UMNO’s Federal Territory proposal for Penang is admission that UMNO/Barisan Nasional have no hope of winning back non-Malay support and face prospect of losing more Malay support and more UMNO seats in 14GE

We are celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Fire Rooster under the cloud of Malaysia regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.

We hope that this is the only year national festivities in Malaysia are celebrated under a cloud of Malaysia as a global kleptocracy, as the 14th General Election should be held before the next Chinese New Year of the Dog on 16th February 2018.

For many months, Malaysians going overseas have been faced with the embarrassing situation when asked which country they come from.

Once Malaysians had no problem in proudly identifying themselves as coming from Malaysia, but now they hesitate whether to answer the question as they would be confronted with embarrassing questions about Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy, the infamous international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal involving the Prime Minister which have caused the closure of banks and imprisonment of bankers for money-laundering in other countries, MO1 and many other difficult questions.

There is however a reprieve for Penangites, for they can proudly identify themselves as from Penang, which will win admiration and plaudits for restoration of Penang in the past eight years from “Garbage Dump of the Orient” back to “the Pearl of the Orient”.

I am not surprised that UMNO leaders are so desperate about their political prospects in Penang that they are even thinking of turning Penang into a federal territory, doing away with Penang state elections, the Penang Chief Minister, the Penang State Exco and the Penang State Assembly.

The Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor yesterday sought to justify such an undemocratic and retrogressive step, claiming that that the idea to make Penang a federal territory is to ensure equal development in Penang, and that it was not to extend authority over the state but to help the Malays.

Tengku Adnan then came out with the current propaganda diet of Nazi-style Big Lies alleging that the DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam, by making the accusation that the DAP-led Pakatan Harapan State Government does not care about the Malays.

These are the UMNO/BN staple politics of lies and hatred.

In our 51 years of political struggle, DAP had never been anti-Malay or anti-Islam.

This is why we have Malay and Muslim Members of Parliament, both in Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara, and State Assemblymen, as well as the unprecedented example of Lim Guan Eng crossing the racial and religious divide to defend the honour of an underaged Malay and Muslim girl, going to jail in Kajang Prisons, forfeiting his position as Member of Parliament and disenfranchised from standing for elections for five years from his release from prison.

Has any UMNO leader sacrificed his political career for the honour and dignity of a Malay or Muslim, let alone crossing the racial and religious divide to defend the rights and honour of a non-Malay or non-Muslim citizen?

After more than half a century of DAP political struggle demonstrating that DAP had always been pro-Malaysia, in full support of the diverse races, religions, languages, customs and civilisations meeting in confluence in Malaysia, I do not believe that the Malays and Muslims in the country are so gullible as to fall easy prey to the politics of lies and hatred perpetrated by unethical and unprincipled UMNO politicians and their stooges, whether UMNO or in other parties.

As DAP MP for Segambut, Lim Lip Eng has rightly pointed out, if Tengku Adnan’s proposal to turn Penang into a federal territory is to help the Malays, then Tengku Adnan has chosen the wrong state as he should be looking at Kelantan and Terengganu – the poorest states in the country.

In fact, Tengku Adnan’s Federal Territory proposal for Penang is an admission that UMNO/Barisan Nasional have no hope of winning back non-Malay support and is facing the prospect of losing more Malay support and more UMNO seats in Penang in the 14GE.

In my “Jelajah Desa” visits to  Kampong Tok Subuh in Bukit Mertajam and Sungai Gelugor in Bukit Gelugor last month, I found that the politics of lies and hatred that the Malays in Penang are being oppressed and that the Malays in Penang have lost confidence and support of the DAP-led Penang State Government have no traction.

It is UMNO which is losing the support of Malay voters in Penang State while DAP and Pakatan Harapan + Bersatu are gaining more support of Malay voters in the state.

This was in fact borne out by the 2013 General Election results, as the Malay voters in Penang know that the DAP-led Penang State Government has done more for Malays and Islam than previous Barisan Nasional administrations, whatever the politics of lies and hatred disseminated by UMNO leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers outside Penang.

In the 2013 General Election, the DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat won 30 state assembly seats as compared to 29 seats in the 2008 general election.

DAP not only won all the 19 seats it won in the 2008 general elections, but with a bigger majority in everyone of the 19 seats, with majorities as big as more than 300 per cent as in the case of Chong Eng in the Padang Lalang seat where she won with a 14,930- vote majority as compared to the 4,242-vote DAP majority in 2008 general election; and of over 400% increase as in Padang Kota where Chow Kong Yeow won with 7,196-vote majority as compared to 1,661-vote majority in 2008; in Pulau Tikus where Yap Soo Huey won with a 8,220-vote majority as compared to 1,714-vote majority in 2008 and in Seri Delima where RSN Rayer won with 9,227-vote majority as compared to 2,128-vote majority in 2008.

Equally interesting, UMNO suffered a loss of Malay votes to DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat in Penang, with UMNO losing one seat (Seberang Jaya) where former UMNO Assemblyman Arif Shah Omar Shah who had won the constituency with a majority of 533 votes in 2008 lost to Afif Bahardin (PKR) who won with a thumping majority of 2,459 votes.

Five of the 10 UMNO Penang Assemblymen had the 2008 UMNO majorities slashed, and these five state assembly seats are Sungai Dua, Telok Ayer Tawar, Permatang Berangan, Pinang Tunggal and Bertam. Four other seats were won by UMNO with only three-figure majorities of less than a thousand, namely Teluk Bahang, Pulau Betong, Bayan Lepas and Sungai Acheh.

Will UMNO be able to win all these nine marginal UMNO incumbent seats in the next general elections? This will be known in the 14GE.

What is clear is that UMNO is facing the danger of losing more state assembly and parliamentary seats in Penang – but this is not only a phenomenon in Penang but throughout the country as well, which is UMNO leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers are escalating their politics of lies and hatred, like Tengku Adnan’s lies in trying to turn Penang into a Federal Territory.

In my 51 years in politics, I have not called anyone anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Buddhist, anti-Christian or anti-Hindu. I do not think we can raise the quality or standards of Malaysian politics by indulging in the politics of hatred and lies, as by hurling epithets and falsely attacking opponent of being “anti-Malay”, “anti-Muslim”, “anti-Chinese”, “anti-Indian”, “anti-Kadazan”, “anti- Dayak”, “anti-Buddhist”, “anti-Christian” or “anti-Hindu”.

I do not know whether I am being too Utopian to ask UMNO and Barisan Nasional politicians to join in inculcating a new culture of honest and ethical politics, which condemn in no uncertain terms all forms of politics of fear, hatred and falsehoods.

Before I end, let me touch on Tengku Adnan’s claim that making Penang a Federal Territory will benefit the state’s development, giving as example Labuan where he claims that the Federal Government had invested over RM5 billion since the date of take over.

Clearly, Harris Salleh, the man responsible for handling Labuan to the Federal Government when he was Sabah Chief Minister in 1984, does not think so.

Only last year, Harris openly called on the Federal Government to return the island to Sabah immediately.

Harris said his disappointment stemmed from the fact that the Federal Government had failed in its promise to make Labuan an economically viable island city.

He said:

“It is not right for the Federal Government to take over Labuan only to consign it to political and economic oblivion.

“The people of Labuan deserve better.

“I expected Federal to look after Labuan in a fitting manner and not to abandon it for whatever reasons.

“I have been watching, with great dismay, the declining interest of the Federal Government for some years now.

“I must be forthright and say that I am disappointed. If the Federal Government is not prepared to change direction with regards to the future of Labuan, then I would like to appeal for it to be returned to Sabah.”

May be the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should open an investigation as to what had happened to the RM5 billion which Tengku Adnan said had been spent on Labuan since its becoming a Federal Territory but to no purpose, as Harris said that the Federal Government had “abandoned Labuan to its own fate for a long time” – sacrificed in the “Game of Thrones”, which Harris should elaborate.

I hope this is not another case of the Sabah Water-gate scandal, where some 60 per cent of the development funds in the Sabah Water Department were siphoned off to corruption!

(Speech at the Penang DAP Chinese New Year Open House at SJK© Shang Wu Hall, Penang)

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 5 February 2017 - 12:27 pm

    Frankly, to Malays who really need help or want a real spiritually Islamic state, only DAP and Pakatan can give it to them. Neither UMNO nor Hadi’s PAS capable of delivering and truly helping the most marginalised of the Malays because of their corruption and incompetence.

    It’s not an insult, it’s reality and proven facr

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Monday, 6 February 2017 - 7:44 am

    I am very distrubed by Muhiyiddin comment that UMNO developed this country and the Malays. The success of this country is the wisdom of the founders which Mahathir himself have admitted, the founders were the Alliance, precedent of BN,

    One of the big problem with DAP cooperating with Mahathir to “save Malaysia” is that should someone in UMNO manage to persuade Najib to step down, they would readily merge with Bersatu to and thwart the march of Pakatan to Putrajaya.

    Clearly Bersatu still have not learned their full lessons.

  3. #3 by drngsc on Monday, 6 February 2017 - 12:32 pm

    DUMNO wants Penang by hook or by crook. Since they cannot win by hook ( they have given up ), now they want to take Penang by crook. What a shame?.

  4. #4 by lbn on Tuesday, 7 February 2017 - 3:06 am

    The racial game should cease immediately. We shouldn’t allow crooks to run the government. We should come together as Malaysians and boot out these crooks so that our country can prosper. Malaysia, our beloved home!

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