Penang state gov't is a M'sian gov't

Umran Kadir

Modified 19 Mar 2008, 8:46 am

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Umno holds one-hour protest at Komtar .

‘Don't create an atmosphere that can cause racial tensions,’ PM Abdullah Ahmad 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. Abdullah 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 Abdullah 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 benefitted Badawi and his ilk. The recent elections has 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 Abdullah administration. 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. Now they are trying to stoke racial tensions in an effort to drum up support for themselves. 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 much of the rest of Umno don't understand yet that the time for racial politics is past. Pak Lah, when you said you intended 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.

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

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