Umno, DAP politicians offer cash for essays in tit-for-tat moves

KUALA LUMPUR • Write a political essay and one could win RM10,000 (S$3,160).

That was the invitation by two Malaysian politicians yesterday as they crossed swords and looked for a novel way out.

The topics offered could make a writer squirm, but cold cash has been promised.

Umno information chief Annuar Musa offered RM10,000 for the best essay, or social media post, which can "prove" that the veteran leader of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), Mr Lim Kit Siang, is a "racist".

The title of the write-up is, according to Datuk Seri Annuar, "LKS is a racist, anti-Islam and a dictator of 51 years, is it true?", reported news site Malaysiakini.

Mr Zaid said he is serious about his offer, but warned that writers who are "brutally honest" in depicting the Prime Minister "may end up in court".

"Work on them and send them in to the Umno information office," he told reporters during a news conference at the Parliament building.

Mr Lim, 76, is a top leader of the DAP, Malaysia's largest opposition party in Parliament. Malay nationalist party Umno has often portrayed the DAP to be anti-Islam.

Mr Annuar said the essay competition was his response to Mr Lim calling him the "father of racists" for a previous remark.

In a tit-for-tat, a DAP leader, Datuk Seri Zaid Ibrahim, yesterday offered RM10,000 for the best essay on Prime Minister Najib Razak being the country's "worst prime minister".

"I'm offering RM10,000 for the best essay on Mr Najib as the worst PM this country has ever had. Other terms and conditions apply," he tweeted yesterday.

The opposition has been gunning for Datuk Seri Najib to resign over a financial scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Mr Zaid said he is serious about his offer, but warned that writers who are "brutally honest" in depicting the Prime Minister "may end up in court", Malaysiakini reported him as saying.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2017, with the headline 'Umno, DAP politicians offer cash for essays in tit-for-tat moves'. Print Edition | Subscribe