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Najib’s crooning our tune now, crows Anwar

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 28, 2009


PETALING JAYA, June 28 – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today questioned the sincerity of the prime minister in announcing a new merit-based scholarship programme obviously aimed at winning back Chinese voter support from Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

“Last time, when I said it, I was called a Chinese agent. Now that Najib has said it what are you going to call him? Is he now a Chinese agent and traitor to the Malays?” said Anwar sarcastically when asked today about the new scholarships to be based purely on merit.

The Opposition Leader has been frequently labelled a “traitor” and “Chinese agent” by Umno leaders since he launched PR’s reform agenda.

Anwar’s PR has successfully used its Ketuanan Rakyat, or supremacy of the people, slogan to differentiate itself from Umno’s Ketuanan Melayu, or supremacy of the Malays, rallying cry which has caused concern even among non-Malay Barisan Nasional (BN) parties.

But Najib, in a speech to Chinese political and community leaders last night, pledged to set up a new “National Scholarship” based entirely on merit, and also indicated his administration’s willingness to eventually drop the racial quotas in more sectors of the economy.

The prime minister’s remarks suggest a concerted effort is finally being made to hijack PR’s more multi-racial platform.

Najib’s pledges on reform seem to also suggest that he believes he can control the potential backlash from Malays while wanting to convince the non-Malays that, even if they have misgivings about Umno and BN, they should have faith in him.

Anwar appeared to acknowledge the threat from Najib today, and claimed the prime minister had only partially adopted the opposition’s agenda but failed to emphasise on protection for the poor.

“When we proposed something, it has to help people regardless of race but at the same time we will protect the poor, that is our approach,” he added.

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