Tuesday, April 14, 2009

BN lost. So blame it on the Chinese and Indians?

KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is confused, perplexed, puzzled...wonders whether the Chinese have begun to think of themselves as kingmakers in the new political landscape. [The Malaysian Insider, 12/4/09]

Speaking on the loss of two by-elections (Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau) recently, Malaysia's newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (image) believes the voters from the Chinese community were the deciding factor in sending the Barisan Nasional contingent packing for home.

In an interview with Mingguan Malaysia, Muhyiddin was reported to have called the Chinese Malaysian voters 'ungrateful' for ditching the Barisan Nasional despite the latter pouring in millions of ringgit every year to improve Chinese-vernacular schools.

Muhyiddin continues to suggest that the non-Malay community have begun to think of themselves as kingmakers in the new political landscape and is jeopardizing the status quo of the Barisan Nasional establishment.

"The Chinese even though are a minority group feel that they have the deciding power because the Malays are split into three groups… In such a situation, they can decide the outcome of an election and this can be seen from the general election and the by-elections. They think they have the power to decide. It is not only the Chinese but the Indian community as well,’’ he told Mingguan Malaysia today. [The Malaysian Insider, 12/9/09]
Isn't the 'power to decide' the reason why we all vote?

A columnist of Mingguan Malaysia echoed Muhyiddin's sentiments against the non-Malays especially the Chinese community for the loss of the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections.

Para pengundi bukan Melayu seperti biasa akan membuat banyak tuntutan pada musim kempen tetapi undi mereka tetap kepada pembangkang. Ini termasuk peti-peti undi yang paling banyak menerima peruntukan yang ditagih oleh pelbagai pihak mewakili pengundi antaranya RM1 juta untuk sekolah Cina, RM400,000 sekolah Tamil, tuntutan tanah rizab dan puluhan lagi. Apa makna ini semua? Bukankah ia menampakkan BN terus dipermainkan oleh pengundi bukan Melayu... keputusan kedua-dua pilihan raya kecil itu dan beberapa yang lain sebelum ini adalah isyarat jelas kepada BN supaya jangan lagi terperangkap dengan muslihat sedemikian. [source]

Non-Malay voters are bound to make plenty of demands during election campaigns but their votes still belong to the Opposition. This includes the various financial allocations given to constituents like to RM1 million set aside Chinese-vernacular schools, RM 400,000 to Tamil school and etc. What do all these mean then? This is a clear indication that the Barisan Nasional is being taken for granted and is dictated by the non-Malays. These defeats (in the by-elections) should serve as a lesson to the BN to not fall for the ploys of the non-Malays again.
I find myself feeling disgusted at the Deputy Prime Minister's statement and the column published by Mingguan Malaysia. To hear such statements coming from a minister, never mind a Deputy Prime Minister and a national newspaper further reiterates why many believe certain institutions in this country are beyond repair.

Muhyiddin's knowledge of Chinese votes going to the Opposition and not Barisan Nasional is first of all, very perplexing. Are not votes suppose to be private and confidential? Even if that is not the case, Muhyiddin's reproach of non-Malays casting their votes for the Opposition underlines his failure to understand the basic concepts of democracy - the right of the people to decide.

To call the non-Malays kingmakers of Malaysian politics at the expense of the majority (the Malay community) is to take cheap shots. Too cheap, in fact. Muhyiddin did not realise this but there are also Malays who voted for the Opposition.

Is Muhyiddin also trying to imply that the non-Malays have no say in the choice of government? UMNO refuses to back down on their racial politics simply because securing the total support of the Malays is enough to secure them the power to govern by default. But contrary to the myths of racial politics, not all Malays are for UMNO. Likewise with the Chinese and MCA, and the Indians for MIC.

But the biggest disappointment rests not with the Deputy Prime Minister calling the non-Malays kingmakers or a Malay-language daily blaming the Chinese for BN's defeats, it is the whole argument of race, race and race that our leaders are bringing to the fold - yet again. Just less than 2 weeks ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (image) urged the nation "to embark on a great journey together to transform the country, promising them that his administration would place priority on performance and the people." Poetic words indeed.

One Malaysia is a concept coined by Najib and his administration which he pledges to place the needs of the people first, regardless of ethnic backgrounds. But it seems easier said than done if his second-in-command continues to view things racially.

The non-Malay voters of Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau may be kingmakers this time around but they are not stupid to exchange their democratic rights for cash splurges and school donations. The non-Malays are not beggars where all praise and gratitude is due to the Barisan Nasional government. In fact, the Barisan Nasional should be grateful to the people as they have been given the mandate to rule and develop this nation of ours since independence from the British. That being said, it looks like BN have a lot of thinking to do now for the next General Elections.

And good luck, Najib in realising the One Malaysia concept of yours.

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  1. ColourWolf said...

    How is the concept 1Malaysia different from the concept of Bangsa Malaysia? It didnt work for them the first time, what makes a difference now?