Press Statement by Charles Santiago in Klang on Saturday, 11th October 2008: 

Kedah MB should be a Leader of All Malaysians

The announcement by Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak to increase the Bumiputera quota for housing is in complete contradiction with the efforts by the opposition alliance to shun race-based policies.

His suggestion does not just endorse the New Economic Policy, which only helped line the wallets of those close to the ruling elite, but also plays along the dangerous game of racial politics.

The Bumiputeras currently enjoy a 30% quota and therefore further increment to 50% would deprive other communities from buying houses, especially the poor and lower middle classes.

Azizan's subtle threat to direct government-linked companies to build the houses, should private developers refuse to do so is shocking as the Menteri Besar should not pump public funds for projects that only favor a particular community.

As part of the Pakatan Rakyat we should work together to create policies that are targeted to help vulnerable communities. Affirmative action should be need-based and not race-based.

* Charles Santiago, MP for Klang