Neo-Colonisation or Neo-Liberation?

by Zairil Khir Johari

Did you just say what I thought you did?

It is back to the grind as the Penang State Assembly gets underway, as does the UMNO-BN’s theatrical onslaught on the State Government.

Last week, they managed to round up a motley group of protesters ostensibly comprising angry Malay residents from Balik Pulau and a member or three from the BN-friendly Parti Cinta Malaysia, a party made up of disgruntled former members of the DAP and the once-relevant ‘political NGO’ called Gerakan (I posit that a political party with unelected nominees in government more closely resembles an NGO than a political party proper).

Their grouse this time? Over an area of land in Balik Pulau that has been allocated for the development of an educational hub. Of course, it was invariably portrayed as yet another case of the sacrilegious ‘Chinese government’ cruelly robbing the ‘poor Malay peasant’ of his land and rights.

As always, facts play no part in their campaign of blind vilification. It makes no matter that only 21% of the land acquired was Malay land (corresponding to a whopping 2 Malay families), the rest belonging to non-Malays. In any case, as the Chief Minister explained, the racial aspect of land ownership was never even a consideration! But there you go, just another round of racialised rhetoric from an opposition bankrupt of ideas.

During yesterday’s State Assembly session however, UMNO had the temerity to deny involvement in last week’s protest, conveniently ignoring the fact that Penang UMNO Youth Leader Norman Dahlan had been fussing about at the scene, proudly proclaiming that he was there to return ‘a portion’ of the money that they had recently stolen from the poor in their constituencies.

True heroes and nationalists, this lot. They are indeed the saviours of their race, as evident by a recent statement by the Minister Zahid Hamidi, Chief Hero of UMNO Penang:

“I am confident that together we can free the people of Penang from the clutches of the neo-colonisation spearheaded by the DAP under (chief minister) Lim Guan Eng,” he said.

Neo-colonisation? Really? That’s a very bold statement by the Hon. Minister. Surely he wouldn’t have made such an accusation unless it was factually based. Let us assume it is, and let us examine these facts for ourselves to see how the unfortunate people of Penang have been oppressed by their ‘colonial master’ over the last two years:

  • The Penang state Budgets for 2008 and 2009 were turned from deficits to surplus budgets.

  • Not good enough? Even the local council, Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai, was able to achieve an average surplus of RM23 million a year since 2008. Compare this to an average deficit of RM28 million a year over the last 8 years prior to 2008.

  • What about rising state coffers? For two years running, Penang has declared record collections of RM1 billion in 2008 and RM1.1 billion in 2009. Penang had never crossed the RM1 billion mark prior to 2008.

  • Senior Penangites above the age of 60 now receive RM100 a year, while families of senior Penangites who pass away receive RM1,000 in compassionate bequest. All this made possible from administrative savings (gasp, did I mention the S word?).

  • Let’s not forget the Malays, who have now been ‘colonised’. They have been further oppressed by a monumental increase in the budget allocated to Islamic welfare, from RM12.5 million in 2008 to RM20.5 million in 2009 and RM24.3 million in 2010.

  • And then, there’s also the obscure fact that Penang has managed to eradicate hardcore poverty.

  • Last but not least, the neo-colonial government of Penang has also punished its people (or maybe just a few previously well-connected cronies?) by being the first state in Malaysia to implement a public open tender system.

So, all in all, the Pakatan Rakyat Government of Penang has indeed been disastrous! Open tenders, greater transparency, less wastage of public funds, administrative savings (surely it can’t be true), money actually being returned to the rakyat (shameful) and the end of hardcore poor families. Achieved, I must add, in spite of an uncooperative Federal Government and a pack of opposition troublemakers hell-bent on besmirching the State Government with no fidelity whatsoever to the truth.

A tyrannical regime indeed. I ask the Minister: is this what you mean by neo-colonialism? It appears to me that the people of Penang have in fact been liberated by the change in government.

Neo-colonisation? More like Neo-liberation. Our country has had enough of the former. Let’s liberate the rest of Malaysia.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 - 8:41 am


    A few months ago, umno labeled him a ‘communist’.

    What’s next? An Untermensch?

  2. #2 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 - 9:00 am

    the word “kafir” suddenly has a meaning to it. or is it munafik?

    but, save you must, as a state government, please also spend the money on crucial development like public transport, and anything that is beneficial to the people. Keep the local economy going minus the corruption of course like the kafirs and munafiks are doing.

    I think the most important thing the state government can do is to create jobs. Saving 1billion is fine, but if the locals do not benefit from it, they will vote the other way. then it will be the munafiks and kafirs that will be spending that money in their pockets.

  3. #3 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 - 9:06 am

    UmnoB/BN got 2 get LGE n PR state gomen down fast n furious b4 d latter, through their actions n results, show 2 all of us dat with proper CAT governance, there will b perennial surpluses (instead of perennial deficits during Gerakan-UmnoB-MCA’s rule) dat all rakyat in Penang can benefit
    Once Penang voters hv tasted d forbiddin fruits, mati lah 4 UmnoB/BN
    Dis is Y UmnoB/BN must disrupt everything dat PR is doing in Penang: 4 their own survival

  4. #4 by k1980 on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 - 9:19 am

    Zahid Hamid is now claiming that all the mata sepets and kaki botois are unpatriotic because they are reluctant to join the armed forces.

  5. #5 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 - 10:03 am

    //Zahid Hamid is now claiming …//

    which sepet and botol want to be patriotic in his type of parasite malaysia he is projecting?

    we will fight for our country but we will never fight for him and what he represents. that’s how patriotic we are.

    if there is an unpatriotic malaysian, it would be them Bangsat Negara, selling, stealing, scheming our country to oblivion.

  6. #6 by Comrade on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 - 10:18 am

    Thumbs up to Penang PR government
    For a job satisfactorily done
    Keep it up the good management
    For the benefit of everyone

    Liberal voters of the corrupt BN regime
    Wise up to BN’s poorer performance
    For S’wak & GE13, vote in the PR team
    With proven ability to make a difference

  7. #7 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 - 11:45 am

    This motley group is neo-JAKUN;pea-brain and think thru backside bunch of morons.How to expect their fidelity to the neo-liberal penang goverment?The neo-JAKUN is the revolution of inbred of dr.bahkuteh era.

  8. #8 by born in Malaya on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 - 12:12 pm

    UMNO’s only weapon: special rights , special previlage, they are more superior.
    Wake-up citizens, living and eating without efforts don’t last.
    Tactics like this to woo votes don’t last.
    They are killing the country and encouraging disunity.
    They are just a shameless bunch of human alive waiting to be extinct.

  9. #9 by born in Malaya on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 - 5:46 pm

    Guan Eng really did a good job in Penang, at least we can see some justice and fairness in the present Penang government. Good job Guan Eng, we need more leaders like him.
    When UMNO see this success, they cannot tahan.
    How can they create some stir in Penang.
    Of course, that is to remind the Malay there that they connot be treated as equal as the Chinese and Indians there, they must have their special rights/ quotas and they are more superior. Shameless-shameless extinct BN.

  10. #10 by dagen on Thursday, 11 November 2010 - 8:48 am

    Not letting umnoputras take money from your pocket is one good and only reason for red-marking the penang government. Itu umno punya standard. Itu dia umno punya expectation.

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