Pak Samad: Umno playing race card on Bersih 2.0

By Nigel Aw
Jul 18, 11 | MalaysiaKini

Umno, the commanding political party in the BN, is using the threat of Malays losing their political power to shore up its support base in countering the electoral reform demanded by Bersih 2.0, says national laureate A Samad Said.

Any implementation of the eight demands by Bersih 2.0, which includes postal voting reform, a major source of votes for the ruling coalition, is expected to erode its stranglehold on power.

“This (racial politics) is often raised by Umno. Most recently (with Bersih 2.0), there were also suggestions that Malay (political) power was being eroded,” Samad said.

“All the prime ministers and deputies have been Malay, all the menteri besar are Malays except for Penang; Even among the MPs, many are Malays, so what is the excuse?

“This shows political power is in Malay hands, but yet the Malays are screaming of being threatened… it means the Malay leadership is at fault,” Samad added.

On June 26, Umno-owned Malay daily Utusan Malaysia published an article attacking Bersih 2.0 chief Ambiga Sreenevasan, claiming she had a track record of angering Muslims and Malays.

A day before that, 30 Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members were arrested in Penang allegedly for ‘waging war against the Agong’, a symbol of Malay power.

In the fourth and final part of an exclusive interview with Malayskini, this leading figure in the world of Malay literature shares his views on racial politics.

‘Umno has some reflection to do’

The 76-year-old poet and novelist said it was time Umno took responsibility and stopped blaming others for its failure.

“When they are pressed, they use racial politics and the Emergency Ordinance (EO) for convenience, which is unhealthy.

“The Malay leadership has to take responsibility for the ills in the Malay community. They are the cause of these ills.

“It’s been (more than) 50 years (since independence), if they cannot galvanise (the Malay community), then they should reflect, not use racial politics to strengthen their position,” Samad said.

Despite the attacks against Bersih 2.0, he believes that the best in Malaysian unity was seen on July 9.

“During the demonstration, there were Indians, Chinese, and Malays – you don’t feel nervous standing by them, all of them wanted to membersihkan (clean) our democracy.

“It’s something good, it’s a very good start,” he added.

  1. #1 by cintanegara on Monday, 18 July 2011 - 6:02 pm

    It’s simply fantasy far from reality………Poetry is the language of imagination…

  2. #2 by monsterball on Monday, 18 July 2011 - 6:17 pm

    Pak Samad’s poems are read by and in Indonesia.
    Imagination requires highly intelligent people.
    Pak Samad is highly intelligent.
    Fantasy or real…Pak Samad is like Pipe Piper….making young and old Malaysians think about the Country and People.
    Think low of him…as you like…cintanegara.
    This Pak Samad is as important as Ambiga…and don’t tell me…you don’t know ..who Ambiga is.
    She is now know…as Malaysia…”Lady Of Liberty” and Pak Samad…the man of conscience for Malaysian voters.

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 18 July 2011 - 6:31 pm


    UMNo is using cheap and dirty tactics.
    UMNO is hitting below the belt…..

    The Malay community feels the punch. Ouch!

  4. #4 by for my country1 on Monday, 18 July 2011 - 9:57 pm

    Strongly agree Pak Samad.
    May Allah bless you always.

  5. #5 by tak tahan on Monday, 18 July 2011 - 10:17 pm

    A stature like Pak Samad speaks a lot of wise thousands words.cintanegara spits heaps of sampah sarap words.cintanegara,any more sampah to throw up?

  6. #6 by trublumsian on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 - 2:38 am

    Yahoo news headline (homepage) in the U.S. today….

    Malaysia media claims Jewish plot after rally

    Utusan will prove to hasten the downfall of Umno!

  7. #7 by k1980 on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 - 5:06 am

    //Malaysia media claims Jewish plot after rally//

    It is not a jewish plot. It is actually a jihadist plot hatched by Osami and Jibbi to stay in power forever.

  8. #8 by Comrade on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 - 8:17 am

    Umno/BN should surely know
    That they are a corrupt ruler
    But they continue to do so
    Desperate to stay in power

    PR must educate esp the rural people
    Then BN dirty tactics will not work anymore
    DAP/PKR/PAS must show a good example
    Come GE13, BN must be shown the door

  9. #9 by monsterball on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 - 9:01 am

    Of the main subject if I may.
    Najib spoke and spoke..meeting the Pope.
    The Pope listened….smiling and uttered..not one word!!!
    Silence is golden.
    You think Najib got the message?
    The Pope knows everything but kept quiet.
    Usually the Pope will speak few words.
    This time..he prefers to keep quiet and smile.
    First time the Pope behave like that…knowing who Najib is.
    Italy and Britain are supporting BERSIH 2 Malaysians.
    Any blockhead can read the signs..except Najib.

  10. #10 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 - 9:17 am

    Pak Samad,

    Malaysians shall many years hence still resonate with the echoes of your voice of moderation for justice, integrity, honesty in public life.

    Please continue to use your pen and your voice for the timid Malaysian public long inured to the oppression, suppression, deceit and corruption of UMNO in particular and BN in general.

    Ribuan Terima kasih

  11. #11 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 - 9:21 am

    #9 by monsterball on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 – 9:01 am
    “Of the main subject if I may.
    Najib spoke and spoke..meeting the Pope.
    The Pope listened….smiling and uttered..not one word!!!
    Silence is golden.”

    Ha, ha…..Najib thought he was scoring points with the Pope. Really, najib should know that the Pope probably thinks he is a clanging cymbal, a noisy gong….or a banging tompang.

    Najib should also know that Christians don’t vote for stupid hypocrites. AMEN.

  12. #12 by Mike Tee on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 - 9:31 am

    UMNO has gone all out to creat maximum choas to the PK; like using perkasa hog ibrahim to dish out threats and racial remarks; Dr giggolo Chua to mislead Chinese who would be voting for the oppositions; using religion issues to split and break the Pakatan Rakyat coaliation; police hounds to harrase the oppositions and her supporters; let Utusan, New Strait Times to distort the true facts and spreading lies.
    Najib siad in London that he is creating a fair and equal society, giving every citizen in Malaysia a fair opportunity and yet nothing equal among the Malaysia citizens and worst still creating division and hatre among different groups of races.
    Created 1 Malaysia but NO ONE EQUAL RIGHT FOR ALL MALAYSIAN !!
    Najib said he had allowed freedom of expressing voices and yet stopped BERSIH demo by his police hounds;using his high court judges to persecute the oppositions.
    Najib acused Anwar being an excellent actor after the BERSIH crackdown. Najib said one thing but meant another thing,so Najib should instead either be awarded Oscar award for his best acting, is he a big liar or a split personality mad politician ???

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