the prime ministership.

“Such proposal is dangerous to the Muslims, who are the majority in the country.

“And if such political arrangements are not crippled now, it will lead to a more serious problem in future, affecting the country’s racial harmony,” he added.

Rahmad said the Muslim leaders in Pakatan Harapan should advise their DAP counterpart not to simply throw such ideas, which he says is akin to “playing with fire”.

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