Ijok – Raja Nazrin has answer for swing of Chinese voters to Opposition

The front-page headline of Sin Chew Daily today blared: “Chinese in Ijok support Opposition — PM wants to know why from MCA and Gerakan” .

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the other Barisan Nasional top leaders especially MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu are elated by the Barisan Nasional victory at Saturday’s Ijok by-election with a bigger majority than in the 2004 general election — but whether the country has anything to be jubilant about over the Ijok by-election on the occasion of the 50th Merdeka anniversary of the nation is a subject which should engage the serious debate of all thinking Malaysians.

Abdullah’s public puzzlement as to the reasons for the swing of Chinese voters to the Opposition in the Ijok by-election and wanting to be enlightened by MCA and Gerakan bear testimony to the validity of my question as to whether the country has anything to celebrate over the Ijok by-election – whether, for instance, Najib is right that the Ijok by-election is proof that Malaysian democracy is “vibrantly alive” or whether it is the symbol of the worst culmination of electoral corruption in the past 50 years of Malaysian election history.

But what cannot be in doubt is that the Ijok by-election represents a great failure not only for MCA and Gerakan but also of Pak Lah as Prime Minister who had pledged to “hear the truth” when the reasons for the swing of Chinese voters to the Opposition in the by-election continue to elude them.

In the first place, how can Abdullah hear any “truth” from the MCA when the MCA supremo in the Ijok by-election, MCA Secretary-General Datuk Ong Ka Chuan had only a day earlier publicly denied that there was any swing of Chinese voters to the Opposition in Ijok by-election?

Screenshot blogger Jeff Ooi had pointed out within the hour of the announcement of the Ijok by-election result on Saturday night: “One thing appeared to be indisputable. The Chinese are voting against the government.”

But this swing of Chinese voters in Ijok had escaped the top MCA leaders although it was evident to everyone not in the top MCA leadership — including the Prime Minister and UMNO leaders. But the politics of Barisasn Nasional in 2007 has become such that what UMNO leaders see, MCA leaders (as well as Gerakan and others) will also see!

Will MCA and Gerakan leaders dare to tell Abdullah that this is one of the root causes for the swing of the Chinese voters in Ijok to the Opposition — that the Barisan Nasional (BN) is not a coalition of equals as Umno exercises political hegemony completely marginalizing all the other component parties.

I am surprised that Abdullah does not know the reasons for the swing of the Chinese voters in Ijok to the Opposition. What has he been doing in the past 42 months as Prime Minister when he had promised to “hear the truth” when assuming the highest political office in the land in October 2003?

If Abdullah had paid attention to the speeches by DAP leaders in Parliament and outside, he would have known the reasons for the swing of the Chinese voters not only in Ijok but also in Machap by-elections.

Alternatively, Abdullah can refer to the speech by the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin on “Prospects and Challenges for Nation Building” on April 3, 2007 on the seven steps towards successful nation-building, in particular the first principle — “Malaysians of all races, religions and geographic locations need to believe beyond a shadow of doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun.”

In a nutshell, the fundamental reason for the swing of the Chinese voters in Ijok to the Opposition was precisely because they are not convinced “beyond a shadow of doubt” that they have an equal place under the Malaysian sun — a citizenship right that no amount of money can replace?

Can Abdullah expect MCA and Gerakan leaders to tell him the truth now , when they had been hiding the truth all these years and decades from Umno leaders as their political second-nature for their political survival in BN?

It will be most unfortunate if the Umno and Barisan Nasional leadership are not prepared to re-examine larger nation-building policies affecting Malays and Indians just because they have secured majority support of these two communities in Ijok — for there are deep-seated and legitimate grievances and discontents among both the Malay and Indian communities which must not continue to be ignored and neglected if the government is serious in wanting to build a united, strong, harmonious and competitive Bangsa Malaysia.

  1. #1 by sj on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 1:40 pm

    Uncle Lim, I am not a least bit surprised that Pak Lah does not know the reasons. He is the kind of person who does not read. He has no capability to follow important events in the country. I bet [deleted] that he does not even know how angry people are at his so called ‘anti corruption’ policy.

    He is the type of ruler like history shows, who only listens to bad ministers but never make an effort to listen to the truth and the real Mc Coy in the Parliament. Just like the Song Dynasty in China before they got conquered by the Mongolians.

  2. #2 by raven77 on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 2:00 pm

    IJOK proved that the Chinese have more balls then the Indians will ever have….PKR should develop their Chinese members….these guys could become kingmakers in certain seats. Ong Ka Ting, Chua Soi Lek, etc are a disgrace to their societies….they went crawling to Badawi’s house regarding religious rights and left sweating so much they almost collapsed….and still dengan muka apa they can face their brethren. The MCA and Gerakan are in serious trouble for not standing up but it matters not for unlike the Indians it appears that the average Chinaman can hold his own and stand up quite well and tell the BN to stick it if he really wants to…

  3. #3 by vovo on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 2:04 pm

    Chinese getting straight As are not allowed into universities. Not allowed civil service jobs. That is blatant discrimination.

    Why do you support such discrimination?

    Malaysian Chinese have built very successful businesses, hence they have the wealth that they have. This is not greed. They worked for what they now own.

    Why do you envy what does not belong to you? Is this not greed?

    It is quite untrue that business offers are conducted on the basis of race. Starting any business is very very hard work, but the malays did not have a hard working tradition to persevere. This is a cultural change the malays need in order to conduct businesses successfully.

    Armed with this knowledge, do you still insist that Malaysian Chinese are greedy, and therefore it is right for malays to take what does not belong to them?

    Your perception of business in Malaysia has got to be wrong.

    Most goods and services can be conducted in open markets, and there is no particular reason to single out malays so that Chinese businessmen should swindle them. There are lots of swindlers in business so it is not just malays who get swindled.

    Successful businessmen depend on providing real benefits to customers and partners so that it is worthwhile for them to do business again and again to both parties benefit. It is only when customers also get rich that businesses can grow.

    The discrimination against Chinese, Indians and other peoples cannot be tolerated in the modern world. Countries that do this will face long-term decline.

    Hard working people are not greedy as you accuse them. They are hard working because they have a mission in life to prosper, to give offspring a good chance in life to live to the full, to contribute their talents to the betterment of society……….

    This is not greed.

    Whereas, envy of others wealth and taking what they have not worked for is greed.

    I would put is stronger. It is corruption and robbery. You talk like a Mafia extortionist when you said that worse could happen to the Chinese, so be thankful because there are more malays than Chinese, and therefore they can take even more from the Chinese if they want to.

    You have to be joking to believe that your greed and prejudices are the wonderful things about Malaysia. Well, may be you do.

    Malaysia as describe it is a country based on racism, lack of a conscience, and greed (taking from hard working foreigners).

    Meritocracy is denounced. Robbing the wealthy is promoted.

    How can there be a good future for such a country?

    Looking from outside of Malaysia, it is easy to see that the malay-controlled government is enforcing a wealth-robbing programme from the Chinese who earned their wealth through hard work.

    By barring bright well qualified Malaysian Chinese from entering Malaysia universities, Malaysia is pursuing a discriminatory policy based on race.

    This is not tolerated in civilised countries. It is a policy that gives Malaysia a very bad reputation and deprives itself of its most talented.

    It is a policy which tells the malays that robbing from the rich is not greed because being rich, being educated is the same as being greedy.

    This is moral corruption and self contradiction which Malaysia will pay back a very heavy price.

  4. #4 by achia3 on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 2:11 pm

    I am puzzled on how any party can find out where the chinese has placed their vote. Is it based on the demography of the polling station and which party has won? Hope you can shed some light uncle Kit.

  5. #5 by Billy on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 2:22 pm

    Now MCA and Gerakan are made the scapegoats for the defection of Chinese votes to the opposition. Aiyoh, yoh, what has our PM been doing all this while. To say that MCA and Gerakan are the causes of defection is totally out of line, because the main cause is UMNO. What do you expect the people to think when you go around waving the keris, asking Hishamuddin when he was going to use it now that he has unsheathed it, saying that he would like to bathe in Chinese blood and reminding the Chinese that they are capable of running amok. If this is not bad, oil prices have gone up and not coming down despite world oil prices have dropped, toll fees have gone up and blockading a Chinese residential area like Cheras Mahkota by forcing them to pay tolls. And yet the PM has the audacity to want explanations from MCA and Gerakan???? MCA and Gerakan may do a lot of good for the people but it has always been and will always be UMNO blockheads that put the spanners in the works. The Chinese would have respected MCA and Gerakan a whole lot more had they staged a walkout during the UMNO GA when the keris was waved and all the seditious statements made by the UMNO members. But they didn’t. Instead they just sit there meekly to take it all in. It is so pathetic! And yet UMNO want the rakyat to vote for these two parties. Be preapred for the coming GE. MCA and Gerakan will lose and lose big in all the parliamentary seats. Winning a few by-elections is like “a few swallows do not make a summer”. So Mr Prime Minister, get your people to toe the line and maybe there is hope yet.

  6. #6 by bolehlandor on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 2:53 pm

    Vovo, you’ve said it all. That is the reality in this bolehland currently. The @$#& aab is a useless and greedy coward as is evident for all to see.

  7. #7 by Loh on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 2:54 pm

    PM Abdullah of course is pretending that he does not know. If he does not pretend, then he must be an idiot for not knowing the cause.

    AAB is asking MCA and Gerakan to explain. MCA says that they represent the Chinese, but Gerakan does not pretend to be so. The PM even does not know the platform of Gerakan, and considers it a party for the Chinese, rather than a party for all Malaysians; he must really be half-past-six.

    So now the ball is in MCA court. To Abdullah, MCA has not done a good job in creating enough fear among the Chinese, i.e UMNO can at anytime create a repeat of May 13. The Chinese should better behave or the situation can be worse. So, AAB expects to hear how MCA is going to redouble their efforts to enslave the Chinese in the thought that Ketuanan Melayu is fated, and the Chinese should better behave themselves so that MCA can deliver its promise to UMNO. AAB could of course threaten the MCA that if they do not deliver, UMNO might choose new recipients to collect the crumbs.

    MCA will not be able to change the Ketuanan Melayu desire of UMNO, and AAB will not be able to change its non-Malays marginalisation policies. AAB said that he wanted to be a PM of all Malaysians, but over the last 3 years, he has been eating his words. So, it is not that he does not know why the Chinese should not have voted for BN in the first place, it is because he would not do the right thing because he too is a racist, or he has not the political will to do it, because he too is a opportunist. He wants to stay in position so that he can enjoy the power, and enrich his family, rather than to seize the opportunity as a PM to make this a country he can truly be proud of. He has not the will, and possible neither the ability to perform. That is why his predecessor called him half-past-six. I agree.

  8. #8 by smeagroo on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 3:30 pm

    pharklah is just doing what a great ceo would normally do ~ ask 1001 questions to show that he is in control and people should submit to him and dig for asnwers from google for him. Apart from that he is just a tin kosong and top kosong also. Lack of leadership skills and that’s why his role got robbed by those 4th floor boys. Lack of ideas and the 4th floor boys came up with so many rakyat sucking ideas.

  9. #9 by izrafeil on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 3:38 pm

    i will vote any opposition party that will be contesting in my constitutency this coming election!

  10. #10 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 3:40 pm

    MCA and Gerakan has been given chances to tell UMNO the truth for fifty years, that’s a long time. Then one million Malaysians have left the country, and more are thinking about leaving. Ong Ka Ting and Lim Kheng Yeik don’t know?

    Being in the govt and holding ministerial positions involved in policies implementation his whole lifetime, do you think it is justified for Abdullah to ask this question?

    Not unless Abdullah is becoming senile.

  11. #11 by sotong on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 4:13 pm

    It is a matter of time that MCA, Gerakan and other component parties in BN ( including UMNO ) will be punished by the ordinary people……..for neglecting the best interest of the country for selfish, damaging and narrow political objectives.

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 4:57 pm

    Sin Chew Daily today blared: “Chinese in Ijok support Opposition : PM wants to know why from MCA and Gerakan?

    In 2004 GE, it is estimated 60% of Chinese votes went to BN. It obtained only 40% now in the by-election with 20% swinging to PKR garnering 60% of Chinese votes instead.

    What’s the difference between then in 2004 and now to the Chinese?

    Then in 2004 and now in 2007 the following are constant : prevalence of rampant corruption, BN’s standing up for Ketuanan and NEP policies, and subservience of MCA & Gerakan, with DAP challenging all of these.

    The following are the differences:

    1. Then PM raised hopes to promote integrity governance, democractic culture of public debate, combat corruption, 3rd World mentality, to enhance human capital development – now promises perceived not fulfilled, and instead worsened with more Kris waving, body snatching of converts, the gag order on Interfaith talk or 121(1)A discussion, extension of NEP under 9MP etc;

    2. Dramatic events (not only Kris waving by Hishamuddin during UMNO General Assembly, but open rebuke of senior leaders of other component parties, not to mention the MCA & Gerakan Ministers who took the 121(1)A petition to see the PM and had to retract!

    3. Now a Malay leader in DSAI from Opposition fanned hope that a dominant Malay based party PKR will take up the Malaysian Cause against the BN’s depredations above outlined;

    4. Bread and butter issues like perhaps shrinking disposable income due to worsening economic conditions, more acute at retail level, cost push inflation due to withdrawal of fuel subsidies and increase of electricity and water tariffs.

    To be sure all 4 differences would affect Malay voters but the fear of losing the NEP crutch and Ketuanan policies upheld by BN which are now perceived threatened by a malay majority based party like PKR led by a malay leader (DSAI) have made them come out in full force to vote for BN’s candidate a Malaysian Indian K Parthiban rather than a Malaysian Malay Khalid Ibrahim.

    This demonstrates that Malay voters, after 50 years, are not prepared to forgo these policies and will vote on these than mere race of candidate.

    If semi rural malays were pragmatic in their voting, let us assume for a moment that their Chinese counterparts were no different. What were their calculations?

    Comparing Ijok with Machap (both semi rural constituencies) there were no significant swing in Malay or Indian voting patterns. In Machap the DAP made a net gain of 167 votes while the MCA candidate dropped 314 from that of 2004. The swing of support from Chinese is marginal, hardly worth mentioning. Why is that so comparing Ijok and Machap?

    In either cases of Machap and Ijok, neither opposition parties DAP nor PKR could bring development to the relevant constituency, if their candidates were voted. The main difference is that in Machap the DAP was fighting MCA/BN, and in Ijok, PKR was against MIC/BN. Whilst , PKR campaigning for DAP against BN was desultory in Machap, it was serious and all out in Ijok against BN.

    On a best guess basis, maybe the pragmatic calculations were that DAP was not expected to bring about change being unacceptable to nearly all of the malay voters. At least in the case of PKR with DSAI pressing for the agenda of dismantling the architecture of corruption and race dichotomy, it represents, from realistic angle of garnering significant though not majority Malay support, a more viable proposition.

    If DSAI does not alter his PKR platform, it could mean PKR, in collaboration with DAP, might be a force to contend with in the coming general; election in straight fights between BN and PKR in mixed constituencies where minority Chinese votes play pivotal role.

    Of course if I were BN’s strategic planner, long term, I would think the BN would reign supreme if it could make concessions, share the crumbs and bring PKR into its fold. Better still do the same, forge a deal with 2nd echelon leadership of DAP and the professional group within PAS, though admittedly the ideological differences are wider in DAP/PAS than PKR to bridge.

  13. #13 by gianthunk on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 5:03 pm

    MCA is Tang Ja Put Tang Jien as simple as that.

  14. #14 by private_undergrad on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 5:10 pm

    Abdullah seemed to me like a docile man easily swindled by his konco-konco and UMNO gangs from top down.

  15. #15 by peanut king on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 7:24 pm

    All you fellas can shout as loud as you want…it will not hurt them abit.This bodohland have developed an immunne system to all this bla bla bla.

    The only things that can hurt them is vote wisely come the next GE.Dont care who is the opposition is,just give your vote to them.

    Its only them who can teach this govt a lession not to think they are the greatest and nobody else.Just look across the border you can see all our neighbours are doing better and improving day by day.Wheareas we are demoting by the minutes.

    I have never felt so shame to be a malaysian before, this govt really know how to marginalise and make the malay feel rich at the expense of the non malays.

    Keep it up ..your down fall is round the corner.

    Long live DAP and uncle KIT and gang

  16. #16 by hkh on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 7:42 pm

    Cheng Meng festival is already over for the Chinese. There aren’t many ghosts (phantom voters) in town. It is a true reflection of what the real people of Ijok thought of the government.

    However, the Dead and Hantu came out to vote in the villages.

    Can’t understand what happened in the estates. How to wake them from their deep slumber that their Mafia Godfather Remade (MGR) Special Vehicle (SV) has done nothing for them for the past 15 years or more, except to increase toll and build collapsing buildings and bridges(MRR2). And paying RM250,000,000 for an Imaginary Crooked Bridge as well.

  17. #17 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 7:46 pm

    It’s time for the Chinese to work towards a swing to PKR/DAP of a 80:20 margin. This should make a difference to the GE results.

    Chinese who want to be assured of a place under the Malaysian sun have no choice but to vote for DAP/PKR or forever curse and swear against all the abuses of the BN government and condemn future generations to the dustbins of a racist Malaysia! Spare no vote at all for BN save for the cronies and traitors who are with MCA and Gerakan. These are the ones who will make up the F**** 20%.

  18. #18 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 9:05 pm

    “To be sure all 4 differences would affect Malay voters but the fear of losing the NEP crutch and Ketuanan policies upheld by BN …” Jeffrey

    Like I have always insisted: to attract Malay votes both DAP and PKR would have to come up with a modified form of the NEP. But this is easier said than done.

    The other is the absence of ideology among the issues.

  19. #19 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 9:20 pm

    “I am surprised that Abdullah does not know the reasons for the swing of the Chinese voters in Ijok to the Opposition. What has he been doing..” LKS

    Let’s not be naive. Of course he knew. If he were to say he knew then he would be forced to explain why the Chinese voters were expected to support the Opposition.

  20. #20 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 9:27 pm

    With the benefit of hindsight, had the MCA and Gerakan taken a more aggresive campaign it could have developed into a major confrontation between supporters of PKR and MCA and Gerakan. We all know where that kind of confrontation would have taken us.

  21. #21 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 9:35 pm

    After Ijok and apparent rejection by Malays of the Anwar’s PKR candidate, it will be interesting to see whether he (DSAI) would back pedal on his professed agenda of opposing the NEP.

  22. #22 by kurakura on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 9:56 pm

    The PM should not ask questions. He should be ashamed of himself. He must ponder on why he lost the support of the Chinese and act on it. Elections is somehow a report card. It is crazy to think that it is wrong not to vote for BN.

  23. #23 by Loh on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 10:01 pm

    Whether Anwar would drop NEP or not when he gained power can never be certain. But if he does not keep harping on stopping NEP, he is politically dead as for as non-Malays are concerned. I believe to Chinese, corruption is lesser of an evil than NEP.

  24. #24 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 10:15 pm

    Anwar’s dilemma reflects that of the DAP.

  25. #25 by bbtan on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 - 11:35 pm

    undergrad2, there is no DAP dilemma. The DAP are trying to make a difference by fighting a cause for the poor Malays, natives, Chinese, Indians and others who are marginalized by the government.

  26. #26 by accountability on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 12:18 am

    i can bet you the cowardly MCA & Gerakan will once again keep silent now that UMNO & AAB has pointed the finger at them, making these traitors of justice the scapegoat.

    appreciate the fight for better transparency and accountability in our governance – thanks DAP & PKR!!

  27. #27 by japankiller on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 1:02 am

    want to win back vote from chinese, as the UMNO member who played with their keris, stab the keris onto themself then we would vote for you in the coming election

  28. #28 by somaris on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 1:12 am

    YB LKS,
    The fight is not end yet.I hope and pray that DAP and PKR will join into one forces.Im sure the all malaysian will vote for u both .Trust me no one will trust MCA & Gerakan anymore.wait for this Ge.
    .May god bless u and ur DAP & PKR.

  29. #29 by firstMalaysian on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 7:49 am

    Malaysians must have the moral courage to make a stand on corruption, abuse of power, unfair reporting by the media, money politics etc.

    The ‘victory’ in Ijok by the BN, is actually a ‘defeat’ for the Nation. This endorses BN way of winning elections ie. money politics, abuse of government media, abuse of power, using threats, unfair electoral practice.

    If these continue, the country will not have the best to be in parliament, the best in the cabinet and the best to represent the rakyat.

    Malaysians deserve to have a free and fair election so that the best are elected. Every right thinking individual including BN will know that there is unfair use of the media by the BN, unless their brains are intoxicated with abuse of power and become immune to such unfair practices.

    God have mercy on Malaysia.

  30. #30 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 7:58 am

    “undergrad2, there is no DAP dilemma. ” bbtan

    The DAP and PKR are both in a fix. Each has to balance its ideological struggle to establish a just and fair society based on equality and justice for all with the politics of pragmatism if they want to win votes.

    The DAP has always stood for these principles and to change now would be seen as a betrayal of those same principles. PKR cannot be seen to be calling an end of the NEP without more, and yet expect the Malays to support them.

  31. #31 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 7:59 am

    Is there or is there not a middle ground?

  32. #33 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 10:03 am

    “Is there or is there not a middle ground?” (to uphold NEP for the DAP) per Undergrad2.

    If you recall the NEP basically calls for eradication of (i) poverty irrespective of race and (ii) identification of economic function based on race.

    The problem is the way it has been implemented departs wholesale from the twin objectives. Its implementation is however, in deviation from original objectives, ethnic based – not income based.
    I suppose the middle ground by DAP or PKR is to accept NEP based on its strict original objectives minus its ethnic based implementation that has led to abuses.
    But will this be acceptable to majority of Malay voters?

    The present implementation of the BN based on ethnic approach is beleaquered by the following anomalies:-

    1. Inter-ethnic income disparity from 1970 to 2002 has narrowed, but intra-ethnic income disparity has widened ;
    2. Non Bumis are treated 2nd class and alientated thwarting prospect of creating a truly united and harmonious Malaysian society;
    3. abuse by ruling elites and their cronies under guise of NEP;
    4. public institutions, corporations and firms that are needed to support growth and development become inefficient and do not move up the technology ladder to compete at the global frontier…
    just to name a few……..

    It is however noted that in spite of the anomalies of wrong implementation, the fact is that inter-ethnic income disparity (bumi & non Bumi) from 1970 to 2002 has narrowed as per 1. above. The fact that intra-ethnic income disparity has also widened in the sense that UMNOputras become superrich relative to the masses of ordinary beneficairies is a cause of discontent but not enough to discredit such abusive implementation because the masses still benefit but more importantly the ethnic based approach is entirely consistent and all fours with spirit and letter of Malay privileges under Article 153 of the Constitution and the ideology of Ketuanan premised on the so-called ‘social contract’.

    So for the DAP or PKR to embrace the NEP on premises of its original noble objectives in their pristine form, it is still not going to sell as far as Malay clientele is concerned. It won’t sell even if espoused by Malay majority party like PKR led by a one time popular charismatic Malay leader like DSAI as Ijok By Election demonstrated, let alone by a Chinese majority party like DAP.

    Unless PKR or DAP also guarantees the implementation will factor in Malay privileges under Article 153 of the Constitution and the ideology of Ketuanan in which instance they will lose their entire credibility with their traditional constituencies being different ideologically from UMNO and, at same time, win no support from majority of Malay constituencies by such an ideological departure because they would still think, whatever the abuses, UMNO has more credibility and sincerity to deliver it.

    On this overview, it is difficult to see how a “middle ground” can be forged.

  33. #34 by Loh on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 11:17 am

    The people of Machap has chosen to take the bread and butter, and they have been congratualted for being practical. They could have sent a ‘strong signal’ to the government, just like the Ijok Chinese are said to be doing, and yet still allow BN to win the seat, and continue with the ‘development’ project. In fact those who were waiting to start work on the 3-ringgit worth at 10-ringgit budget contractors were dying to have the projects started, and the election results really did not matter!

    But the Machap voters have their own strategy. They wanted to make sure that the projects are on and voted for BN for this election. I will be convinced that they are practical if they would vote the opposition come the next GE, when no more incentives can be expected from BN.

  34. #35 by burn on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 11:23 am

    as long as DAP voice out for the rakyat rights, rakyat will always support you. even thought most of them are non-bumi citizens since some of this so call bumi, are not willing to let go their “ketuanan concept”, and afraid of losing everything they have. most non-bumi have been slowly sideline since merdeka. not all non-bumi are born rich, the gomen should have known, unless gomen buat tak tahu.

    hidup DAP and KEADILAN!

  35. #36 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 7:44 pm

    “If you recall the NEP basically calls for eradication of (i) poverty irrespective of race and (ii) identification of economic function based on race.” Jeffrey

    Well put! Clearly you have done your research!

    Perhaps, some prioritizing is imperative. Perhaps relatively more attention should be given to (ii) as a precondition to achieving (i)? Having said that, it does not have to be at the expense of (i).

    Call it the politics of pragmatism if you must.

  36. #37 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 7:46 pm

    What good does anything do if as a party you are condemned to remain a mere opposition party? You are not running the government.

  37. #38 by DiaperHead on Wednesday, 2 May 2007 - 10:48 pm

    The constitutional ruler should stay out of politics and away from political controversy – especially one that could be seen as favoring one political group over another, one ideology over another, one political belief system over another.

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