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by Lim Guan Eng
): MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and Gerakan President Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik should redeem themselves for blindly supporting BN’s discriminatory policies by asking UMNO leaders to stop the politics of denial and admit that not only the Chinese but Indians, poor Malays and non-bumis in East Malaysia are systematically marginalized. If MCA and Gerakan cannot li zhe qi zhuang support Kuan Yew’s comments, then they should li bu zing chong and not wei hu zhuo zhang in supporting UMNO in attacking Kuan Yew for speaking the truth. Or is truth the enemy of the state?
DAP expresses disgust at Ka Ting, Keng Yaik and Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon for denying the obvious fact that Malaysian Chinese together with other non-Chinese have been systematically marginalized by discriminatory government policies that only favours the rich and politically connected. Such politics of denial is dishonest as BN leaders themselves has stated that discriminatory government policies such as quotas and the New Economic Policy that result in some political and social marginalization is necessary for racial harmony and national stability.
So long as BN leaders such as Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Ka Ting and Keng Yaik can not rely on reason, facts and logic to disprove Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s claims then their emotional denials are like empty vessels making the most noise to cover up the politics of UMNO dominance and discrimination.
Koh claimed that Lee did not understand and appreciate the challenges in leading and administrating a country that was bigger, more complicated and diverse than Singapore and denied that the Chinese in Malaysia is “compliant”. This is perverse logic. If so, then can we support he apartheid polices of South Africa in the 1980s just because South Africa was bigger more complicated and diverse than Malaysia? How can Koh be so thick skin to say that the Chinese is not compliant when he was compliant towards UMNO by not daring to even respond to attacks by Penang UMNO Youth leaders who humiliated him publicly with demonstrations and banners in his presence?
Ong Ka Ting said that it is unfair and subjective to say the Chinese in Malaysia are marginalized because any injustices will be resolved by MCA. If that is the case, why is it that in Cabinet, four MCA Ministers can not convince but has to submit and bow down to one Education Minister Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn. Ong and the MCA Ministers even supported the Cabinet reprimand on Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat for interfering in another Ministry by exposing corruption. Worse Ka Ting has not explained why he supported the Ninth Malaysian Plan’s refusal to build a single Chinese or Tamil primary schools out of the 180 new primary schools proposed?
Keng Yaik had said that, “the Chinese here will not follow and listen to what he says” only shows how out of touch BN leaders are with the feelings of ordinary Malaysians. Keng Yaik and Ka Ting’s denial that the Chinese in Malaysia are systematically marginalized by the BN government’s discriminatory policies is not shared by ordinary Malaysians, whether Chinese or non-Chinese. Even in the Monster Blog (http://www.monsterblog.com.my/2006/09/22/frontpage-nst-22-9-2006-kuan-yews-comments-misleading/#comments) moderated by New Straits Times, nearly 80% of the contributors agreed with Lee Kuan Yew with less than 10% opposing and the remainder neutral.
Clearly such untruthful and false denials by Keng Yaik, Tsu Koon and Ka Ting are selfish acts that is politically motivated to enable them to cling to the government posts as Ministers and Deputy Ministers. If they are sincere in telling the truth to Malaysians, then they should not be adopting the hypocritic allegations Mahathir in asking how many Malays are holding top positions in the Singapore government. Mahathir has no right to practice double-standards ask these questions when there are no Chinese holding top positions in armed forces or police. There is not even a non-Malay Vice-Chancellor in a public university or a Mayor in any Malaysian city.
In fact Kuan Yew is half-right in that it is not only that the Chinese are marginalized. The Indians, poor Malays and bumis from East Malaysia are also marginalized. After all Sabah has the highest poverty rate in the country at 23% in 2004. The United Nations Human Development Report consistently list Malaysians as suffering the worst income inequality between the rich and poor in South-East Asia. This is conceded by the Ninth Malaysian Plan (9MP) which showed the share of income of the bottom 40% of the population declined from 14.5% in 1990 to 13.5% in 2004 whilst the share of the top 20% of the population increased from 50% in 1990 to 51.2% in 2004.
All Malaysians Face Marginalization
The income inequality, measured by the Gini coefficient, within the Chinese community worsened in the period 1999 to 2004 from 0.434 to 0.446 whilst for Indians from 0.413 to 0.425. The income inequality amongst bumis was even worse from 0.433 in 1999 to 0.452 in 2004. Marginalisation of Malaysians generally can be seen with the 9MP showing the Gini Coefficient nationally worsening from 0.452 in 1999 to 0.462 in 2004.
Not many Malaysians, whether Malay or non-Malay are rich like UMNO, MCA or MIC millionaires. How many Malays own APs or shares or are millionaires like UMNO Youth Deputy President Khairy Jamaluddin who can own RM 9.2 million worth of shares or like Datuk Roslan Hashim who can spend RM 3.5 million for his wedding or Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Effendi Norwawi eho can afford to give RM 20 million worth of properties and RM 1 milliojn cash to his former wife.
UMNO claims that the 30% bumi equity in the NEP has not been achieved. This is another desperate attempt to distract attention from the fact that in terms of market capitalization bumi corporate share has exceeded 45% with more than RM 325 billion. Clearly UMNO wants to avoid being questioned by the poor Malays who are the rich Malays who have benefited from this RM 325 billion.
It is therefore important that Malaysians do not allow the issue of Chinese being marginalized, which is a fact, from the serious issue that all Malaysians including poor Malays are marginalized by UMNO’s discriminatory policies that benefit the few BN leaders at the expense of ordinary Malaysians.