Friday, March 14, 2008

UMNO Protesters... Oh, How the Tables Have Turned...

Khairi Jamaluddin, UMNO Deputy Youth Chief, once called the HINDRAF protesters "Monkeys" for demonstrating their discontent in the streets. Yet he was seen demonstrating with 5000 people in the heart of the city, demanding to speak to the US Secretary of State. Unscathed by the police, he emerged a hero for all Muslims as he was seen to be fighting for Palestinian rights.

Perhaps he was unscathed because he is the "Untouchable" son-in-law of the Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi. Perhaps it was because he is an UMNO Youth Leader. Perhaps it was because he was fighting for Muslim rights. Perhaps because of all this, he is seen as fighting for what Malaysia perceives to be right wing political topics, and so it's OK.

Whatever the case may be, these are the double standards that plague our Barisan Nasional that is representative of cronyism and the belief that Malay Rights stand paramount over any other race's rights.

Today, while the nation has nearly voted the Barisan Nasional out of power, the new state governments are adamant on delivering on their pledges that they will abolish the National Economic Policy. The DAP isn't the only party saying this, Keadilan and PAS are also keen on abolishing the policy that has long been regarded as only benefiting the UMNO Malays or those who fall within special circles that are privy to the fruits of the NEP. The youth, like Khairi are beneficiaries of this privilege - and people like him will want to safeguard this safety net that has protected over 3 generations. The Malaysian population is now dominated by Malays by a sheer 70%.

So, how then is the remark by UMNO leaders, saying that the Malays will be marginalised by the dismantling of the NEP - true or possible? For more than 3 generations, they have provided themselves with privileges such as free education, a larger quota of places in the local Universities, special privileges in business and even a special discount for purchasing property.

UMNO should explain to the Malaysian public how it is possible that for about 40 years, Malays have been enjoying this special privilege and they still need it because their equity compared to other races is still below the 30% mark?

This being the case, how much longer does this have to go on? The question they should be asking themselves, by making things easier for Malays to develop as a race, isn't it possible that they have handicapped the Malay will to want to meet challenges and work hard to overcome them?

We believe that it is more the latter that is the cause of Malays not meeting the mark, than some lame excuse that the Chinese are quick to steal opportunities from the Malays.

Throughout history and the world's social development, it is a known fact that the underprivileged are stronger than the privileged. The simple reason being that they have always had to work harder for what they want, and thus see things from a very different perspective, not to mention, the underprivileged are hungry for opportunities to rise the social ladder.

The Malay of today have a lackluster attitude, and have a perspective that they are greater than they really are - but sadly, perhaps only in Malaysia. On a global scale, many won't be able to compete because the competition out there doesn't wait or have special privileges for those crutched by racially biased beliefs that they need things a certain way in order to succeed.

In the not so distant past, Mahathir also said on many occasions that the NEP will eventually be abolished, and that the Malays are not helping themselves. Though he may sing a different tune today - to meet his political ends with the Malay people, one musn't forget that Badawi was also for levelling the playing field during and just after the 2004 elections. But neither of our Prime Ministers had the courage to do the right thing, for fear of being ousted by UMNO party members.

So, it now takes a great lesson such as this, whereby the voters, fed up with years of being marginalised - Malay, Chinese and Indian, united against UMNO and Barisan Nasional, voted them out.

This should be a wake up call for UMNO and the PM... but sadly, the mentality hasn't changed much. Today, you will hear of Badawi sowing the seeds of anger in the hearts of the Malays, making statements that they will be marginalised if the NEP were to be abolished.

One person even said (Quoted in the Straits Times, 14 March 08) that, the Malaysian Malays will be marginalised like the Singapore Malays (if the NEP were non existent). Hah! What utter rubbish! Our Singapore Malay brothers think that the Malaysian Malays are lazy and stupid, they also think that the NEP isn't helping. If UMNO wants to make comparisons like that, they better get their facts right. The Singapore Malay is playing on a level playing field, they succeed on their own merit, they are smart, hardworking and see things from a International view. One to one, they are stronger than their Malaysian brothers many times over - and they are happy and proud of their achievements.

One could say that UMNO is now interfering in the racial politics in Singapore. They best not make such comparisons and not interfere in affairs that they have no understanding of. If so, the Singaporean Malay will be packing his bags and coming to Malaysia to enjoy the NEP. Why would a man or a woman who is fully capable of standing on his/her feet want to subject themselves to a wheelchair?

So today, instead of HINDRAF or Keadilan pounding the streets and protesting, what we see are UMNO members (who once upon a time said that protesting is not the Malaysian way, and even led by Khairi), protesting in the streets.

But why doesn't the police arrest some of the protesters? They arrested HINDRAF men, women and children for a lot less. Actually, just for showing up. Therefore, what is the Ministry of Home Affairs doing about this, are they involved, have they held off the usual beatings of protesters just because these are UMNO members - fighting for "right wing" views?

Little has changed in UMNO, they are still proud and arrogant - but now, they have resorted to taking to the streets - a sign of desperation. Only time will tell whether they are truly capable and sincere in re-engineering themselves.

Group protests outside S’gor secretariat

SHAH ALAM: A small group of people marched from the state mosque to the state secretariat building here Friday to protest against DAP’s decision to abolish the New Economic Policy (NEP).
(This sounds familar...)

The participants started to gather at the roundabout near the mosque just after Friday prayers at about 2.30pm and were seen standing at the side of the road carrying banners.

The protesters stopped right in front of the line formed by the police Light Strike Force (LSF) members, about 150m from the main entrance to the building, but continued with their cries. They left peacefully about 20min later.
(They should have been beaten and shot at with tear gas and water cannons - the norm in dealing with other HINDRAF, Keadilan & Bersih protestors)

Shah Alam Deputy OCPD Deputy Supt Mohd Shariff Abdul Wahid said police were aware of the planned gathering and confirmed that no permit had been issued for it.
(They should have been arrested... again the norm for dealing with people who break the law)

“The secretariat building is a protected government building so we stationed 50 men there including two units of the LSF as a precautionary measure,” he said.

He said the protesters, who belonged to a political party, had asked to meet with Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim but the police did not permit this due to security concerns.
(A political party? Can't be the opposition, can't be MCA or MIC - we don't think they care about the NEP. So it has to be UMNO members. Maybe it's because they are UMNO members that they weren't shot at, sprayed and arrested. How irresponsible of UMNO, it's OK for them to protest and hold illegal gatherings (like the example set by Khairi Jamaluddin), but any other group or party that does this will be arrested. UNFAIR!)

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