Forward    Feedback    

About beautiful speeches and cruel political realities in this country

Press Statement
by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): We were not sure about the feelings of the 700-plus Gerakan members who attended the Anak Malaysia Convention in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. But the few of us who participated in the same convention concurred that most of the speeches delivered by the politicians, young or old, were beautiful.

A friend of mine from an NGO jokingly told me that she was mesmerised by Hishamuddin Hussein 's speech. Another one was wondering whether the Hisham yesterday was the same Hisham who spoke in the UMNO general assembly some weeks ago.

It seems to me that more and more politicians can speak beautifully in public as and when the occasion requires. Or may be credits should be given to their respective speech-writers.Given time, some of them will be able to match veterans like Dr Mahathir Mohamad, if not better.

But unfortunately, the fact remains unchanged- that the political reality out there continues to be as cruel and ugly as ever.

Race-based parties like UMNO, MCA and MIC in BN will not drop their sure-win "divide and rule" strategy to perpetuate their powers. Or unless they were left with no choice (when the people were awakened one day).

Issues such as race-based political parties Vs multiracial political parties, the concept Bangsa Malaysia/ Anak Malaysia ( a copycat of Malaysian-Malaysia concept ?), NEP, Towering Malaysians Vs Towering Malays, Visions School, Kris (Malay sword) and

SJKC Damansara were raised by the panelists and the members from the floor in one form or the other.

There were, as usual, no conclusions on most of these questions.

But Gerakan Youth and Sedar should be commended for this effort. Such forum serves as a platform for public discourse on important issues on nation-building.

Many has questioned the act of kris-wielding by Hishamuddin in the UMNO Youth convention. Even students in secondary schools construed such act as "a rude display of power", a "childish act", etc. In the Q&A session, I pointed out to Khairy Jamaluddin, Deputy Pemuda UMNO, that such an act was insensitive and provocative because in the past (prior to the Operasi Lalang in 1987), there were UMNO leaders uttering words

such as " basahkan kris dengan darah Cina" ( wet the sword with Chinese blood ). One of them is still holding a very senior position in the present government.

I have also commented that NEP was an unjust and unfair policy that split the defferent races in this country. The NEP, in its entirety, have failed miserably in fulfilling the two-pronged objective ,i.e. eradicate poverty and restructure society.

Many Malaysians were very much encouraged by recent statements made by political leaders like Anwar Ibrahim and Hadi Awang. While Anwar has opined that the NEP was obsolete, Hadi has labelled it as "Dasar Ekonomi Basi" ( mouldy and rotten economic policy).

Renowned political critic Raja Petra Kamaruddin has even viewed the NEP as anti-Islam.  In his opinion, any policy that goes against the principle of justice is un-Islamic.

On the other hand, we were very much disappointed by the Prime Minister on this issue; he has called the NEP and the 30% Bumiputera equity ownership as "unfinished business". He too played to the gallery (not very much different from the rest of his colleagues in UMNO).

How can he talks about fair and just to all, and in the same breath, continue to be biased and giving preference to a certain ethnic group?

Let me put it this way. It's meaningless to acquire the 30% (or higher) equity if the ownership were not spread out evenly but concentrated in just a handful of UMNO puteras. To me, that is hijacking.

I also challenged Pemuda Barisan Nasional to seek a meeting with other youth groups in the country to thrash out the controversy .The case simply does not rest in the circle of the same clique.

I like to to think that the youth leaders today can emerge as mature, liberal and open minded leaders of tomorrow.


* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP Internattional Secretary and NGO bureau chief

Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: