REJECTION OF RACIAL POLITICS, BY ELECTION: YONG SAYS UMNO AND BN LEADERS' ACTIONS SHOW THEY NEVER LEARN
The landslide victory of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Advisor Datuk Sen Anwar Ibrahim augurs well for non-racial politics in Malaysia, said SAPP President Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee. He said the rejection of racial politics shown in the March general elections has been repeated resoundingly by the voters of Permatang Pauh in the by-election two days ago, where 69 per cent of voters are Malays. However, he said, the Barisan Nasional BNI leadership, especially Umno, never learn. “Instead of strengthening national unity among the people, Umno tried desperately to whip up racial emotions on the National Economic Policy NEP issue by mob demonstrations in Penang immediately after the elections,” he said. “The orchestrating of the student demonstrations at UiTM by Umno this month, the inflammatory speeches of their MPs in Parliament and racial instigation against SAPP’s MPs over the no-confidence motion in June all prove that the BN and Umno are still trapped in the old mindset of racial compartmentalization of Malaysian politics,” said Yong in a statement yesterday. In fact, the former Chief Minister noted, after the March general elections, both Prime Minister Datuk SeriAbdullahAhmad Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Sen Najib Tun Razak had declared that the BN would conduct independent studies on the lossessuffered by the BN and why people were rejecting BN. Several high level BN committees were even formed to “re-brand BN,” said Yong, adding however that instead of changing for the better with people-friendly policies, the BN Government played around with fuel prices at the whims and fancies of the Prime Minister, inflicting suffering on the ordinary people. The SAPP President contended that high level corruption continues unabated, and according to news reports quoting senior Umno leaders, this year’s Umno divisional and branch elections were the dirtiest and m ost corrupted by money politics ever in the history of the Party. Yong lamer ited that when SAPP first declared no confidence in the PM, almost all the BN component parties chose to condemn SAPP instead of solving the issues aff cting the people raised by SAPP. “SAPP ren iinds the BN component parties to join the SAPP’s ii iove of no confidence in the PM so as to effect chang for the better in the country,” he said. “SAPP now calls on the people in Malaysia, especially ir Sabah and Sarawak, to be ready for change.” In a separate statement, SAPP Secretary-General Datuk Rich ardYong said the outcome of Permatang Pauh by-election was a testimony that the people, including T 3N and UMNO members, are rejecting BN admin Listration. Party Keadilan’s Datuk Sen Anwar Ibrahim garnered 31,195 votes against BN candidate Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah’s 15,524 votes to win by a majority of 15,671 votes. “Although BN’s total membership in Permatang Pauh is 2:6,942 (UMNO — 19,442, Gerakan —2,900, MCA — 2,400, MIC — 1,700, PPP — 500 ), BN manage 1 to secure only 15,524 votes. This shows that a t otal of 11,271 BN members have opted to support Parti Keadilan’s Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” said Richard. As Prmatang Pauh is the home State of the Prime Minister, the failure of BN in wresting Permatang Pauh from the Opposition was a reflection of no confidence in the Prime Minister’s leadership, he said.