Khoo Kay Peng
Mukhriz Mahathir: “The objective of the 1Malaysia concept mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not achievable if there is no unity among the Malays.”
Like other UMNO ministers, the Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister is equally attracted to the idea of Malay unity as the mother of all solutions to our woes and weaknesses. Interestingly, this idea of Malay unity was mooted and enthusiastically supported by a party in distress.
The UMNO-led BN coalition has seen its multiracial support dwindled to a historical low level. The massive lost of support and five consecutive defeats in by-elections would have jolted any political party to reconsider and revamp its political rhetoric and platform.
For UMNO to continue harping on Malay unity has surprised many observers, including myself. The electoral impact of such unity call is almost similar to PAS’ Islamic state ambition. It will drive away many non-Malay supporters. The outcome would be an untenable BN.
The next surprising moment is the reactions from BN component parties. MCA’s Chua Soi Lek has given contradictory opinions on this issue. He supported a unity talk between PAS and UMNO but insisted that this should not be done to marginalize the non-Malays. Chua, despite his experience and seniority, has failed to learn the lesson of Malaysian politics.
Can Chua assure us that the unity talk will not lead to a more race-centric and myopic government?
THE MALAYSIAN INSIDERBy Adib Zalkapli
KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Realising the damage done to the party over the unity government proposal, PAS leaders from the pro-Pakatan Rakyat (PR) faction are now prepared to retaliate against the conservatives who favour forging closer ties with Umno.
Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and several senior members of the Erdogans faction had a closed-door discussion just after the recently-concluded party muktamar (general assembly) to come up with an action plan against the ulama faction in the party who are still keen on forging closer ties with Umno.
A party insider familiar with the meeting said former vice-president Datuk Husam Musa, who was defeated in the deputy presidential contest, may decline appointment to the central working committee as a sign of protest.
And they are also trying to get another defeated deputy presidential contender Mohamad Sabu not to join the new line-up.
“Nik Aziz was very sad with the ongoing debate on a unity government,” said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We are worried that the idea has become popular among some PAS leaders. In Perak, voices against the dissolution of assembly can already be heard, and in Selangor there are attempts to revive the unity talks with Umno.
“The leadership was not serious in resolving the issue; it should have been properly debated during the muktamar,” he added.
Being the strongest critic of any form of cooperation with Umno, Nik Aziz was also disappointed with the outcome of the party election last weekend when all Kelantan executive councillors were rejected by the delegates.
Apart from Husam, who lost to Nasharudin Mat Isa in the deputy presidential race, three other senior Kelantan leaders also lost in the party election.
Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, a favourite candidate to replace Nik Aziz as mentri besar, failed to make it in the top three in the vice-presidents’ contest.
Two other Kelantan executive councillors Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan and Datuk Anuar Tan Abdullah lost the central working committee contest.
In his ‘It’s called freedom of expression, stupid’ post today, RPK wrote, amongst other things :
“Umno and HINDRAF are exactly the same. They are just on opposite sides of the same coin, that’s all. Umno fights for Malay-Muslim rights and HINDRAF fights for Indian-Hindu rights. So, what difference are the two?”
I said almost the same a year and a half ago.
On 24th November, 2007, in my ‘Why I will not walk this Sunday…’ post, I wrote the following about the intended Hindraf rally due to take place the next day :
‘…I could not lend support to this initiative, not because I do not support the call to alleviate the lot of the Indians in this country, but because the Hindraf call is only to address the economic and social neglect of the Hindu / Indian community, and not the fate of all underprivileged, deprived and marginalised Malaysians, regardless of race.
And make no mistake, there are underprivileged, deprived and marginalised Malaysians of all races, without exception, in the country.
The Hindraf call, to my mind, is as chauvinistic and communal as is the UMNO call to defend ‘ketuanan Melayu’.
Both stand in the way of any earnest effort to forge a nation of a single people’.
3 days after that rally, I wrote in ‘A time to come together as one…’ :
‘Sunday was a start. Where do you go from there?
I ask the Hindraf leadership to note the concerns being articulated by many about the methods they have adopted and the demands they have made.
I ask the Hindraf leadership to not take these as criticisms of you, but as concerns voiced by those who are on your side.
I am one of those.
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