FROM THE SUARA KEADILAN WEBSITE
By Wong Choon Mei
As the Umno-BN media continued to poke for the Achilles heel in the Pakatan Rakyat – with attention for the moment zooming in on the Islamist PAS – DAP’s proudly secular supremo Lim Kit Siang is keeping his cool.
“The media have been after me for my reaction to the press conference statement by Pas secretary-general Datuk Mustapha Ali that Pas will hold unity talks with Umno only if the other two Pakatan Rakyat partners, PKR and DAP, are included in the talks,” said Kit Siang in his latest blog posting.
“I will await explanation of Mustapha’s proposal at the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council meeting on Monday before reacting.”
Refusing to give the Umno-BN any fodder that can be twisted to give an impression that PAS was split down the line and the Pakatan about to snap into three, Kit Siang posed the question that has been on the minds of many Malaysians.
Especially after Prime Minister Najib Razak said his Umno party had “no problems” with forming a unity government with PAS.
As Umno and PAS are respectively the largest and second largest Malay political parties in the country, where will a tie-up between the two leave the other ethnic groups?
So far, in chase for the sensational and perhaps also in obedience to their political bosses, the mainstream press has not thought to ponder this issue.
Nevertheless, the burning question has not slipped past prominent civil society leaders.
“This proposed unity government is very new, serious and sensitive,” Ramon Navaratnam, past president of Transparency International told Suara Keadilan on Tuesday.
“The PM will help to remove a lot of the doubt and confusion if he explains clearly what are his objectives and how he proposes to go about setting up this unity government.
“No doubt the proposal may have initiated from PAS, but no other than our PM himself has expressed interest to pursue the matter further. Hence it is vital for Najib to give more clarification before confusion and even disharmony sets in.
“Every ethnic group has a right to be a part of the government of the day. This is the basis of our social contract and also the PM’s 1Malaysia concept. Therefore the government now led by Najib owes it to the people to remove the clouds that are gathering over our heads, particularly at this time when we are in the midst of a deepening recession.”
Like Ramon, Kit Siang is also wondering why there has been no sound from the MCA, MIC and Gerakan – which are supposed to represent the non-Malay groups.
Aren’t they worried what sort of deal Najib will cut with PAS and how it will leave their constituents.
Or don’t they care anymore?
After all, they have already lost so many seats in the last election, even if they lost all their remaining ones in the next, they can still count on Najib to give them special senatorships, right?
Like the one he recently gave to Gerakan No. 1 Koh Tsu Koon, remember? But of course, this is all provided Najib can form the next federal government, that is!
Said Kit Siang: “I will like to hear not only what Najib and other Umno leaders have to say, but what MCA, Gerakan, MIC and other BN component parties have to say about Mustapha’s proposal.
“Or are MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the other BN component parties not allowed to react before Umno has decided on the line that must be adhered to by all in BN?”
UMNO is no bully in BN? Then why instant removal of poll on MCA President’s blog where 78.1 per cent or 2409 out of 3084 persons want MCA out of Barisan Nasional!
LIM KIT SIANG
The instant removal of the poll “Should MCA leave BN” on the blog of the MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat where 78.1 per cent or 2,409 out of 3,084 persons polled want MCA out of the Barisan Nasional reminds me of last October’s MCA General Assembly.
In his opening speech, the then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi denied that UMNO was a “bully” party in the Barisan Nasional.
Abdullah’s denial, responding to the earlier speech of the outgoing MCA President, Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting’s “Umno is bully in Barisan Nasional”, made the newspaper frontpage headlines like “UMNO IS NO BULLY” (New Sunday Times 19.10.08) and “Umno bukan pembuli: PM” (Berita Minggu).
If UMNO is no bully in BN, then why the instant removal of the poll “Should MCA leave BN” on MCA President’s blog immediately after the UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak expressed his displeasure at such a poll in the MCA President’s blog?
Although Najib was very diplomatic, saying that the MCA President’s online poll “Should MCA leave BN” was “an academic exercise” and that “As far as I am concerned, MCA has no intention of leaving the BN”, there can be no mistaking of his displeasure.
What have both Najib and Ong to say about the one-sided result in the poll, with 78.1 per cent or 2,409 out of 3,084 persons polled want MCA out of Barisan Nasional?
The latest poll results were published in today’s Utusan Malaysia before the poll was unceremoniously removed from Ong’s blog!
MCA president Ong Tee Keat is morally obliged to severe ties with Umno following a survey which revealed that an overwhelming number of Malaysians, especially the Chinese, supported this.
In making the call, DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh said Ong failed to admit that his party has lost its credibility among Chinese Malaysians as demonstrated in the last general election.
“Isn’t Ong morally obliged to pull out MCA from BN in line with the survey? Of course, this would be unexpected of Ong.
“He and his cabinet colleagues are only interested in perpetuating their own selfish interests,” he charged in a statement today.
Karpal was referring to a recent survey titled ‘Should MCA leave BN?’ featured on the MCA president’s blog.
The survey, which ran since last October, revealed that a staggering 75.8 percent of respondents wanted MCA to severe its political ties with Umno and pull out from the ruling coalition.
The survey was removed from the blog today (see pic).
Meanwhile, Karpal also lambasted the MCA president for using DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang as a pawn to distract public attention from the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.
He chided Ong for asking Lim to apologise on behalf of his party to Chinese Malaysians for appealing to the community to vote for PAS in last year’s general election.
“Ong has no business to call on Lim to apologise. He is making a poor effort to divert attention from the PKFZ debacle for which he must take full responsibility as transport minister,” he said.
Yesterday, Ong called on Lim to apologise to Chinese Malaysians for misleading the community into supporting PAS in the general election.
During the last general election campaign, he claimed that DAP had appealed to the community to vote for PAS on the grounds that the Islamic party was harmless and only interested in setting up a welfare state.
He said PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s proposal to hold unity talks with Umno had altered the equation.
“Now Lim should answer to the Chinese community,” said the MCA president.