Posts Tagged ‘racial politics’

Why Must the Pot Insist on Calling the Kettle Black?

March 14, 2008

UPDATE: This post was published as a letter in a slightly different form on Malaysiakini.

“Don’t create an atmosphere that can cause racial tensions,” Abdullah Badawi said to the Barisan Rakyat government in Penang.

Perhaps he should be telling that to his supporters who held a demonstration outside the KOMTAR complex in Penang. Badawi challenges the Penang State Government to show him “which community has been made poorer because of the NEP”. A better indicator would be to determine which segment of Malaysian society has been enriched by the NEP and from there determine who has not benefitted from the NEP.

Clearly, it has not sunk in to Badawi and his henchmen yet that significant numbers of Malays themselves didn’t vote for UMNO or BN because they know that the NEP has only benefited Badawi and his ilk. The recent elections have even been described by one prominent commentator as “a rebellion of card-carrying members [of UMNO]” which was brought on by their “plain disgust” with the Badawi administration. These are people whose grandmothers in the past reputedly “sold their jewellery to help set up UMNO branches” What greater indictment can UMNO face than this?

An end to or restructuring of the NEP in its present form will only disadvantage the elites who have benefitted from it to the detriment of all poor Malaysians. Conversely, it will assist poor Malaysians from all communities. This is plain as day – it is only UMNO that wilfully denies this.

The truth is that UMNO themselves betrayed the poor Malays. The results show that the Malays and everyone else have caught on to UMNO’s little game. Now UMNO is trying to stoke racial tensions in an effort to drum up support for themselves. As usual UMNO doesn’t give a damn if ethnic relations are further damaged in the process.

The Penang state government is not a Chinese government. Nor is it a DAP government. It is a Malaysian government and it must remain so.

Perhaps Pak Lah and most of the rest of UMNO don’t understand yet that the time for racial politics is past us. Pak Lah, when you said you wanted to stay on despite BN’s stellar losses I was willing to give you a second chance. I thought that since you had little to lose you might actually try and clean up UMNO and BN. That you might actually try and keep some of those broken promises and perhaps leave something of a positive legacy. Was I wrong to trust you again?

Lim Guan Eng’s statement expressing a desire to end the NEP is no different than statements made by Anwar Ibrahim or PAS. What all Malaysians want, irrespective of their race or religion, is a system that assists all poor Malaysians. And this is what the Barisan Rakyat parties have promised us. The sooner UMNO and Pak Lah realise this the better.

Pak Lah, are you still the leader of UMNO? You say that you are still the Prime Minister for all Malaysians. If you can’t control the racists and troublemakers in your own party perhaps you should just leave so that we Malaysians can get on with our lives. Malaysians are not going to be duped into falling for racial politics again.

Racial politics is out of fashion Pak Lah. Get with the times or get lost.

The same goes to any other politician who relies on the divisive politics of race to secure support.

Kissing A Sharp Object