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Let Us All Use Our Eyes To See Each Other As Friends, Our Ears To Hear Cries For Help, Our Mouths To Speak Reason, Our Minds To Think Rationally and Our Hearts To Feel Compassion Instead Of Breeding Hatred And Distrust Amongst Malaysians.

Media Statement

by Lim Guan Eng

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): On the country’s 49th Merdeka celebration, the country can take pride in Malaysians leaving in peace and harmony, working hard to feed their families and preparing for the challenges of globalisation. However this is achieved not due to the efforts of government leaders but in spite of  their continuous efforts to divide us by the colour of our skin and the different Gods we pray.

Whilst we take pride in Malaysian open houses, we are ashamed by the antics of leaders who appeal only to sectarian and narrow interests, seeking to release the beastly natures from the human breasts of Malaysians. Malaysians fail to understand why those who have graduated with honours from the best universities in England whether Oxford or Cambridge lacks the self-confidence to be capable, self-reliant and rely on merit and effort to prove their qualities.

The refusal by UMNO Youth Deputy President Khairy Jamaluddin to apologise for his racial sentiments against the Chinese community demonstrates the lack of hope and reform of UMNO leaders. Cleary Khairy is trying to distract attention from the power struggle in UMNO when he should be focusing on nation-building.

The sad fact in Malaysia remains that instead of privatization, we have piratisation. Instead of merit, we have quotas. Instead of technical “know-how” we have political “know-who”. Instead of value-creation, we have rent-seeking. Instead of good governance, we have no accountability. Instead of transparency, we have corruption, Lack of competitiveness, government patronage, inefficiency and poor productivity is the price we pay for the government’s failure to reform to ensure political equality, socio-economic justice and equal opportunity.

No one will oppose Pak Lah’s announcement on the RM 15 billion South Johor Development Corridor in addition to the Norther Corridor of Perak, Perlis, Kedah and Penang) and the Eastern Corridor of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan. But what about the development fate of other states that still do not have any development corridor such as Sabah, Sarawak, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Federal Territory? Malaysians from these 6 states have a right to ask why they face such discrimination.

Or to put it bluntly, how can the Ninth Malaysian Plan (9MP) foster national unity and bring development benefiting all Malaysians when 6 out of 14 states with 13.64 million Malaysians in 2005 comprising 51% of the population are left out of the development corridor? Such neglect and discrimination will only increase the sense of alienation in East Malaysia, especially for Sabah, the least developed and poorest state in Malaysia with a poverty rate of 23%.

Perhaps the government feels that both Federal Territory and Selangor, with a total of RM 51,010 million under the 9MP or 32% of the total allocation of RM 159,256 million for all states, does not need any new development corridor.  Pak Lah may feel both states have adequate development funds as the 32% allocation under the 9MP is an improvement to the 30.2% they received under the 8MP.

However the same can not be said for the other 4 states whose allocation in percentage terms has gone down under the 9MP in respect of the 8MP for Melaka (3.1% to 2.5%), Negeri Sembilan (5% to 4.2%), Sarawak (11.6% to 10.6%) and Sabah (11.2% to 9.5%). Compared to the 2004 national mean monthly household income of RM 3,249, all these four states mean monthly household income were below the national average as follows:-

Sabah                                      RM 2,487
Sarawak                                  RM 2,725
Melaka                                    RM 2,792
Negeri Sembilan                       RM 2,886

DAP welcomes the RM10 billion announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to alleviate the transportation crisis in the Klang Valley but what about the transportation woes in Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Penang? The Merdeka celebrations will only be meaningful if the government sees and hears everyone equally whether black our white, Muslim or non-Muslim, in Perlis or in Sabah.

Let us all use our eyes to see each other as friends, our ears to hear cries for help from unfortunate Malaysians, our mouths to speak civilly and encourage, our minds to think rationally and our hearts to feel compassion instead of breeding hatred and distrust amongst Malaysians.


* Lim Guan Eng,  Secretary-General of DAP

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