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'Superman Hew' returns, urging support for PH-BN to ward off 'extremist' PN

The DAP-linked speaker is no stranger to racially charged speeches.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
'Superman' Hew Kuan Yew (left) alongside screenshots of Facebook posts urging support for Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan at the upcoming state polls.
'Superman' Hew Kuan Yew (left) alongside screenshots of Facebook posts urging support for Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan at the upcoming state polls.

A well-known DAP supporter whose controversial speech on the eve of the general election last year led to his arrest has urged voters to support the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-Barisan Nasional (BN) alliance at the coming state polls to ward off threats of extremism.

In several posts on Facebook, Hew Kuan Yew listed six reasons to support PH-BN, one of which he said was to stop what he described as "conservative and extremist forces".

"Malaysia is a country of diverse races and cultures, where different ethnicities respect each other. However, the states governed by Perikatan Nasional (PN) are continuously implementing conservative policies, such as banning alcohol, banning lottery tickets, banning concerts, and even regulating the attire of non-Muslims," he said in one of the Chinese-language posts titled "Rejecting Extremism".

"We cannot let this conservative, extremist force spread. This election is not only about choosing who governs, but also a battle to defend our diverse and open society," Hew added.

His warnings echo those of Lim Guan Eng last month, in which the DAP chairman warned against the "green wave", a reference by DAP leaders to PN's gains in the last election.

Among others, Lim said non-Muslim houses of worship in Penang would be destroyed if the current state government was replaced.

The remarks drew strong reactions from PN and Malay groups, who urged the police to investigate him for fanning racial and religious sentiments.

Police have yet to announce the outcome of the month-long investigation.

Hew himself was arrested just days after the general election last year over a speech in Cantonese, in which he urged the Chinese community to exploit the disunity of the Malays by giving them a "knockout punch" at the polls.

"Now let the Malays who want Malay supremacy, the head-wrapped Malays who want Islamic supremacy, meaning those PAS b****ds," Hew, popularly known as Superman Hew, was heard saying in a video clip that went viral. 

"Malay politics, racial politics and religious politics, let them stab each other. Now that they are divided, we must stay united," he said, going on to demonstrate how he would deliver a "knockout punch". 

Hew later accused MCA of editing the video and adding subtitles for Umno's use.

He was arrested on Nov 23, a day before the current federal government was formed under Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Pahang police said then that Hew would be investigated under the Election Offences Act 1954 for remarks promoting ill will and hostility between people, as well as the Penal Code for threats to public peace, and the Communications and Multimedia Act. He was subsequently released on bail, although it was not clear if any charges were brought against him.

In 2016, he was recorded in a video urging Sarawakians to "screw the Malays" during the state election at that time. He resigned from DAP the same year but continued to promote the party.

After PH came to power in 2018, Hew was appointed as CEO of the Malaysia-China Business Council. He then became the centre of another controversy, over the publication of a comic book banned for communist propaganda.