It’s worth pondering over Dr. Toh Kin Woon’s remarks about the DPM. A most “uninspiring” DPM, whose true colors of racism blaze evr more distateful and insulting as he sinks into the role of Malaysia’s 2nd man in command, next to Naif Ton Rasa. Of course he blames the Chinese media. A scapegoat again. Only days ago, Naif wanted to win the hearts of the Chinese by visiting a Chinese media.
From the Malaysian Insider:
APRIL 14 – In a recent interview with the Malay language Mingguan Malaysia, our country’s newly minted Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, claimed that he was at a loss as to why the Chinese voters failed to support the Barisan Nasional in the recent by-elections for both the parliamentary seat of Bukit Gantang and the state constituency of Bukit Selambau, despite the BN pouring millions to the Chinese schools.
He further suggested that perhaps Malaysian Chinese wanted to play the role of kingmakers in elections.
I find these statements by the DPM distasteful and an insult, not just to the Malaysian Chinese community, but to all Malaysians.
This latest outburst also manifests either a total lack of understanding of the demands of the electorate of all ethnic groups on the part of Umno, or an inability on its part to respond with progressive measures, or both.
So much for their oft-repeated claim that it has understood the message of the larger Malaysian polity as expressed through the polls on March the 8th last year.
To begin with, the DPM’s statement further confirms that the BN continues to engage in the practice of utilising public funds to buy electoral support; a practice that has long been condemned and eschewed by the public.
Malaysians welcome the development of education at all levels by the government, but at no time will they condone public funds being given to schools in a constituency during the campaign period in return for their support for the BN.
For the information of the new DPM, one of the key factors that has led the public to continue to reject the BN is that their status as the political masters of the nation has not been given due respect.
This was clearly shown in the BN’s recent unconstitutional grabbing of political power in Perak. The people in Perak, and for that matter the whole nation, were angry that they were totally sidelined in the crisis engineered by the BN’s stubborn refusal to go back to the people for a new people’s mandate, when the Pakatan Rakyat government called for a dissolution of the state legislative assembly upon the defection of three of its representatives to the opposition bench.
They were also miffed by the total disregard of the BN for the constitution in dislodging the Menteri Besar, who is now the newly elected Member of Parliament for Bukit Gantang.
If only Umno and the BN had agreed to hold the polls that will enable the people to choose a new state government, their electoral downslide might have been mitigated.
In the event, their greed for power, come what may, and their arrogance that led them to ignore the people, had the better of them.
Another factor is Umno’s hypocrisy in relation to the subject of the monarchy. To get at the opposition, it resorted to launching unfair attacks of les majeste against the PAS candidate in Bukit Gantang, when in fact there are records to prove that Umno, more than any other party, is even more guilty of this “crime”.
Umno and the BN will also do well to note that the uneven development that has taken place over the years has brought along with it wider social cleavages.
The antagonism of the poor and marginalized towards the ruling elites is bound to grow stronger.
To the deprived of all ethnic groups, it has not escaped their attention that the hegemony of political power by the Umno and BN elites has led to abuses, corruption and cronyism as manifested in the dishing out of patronage resources to the few of all ethnic groups.
And they are bent on breaking this hegemony of both economic and political power by the BN oligarchs through supporting a system that will allow of more competitive politics based on ideological contests and an alternation of coalitions in power. This is what will lead them to continue to support the Pakatan Rakyat.
*Dr. Toh Kin Woon is currently a Research Fellow under the Asian Public Intellectuals’ Fellowship of the Nippon Foundation at the Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, University of Kyoto, Japan. He was formerly a State Assemblyman and State Executive Councillor in Penang.