Prove Malays sidelined in Penang, CM tells Cabinet minister
KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Lim Guan Eng today challenged Umno minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop to prove his claim that the Malays in Penang have been neglected under the present Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government.
The Penang chief minister flayed Nor for recently dangling the 1511 Portuguese invasion bogeyman to warn the Malays against voting PR and demanded the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department state which programmes by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) he had discontinued.
Failing which, said Lim (picture), Nor was no different from Malay rights group Perkasa for playing the race card to woo the Malay vote.
“By playing the race card of a Bumiputera agenda in the next general election, Nor and Umno have sent a strong signal that they do not care about non-Malay voters.
“Umno and Nor are using the Bumiputera agenda as the only agenda for winning the general election, citing Penang as an example where the Malays have been neglected,” he said.
He said Nor’s use of the 1511 timeline to draw comparisons with a possible PR poll win was inappropriate as unlike PR leaders, the Portuguese were a foreign power and the outcome of the coming election would be decided on by Malaysians.
The year 1511 was when the Malacca sultanate was successfully invaded by the Portuguese, marking the start of foreign colonisation of Malaya.
“Ironically, it is PR that should be laying this allegation against BN and the Election Commission due to the presence of phantom and dubious voters, including foreigners as registered voters, who could decisive play role in the next general election,” he said.
Lim trumpeted his administration’s achievements and fairness in policies since it took on Penang’s reins in 2008, pointing out that the government had even increased welfare assistance for all races to “historic levels”.
He said Penang had also successfully wiped out hardcore poverty in one year — an achievement that BN could not achieve in its 50-year rule.
He said even when state government contracts were awarded by open competitive tender based on the best price, quality and management, 70 per cent of the contracts were won by Malay contractors.
“And in 2012, the largest allocation in Penang’s history for Islamic affairs of RM64 million was approved,” he said.
“If Nor can succeed in exploiting fear dating back to 1511 by pursuing a racist approach of Bumiputera agenda and ketuanan Melayu, this is the death ritual of democracy, multi-racial harmony, multi-cultural diversity and 1 Malaysia!” said Lim.