Negeri MB’s joke of a half-apology most disappointing

Lim Kit Siang

Modified 24 Mar 2018, 12:26 am

MP SPEAKS | I had great admiration for the Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan as one of the few Umno leaders who dared to face up to reality and truth and not to live in the world of fantasy like many Umno leaders.

This was proven when he broke away from the mainstream Umno mythology holding the Malays to ransom by warning that Malays will perish if Umno is defeated in the 14th general election.

Mohamad Hasan provided the best rebuttal to Umno leaders' warnings that the Malays will perish if Umno is defeated in the forthcoming general election in his speech at the opening of the Sembrong division Umno delegates' conference in Kluang on 26th August last year.

Mohamad said Umno must woo the Malay voters to get the support of the majority of the people so that BN wins the 14th general election.

He said Umno could no longer think that the Malays needed it but instead it was Umno that needed the Malays in order to survive.

He said: "The Malays now have many choices such as PAS, PKR and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu). We (Umno) cannot be complacent saying that the Malays need us."

Mohamad failed to mention DAP, as the DAP is a party which will defend and uphold the interests of all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli.

Minority peril?

In Penang and Selangor, which have been ruled by Pakatan governments after the routing of the Umno/BN in the 2008 and 2013 general elections, the Malays have been better cared for than in previous Umno/BN administrations.

But what is most significant is that the myth of the equation that Umno is Malay and Malay is Umno, and that Umno has to remain in power as the party is the only one that Malays can count on to uphold and fight for their rights, has been debunked by none other than their own menteri besar of Negri Sembilan.

And Mohamad Hasan is very right.

Umno leaders have been holding onto power by generating the fear that if Umno is defeated in a general election, Malays will lose political power and become strangers in their own land as they will never recover from such loss of political power.

This is a great lie, for the Malays will not lose political power if Umno is evicted from Putrajaya, so the question of the Malays recovering political power never arises.

This is why no Umno leader had been able to answer the two questions which had been posed by the national laureate Pak Samad to expose such a political lie, viz:

1. How are Malays under threat? How can religion (Islam) and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malay for over five decades?

2. What have they (Malay leaders) been doing for five decades (if Malays can be under threat)?

The demographic reality is the surest guarantee that the Malays will not lose political power whatever happens to Najib or to Umno in the next general election, as the Malays in Malaysia will continue to exercise political power in Malaysia as there is no way they will lose political power.

In 1970 Malaysia's population comprised 44.32% Malays, 34.34% Chinese, 8.99% Indians, 11.89% non-Malay Bumiputeras, 0.67% others.

In 2010, the percentage of Malays in the Malaysian population increased to 55.07%, Chinese reduced to 24.34%, Indians dropped to 7.35%, non-Malay bumiputeras maintained at 11.94% and 1.3% others.

The Malaysian chief statistician has predicted that the Chinese percentage of the population would below 20 percent after 2030, shrink to 19.6% in 2030 and 18.9% in 2035.

Why then are the Umno leaders continuing to beat the drum of the "Chinese peril" in Malaysia?

During the 13th general election, 52.63% of the voters were Malays, 29.68% Chinese, 7.31% Indians, 8.96% non-Malay Bumiputeras and 1.43% others.

Out of the 165 Parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, 114 are Malay majority seats representing some 70%, 22 Chinese majority seats (13%) and 29 mixed seats. There is not a single Indian majority seat.

These triple factors, which will be a continuing trend in the coming years, establish the overwhelming Malay predominance in the Malaysian political scene - the demographic make-up of the general population, the electorate and the parliamentary constituencies - and why there is no way the Malays can lose political power if Umno is defeated in a general election!

'Flipping tables' not funny

But Mohamad disappointed Malaysians twice in the past few days - first, with his irresponsible speech in Rembau inciting youths to take "physical action" against those who allegedly slander the Umno/BN government; and second, his half-apology yesterday trying to turn his Rembau speech into a joke, blaming others for misinterpreting his speech.

I fully agree with Malaysians, and in particular the president of National Patriots Association, brig-gen (R) Mohamed Arshad Raji who asked Mohamad Hasan to apologise over his Rembau speech, warning that if politicians continue to make inflammatory speeches, then the next election will not be free of violence.

Mohamad Hasan said in his Rembau speech, the video of which had gone viral: "If there is a coffee shop disseminating slanderous statements against the government, you storm the coffeeshop, overturn their tables. If you're picked up by the police, I will bail you out."

Arshad said the video showed how uncultured and uncivilised Mohamad Hasan could be, of wanting to remain in power, not by peaceful, democratically acceptable means but by inciting and propagating violence against those who criticised the government.

Arshad used quite strong language when condemning Mohamad Hasan's conduct as "unbecoming of a politician and a state leader", "gangster-like conduct …totally wrong and unacceptable in our Malaysian culture", but I fully agree with him.

I believe that Arshad spoke not only for the retired police and military servicemen who are members of the National Patriots Association but even for the silent 3.5 million Umno members and 30 million Malaysians who want peace, law and order, progress and prosperity for all Malaysians.

In the face of almost total public condemnation, Mohamad Hasan has come out with a half-apology to those who misinterpreted his "flip table" speech in Rembau, calling on youths to engage in thug-like tactics.

He said he was "joking around" and only wanted to "inspire confidence among the youth…it's not like I want them to carry out the actions for real".

Such half-apologies are no good at all, and I urge Mohamad Hasan to make an unconditional outright public apology, without any "ifs" or "buts" or any other wishy-washy justification.

Finally, Umno leaders, whether ministers or menteri-menteri besar, should stop being jokers!

LIM KIT SIANG is DAP Parliamentary Leader and MP for Gelang Patah.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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