By depriving and destroying the future of top students, Malaysia is also destroying the future of excellence and hope of being a high-income nation

DAP must focus on providing a clear alternative vision for economic growth and prosperity that can be enjoyed by all Malaysians instead of being distracted by the nefarious lies employed by UMNO to divide Malaysians through fear and hatred. As a social democratic movement, DAP has always given priority to policies of social protection especially on health, education and welfare assistance for the poorer sections of society.

However such social protection policies can neither be funded nor sustained if it is not underpinned by policies that encourage growth and prosperity. For this reason, overcoming inequality alone may not generate growth. There is no doubt that growth is dependant on certain basic prerequisites of respect for the rule of law, transparency and accountability, less cumbersome red-tape and regulations, good and clean governance as well as a ready supply of human talent from a quality education system. This will be the model followed by DAP.

To uphold integrity in government, the DAP CEC has endorsed the decision that DAP leaders in government must publicly declare their assets. In the light of the Selangor state government’s refusal to follow the Penang state government’s decision of publicly declaring the personal assets of all EXCOs, Penang Speaker and the Chief Minister, DAP had directed the 3 DAP Selangor state EXCOs and the Selangor State Speaker to publicly declare the assets on their own free volition. Selangor State Chair Teresa Kok will be tasked with coordinating with the 3 DAP Selangor State EXCOs and the Selangor State Speaker the timing and the mode for making their asset declaration public.

Instead of focusing on the basic premises of growth, UMNO is focused on spreading lies. DAP cannot understand how in the holy month of Ramadan, UMNO MPs can commit sinful act by blatantly lying that DAP is behind sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee offensive video on Islam and that somehow DAP Kuching MP Chong Chien Jen in involved in these two young persons’ earlier sex videos.

By all means take action against both of them for being offensive against Islam but do not practice double-standards and selective prosecution by failing to act against those who insulted other religions such as Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali who wanted to burn the Bible, university lecturer Ridhuan Tee Abdullah and UMNO Shah Alam parliamentary candidate Zulkifli Noordin for offensive insults against Hindus.

Instead of wasting time on two foolish young kids, UMNO should be focusing on bright kids who can not get local university places in courses they choose, despite being top students and scoring maximum marks. The Education Ministry’s excuse that these top students with the maximum CGPA scores of 4.0 can not get the courses they want because they filled in the application forms wrongly is unacceptable and ridiculous.

The Education Ministry should not descend to the low intellectual depths of UMNO MPs by making such silly jokes. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak must fulfil his assurances that the top students will get university places or else BN will be condemned not only now, but also by future generations as a government of mediocrity instead of excellence, and rewarding poor results instead of the best performance.

By depriving and destroying the future of our top students, Malaysia is also destroying the future of excellence and Malaysia’s hope of being a high-income nation.

Lim Guan Eng DAP Secretary General & MP for Bagan