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It's time to stop politics of fear. Umno must learn from the boy scouts


Media Statement
by Ronnie Liu


(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday) :  Many Malaysians told us that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has made a very serious mistake in his closing speech at the just-concluded Umno general assembly. Not only he did not slam his party delegates for making childish and sensitive speeches, he also indirectly given them the wrong signal that "it's ok to speak like that when you are young". It's hypocritical for him now to urge Malaysians to learn from the scouting movement. He should have told his own Umno delegates to grow up instead of lecturing the general public.

DAP leaders have made several police reports all over the country to urge the authority to take actions against those delegates who made seditious and inflammatory speeches. We must not allow these racists to destroy Malaysia.

Parliament yesterday rejected the motion moved by Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP- Ipoh Timur) on Tuesday, 21 Nov 2006 to debate the just-concluded Umno and Umno Youth annual general assemblies where some speeches were said to be insensitive, provocative and seditious in nature.

The rejection was to avoid further embarrassment on the part of Umno MPs and ministers. They know they cannot justify or defend the childish speeches and mindless attacks on the non-Malays and civil society in general.

Earlier, Lim in tabling his motion said though the Prime Minister had raised concerns that polemics on racial and religious issues had reached a worrying stage, the Umno AGM manifested itself on negative and destructive racial and religious issues. He added that the move by the Umno Youth chief to wield the keris Panca Warisan for the second consecutive year was further compounded by an Umno delegate who asked when the keris would be used to stab.

Lim also said  Umno continued to harp on the spectre of May 13 when a delegate said Umno was willing to sacrifice and bathe in blood, another saying the Malays will go amok and yet another saying that Kuala Lumpur will become a battlefield.

Later, at a press conference, Lim called on the Attorney-General to prosecute under the Sedition Law without fear or favour Umno leaders for raising such issues. Lim also questioned Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's statement that the speakers were inexperienced and others may have been carried away in their debates.

To me, Najib is one of the culprits himself. His speech was equally biased and provocative. He was the one who said that there should be no time limit for the NEP and Malay Agenda (more appropriately called Umno-Malay Agenda). Is he qualified to speak like a statesman now?  

On the other hand, the MCA vice president Datuk Chua Soi Lek also argued that the Umno assemblies should not be broadcasted live over TV. He too, like Najib, seems to suggest that such speeches if done behind doors were acceptable. Chua must have embarrassed by such inflammatory speeches by his partners in the Barisan Nasional and he certainly worried about losing the non-Malay votes. All these years, MCA leaders like Chua have been misleading the Chinese community that Umno is a good and responsible political party. They know such live telecast has exposed their lies for all to see.

Last Sunday, PKR's Adviser Anwar Ibrahim has slammed Umno for using race and religion for selfish gain. We agree with Anwar that NEP is just a tool for Umno leaders to enrich themselves. We know for a fact that the ordinary Malay pakciks and makciks, brothers and sisters do not benefit from the NEP. It's "kais pagi makan pagi, kais petang makan petang" (live from hands to mouths) for the majority of them. Only the privileged few Umnoputras have manipulated the NEP to make tonnes of money, marry many wives, own many luxurious cars and properties and even build "palaces" illegally like Zakaria and the gang in Klang.

I have earlier urged fellow Malaysians not to worry about the Umno cowards. We must overcome the politics of fear or else we will be drown by our fears and bullied into casting our votes for the political thugs and hooligans again.

Umno and his political partners in the BN coalition have rotten beyond repair. No one should harbour anymore hopes on Umno and its leaders. The leaders at the top including Abdullah Ahmad Badawi are great pretenders and hypocrites.

And please make no mistake - a vote for MCA/MIC/Gerakan/SUPP is a vote for Umno. My fellow Malaysians owe it to ourselves not to vote for the racist parties.

Stop the rot now.


*  Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP CEC member and NGO bureau chief

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