Friday, 14 March 2008

General Elections: Observations 8

CASE #1: Who is right, who is wrong?

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi: "The NEP has benefited everyone. I would like to ask the DAP which community has been made poorer because of the NEP. The (Penang) state government must not try to create an atmosphere which can cause racial tensions. They should not marginalise the Malays In Penang, who are the minority in the state, and other minority groups like the Indians. Do not marginalise the Malays. I want to ask Lim Guan Eng what his plans are for the Malays in Penang What are his plans for the Indians in Penang? What are his plans for other minority groups in Penang?"

Lim Guan Eng: "I said we will have an open-tender system (in Penang). What’s the problem with that? Unless Abdullah doesn’t like open tenders but corruption, cronyism and inefficiency. I don’t understand what has abolishing the NEP got to do with marginalising the Malay or the Indian community. I think he is not right, (he’s) going on the wrong facts and trying to provoke (racial) sentiment."

CASE #2: Who has the more sobering, balanced view?

Nazri Aziz: "It appeared that the Malays, especially in the town areas, had become more confident now and felt they could compete with the other races on a level playing field. It looks like the educated Malays do not care about Malay rights anymore. The Malay doctors, lawyers, engineers feel they have made it on their own merit. It looks like the NEP is not something that can be used to persuade the Malays to support the Barisan Nasional. The Malays are saying 'you can’t scare us by talking about us losing our rights, because we are here on our own merit.' Some Malays felt that the NEP was unfair, and questioned why special rights should be given to them. The new confidence among the Malays is good for the Malay psyche."

Hishammuddin Hussein: "Abolishing the NEP could cause national instability. The move would not only negatively affect the Malays, but all Malaysians as well. Such irresponsible actions from DAP will only worsen the economic disparity of our multi-racial country. All the while the NEP has served to maintain balance in such issues. We cannot allow a large part of the country’s economy to be ruled by the minority races while the majority race is abandoned without representation."

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