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by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday
): UMNO Youth President Datuk Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn’s warnings to BN leaders who play the racial card, Deputy President Khairy Jamaluddin’s call for a 70% bumi equity target coupled with UMNO Youth’s delegates threats of a more devastating and destructive May 13 riots against non-Malays shows a new apartheid policy similar to the white South Africa regime in the making by future leaders of BN. This is a sad reflection of Malaysian nation building when on the eve of our 50th anniversary Merdeka celebrations, leaders of the main BN component member UMNO resort to racial appeals to consolidate their political power in government and amongst voters.
There is a serial display of double-standards by UMNO leaders who allow UMNO leaders to play their racial card threatening the very existence of non-Malays by demanding a rotation of the Penang Chief Minister’s post when there is no rotation of other Chief Minister’s post. And question UMNO’s commitment towards fighting corruption when public exposes of corruption by contractors repairing Chinese primary schools are not encouraged.
UMNO clearly thinks that it is so strong that it does not require any Chinese support and do not even hesitate to criticize its non-Malay component members. Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was correct that UMNO wants the Chinese to be compliant like MCA President Datuk Ong Ka Ting and deputy Datuk Chan Kong Choy. Those few non-compliant MCA leaders such as Ong Tee Keat are now blacklisted by UMNO until Tee Keat appears to have been practically “gagged” from articulating the frustrations of the Chinese community. A good example is controversy over the exact bumi corporate equity holdings following the findings by former ASLI director Professor Dr Lim Teck Ghee that the bumi corporate equity based on market value is 45%.
MCA has failed to take a clear and consistent stand that market value is the correct and generally accepted international practice for valuing companies and that statistics must not be politicized to serve the Malay agenda but must be reliable and accurate to serve the Malaysian agenda. Sadly MCA and Gerakan is now very compliant in following UMNO’s dictates by allowing UMNO to distort truth from facts when they should be searching truth from facts.
Instead of rebutting Dr Lim’s conclusions with facts, UMNO is using emotion of threats of sedition against Dr Lim for inciting public anger. DAP can not understand how truth and facts can be seditious? Further Khairy has in the UMNO Youth Assembly upped the ante by demanding that the bumi corporate equity share be increased to 70%. Is this another attempt by UMNO to distract from the real question where no UMNO member is interested in asking, the question by ordinary Malays who have no shares or wealth, “Where Have All The Shares & Money Gone?”.
At a time when many developing countries are rushing towards sustainable wealth creation and distribution, it is irresponsible for Malaysian leaders to be obsessed only by wealth distribution for the rich and ignoring the poor. That the United Nations Human Development Report consistently list Malaysians as suffering the worst income inequality between the rich and poor in South-East Asia is ignored. The Ninth Malaysian Plan (9MP) shows the share of income of the bottom 40% of the population declined from 14.5% in 1990 to 13.5% in 2004 whilst the share of the top 20% of the population increased from 50% in 1990 to 51.2% in 2004.
Such unreasonable and extreme behaviour using baseless facts would only create a greater divide between Malaysians and hamper our economic development. Malaysians, especially non-Malays, must reflect on their support for BN during the 1999 general elections which saved UMNO from a certain defeat and the fact that UMNO is so ungrateful now that they forget the contributions of non-Malays who are treated with contempt.
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP