Racial Politics Alive and Well?

A joint interview of Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang by Riz Khan which was broadcasted by Al Jazeera yesterday.

Towards the end of the interview Kit Siang refers to his party’s objections to Nizar Jamaludin. As we all know, Kit Siang has since apologised to the Perak Sultan and the Perak Regent. I would agree that Kit Siang’s public objections were damaging to the united image of Barisan Rakyat, as was his earlier assertion that Barisan Rakyat does not exist.

Nevertheless, I think to label Kit Siang as “passionately opposed to Islam”, as Raja Petra has, is unfair and is equally damaging to Barisan Rakyat, considering the influence that Raja Petra has. Kit Siang has stated that the agreement that the parties had arrived to was that one individual each from DAP and PKR were to be offered as candidates for the position of Perak MB. Like everyone else I am left wondering why on earth Kit Siang had to go public with this disagreement rather than discussing it behind closed doors. Nevertheless, the PKR candidate for Perak MB was a Malay-Muslim so it is unfair to accuse either Kit Siang or DAP of being ‘anti-Islam’.

It is clear from Raja Petra’s latest intriguing post that we do not know the whole story.

However, I believe we can all agree that what Malaysia needs now is cool heads – not political infighting, finger pointing or verbal abuse.

Yet we are today also confronted with PKR’s Syed Husin Ali objecting to the arrangements for the exco in Perak. Syed Husin Ali’s objection is clearly based on racial grounds – which undermines the premise that the 8th of March 2008 signalled the death knell for racial politics in Malaysia.

So, what are PKR, DAP and PAS going to do about it?

As a commentator on another blog said (I can’t remember where), I’m even willing to vote for an African if that person is honest and will work for the betterment of all Malaysians.

Yes the rakyat want transparency…but we also want to be able to believe that our representatives can work together!

So get behind those closed doors and sort it all out.



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