Will UMNO-Barisan Nasional shut down the Petaling Street market in Kuala Lumpur?
In a shocking move involving political vengeance and retaliation against the non-Malay community, the new Chief Minister of Melaka, Datuk Idris Haron last week announced the closure of the Jonker Street weekend market, which is an extremely popular 13-year old tourist destination in an area often regarded as the Melaka Chinatown.
According to Kwong Wah Daily, Idris yesterday argued that the decision passed by the Malacca executive council on June 12 to close the night market "follows the intention of the people".
"Now, we see most of the Malacca residents fully supporting DAP over MCA candidates, who have been serving them. Hence, we decided to cancel the night market and we hope they will be happy," the daily quotes Idris as saying.
We had assumed that with the political demise of former Melaka Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Ali Rustam, you can’t possibly appoint a Chief Minister more reckless, arrogant and callous than him. Datuk Idris Haron has however, immediately proven us completely wrong.
The move is clearly akin to cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. Just because Datuk Idris Haron wanted to demonstrate his politcal pettiness to inflict damage to the Chinese community, he is willing to sacrifice the interest of the people of Melaka and her economy.
More importantly, it has proven beyond doubt that Barisan Nasional is not a “1Malaysia” government as touted by the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, but in reality a 1UMNO party which only cares about the interest of their own leaders and cronies.
Over the past 8 weeks since the General Election, UMNO leaders and its mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia has gone on a verbal rampage to demonise the Chinese for BN’s poor performance. But this is the first physical act by which UMNO to victimise the Chinese community for the latter’s perceived support for Pakatan Rakyat.
In fact, we have to assume that this major move to punish the Chinese voters is a directive coming directly from the top of the UMNO leadership itself. And if true, then this will only be the beginning of a series of actions which UMNO-led governments will take to discriminate against, sideline, punish as well as humiliate any of the minority races in the country which they deem not to have given support to UMNO-Barisan Nasional.
Perhaps, the new Tourism Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz will announce a similar move to close down the historic Petaling Street. Or why stop at just closing these “Chinatowns”, why not just cancel Christmas or even more impactful, ban Deepavali or Chinese New Year celebrations?
The acts by these UMNO governments runs in direct contrasts with the Pakatan Rakyat-led adminsitrations which goes out of its way to ensure that all their voters, regardless of political affiliation will enjoy the fruits of our administration. When the Selangor state government provided free water to individual households or insurance for the elderly, it was granted to all regardless or race, religion or political affiliation. This is similar in Penang, when it became the first state government to eliminate hardcore poverty in the country, despite the fact that the majority of the beneficiaries are Malays who had then supported BN.
While Pakatan Rakyat continues to serve all Malaysians regardless of whether they had voted for us, we are witnessing an increasingly vindictive Barisan Nasional where MCA threw its tantrums by shutting down all their service centres, while UMNO demonstrated their racist mindset by not only poisoning the minds of the people and destroying the people’s livelihoods.
In the past, we would have ended this statement by making a call to the Prime Minister to be the voice of moderation and uphold his commitment to his “1Malaysia”. Today, we know that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak will just remain completely silent to the above act of closing down Jonker Street as well as other threats to the non-Malay community. He silence not only proves his tacit approval and involvement in these actions, it also confirms that “1Malaysia” is purely a propaganda rhetoric to win votes in a General Election.