SEPT 7 — A close Umno friend asked me this question: if PR takes over, wouldn’t it lead to DAP dominance over PR? Wouldn’t the Chinese be in control? Just take the example of Nizar when he became MB of Perak by courtesy of the DAP. He gave out land to the Chinese because the DAP must have pressured him to.
The DAP has become the favourite bogeyman that must be attacked from all possible angles. Lim Kit Siang was behind the May 13 incident, ignoring the records which showed that Kit Siang was in Sabah at that time. Lim Guan Eng, who was eight years old at that time, was also instrumental in creating the racial clashes. The DAP has never detached itself as a proxy to Singapore’s PAP. The list of wrongs is seemingly bottomless. And now, a spectre is haunting Malaysia. The DAP shall dominate a PR government.
I have long wanted to answer this anxiety. Apparently this is the propaganda being sold by Umno leaders all over the country. It’s simply called scare mongering. It indicates that Umno is scared. Barisan Nasional’s other component party members, which are essentially stooges of Umno, are now irrelevant. It has also shown that Umno now realises it can lose power.
Let us dispel the myths before we answer as to what Nizar has actually done.
First of all, the DAP will probably contest 52-53 parliamentary seats. Even if it wins all, the number is not sufficient to allow the DAP to form a government on its own. It will become a formidable force. And that is not because the members are Chinese. It becomes formidable because it has so many high-quality MPs.
Non-DAP MPs will still dominate the numbers. So, forming a government with the DAP dominating is out of the question. Why should any Malay fear DAP dominance? Only mediocre Umno leaders do. The good Malays in PKR and certainly the very able people in PAS can stand as equals to DAP legislators. But these Malays don’t quarrel with DAP people on trivial things like low-quality Umno MPs.
The area in which the DAP has dominated appears to be in the intensity of its resolve to fight for causes. Why should that be feared? It must be emulated. Can’t Umno offer the voters higher calibre people who can walk and chew gum at the same time? Instead, it takes the populist approach, choosing people whom it sees as winnable and armed probably with fake degrees they bought.
The other big issue I wish to address is this. The same friend asked: wouldn’t it be like what happened in Perak; Nizar became a front for the DAP and he only implemented policies that benefited the Chinese in Perak.
Nizar governed Perak for a period of 11 months. He was kicked out of office by way of a coup d’etat involving also the Perak royalty. We must now remember always, that people are always more sovereign than kings and Rulers. I hope this is taken in good spirit. Nobody wants to demolish the royal houses provided there is mutual respect. The adulation and reverence of the people to the royal houses must be reciprocated with the utmost respect for their sovereign wishes. The overriding wish was to have a legitimately elected government which cannot be broken up by extra judicial means. Collectively, the will of the people is as sovereign as the Malaysian monarchy.
During the 11 months Nizar served as MB, his government approved 314 housing lots for kampung tersusun and for 134 new villages. These lots were given out to applicants who have been waiting for over 30 years to get land titles. These people were denied or refused approval by the Umno/BN government. What is so difficult about giving out land titles? During by-elections, titles could be given in a week’s time.
Ninety-five per cent of the residents in the kampung tersusun have been denied titles for over 30 years. All they asked was a housing lot of about 3,200 square feet. So one can imagine how “big” a house that can be constructed on such a lot size. The whole house is smaller than the bedroom of some people I know.
How many of these were issued by Nizar? He gave out 102,000 lots involving 7,500 acres. Most of these recipients were Malays. Again? To Malays.
What about the new villages or kampung baru? We know from experience most dwellers in the kampung baru are Chinese. Indeed, 97 per cent of these are Chinese, many of whom have not received titles for as long as 80 years. What’s the land sizes are they looking for? The average size is 1,125 square feet (25x45ft). That is the size of a garage. A total of 47,000 lots were issued to applicants involving 1,250 acres.
Kampung tersusun (the dwellers are mostly Malays) got 7,500 acres while the Chinese new villagers got 1,250 acres. If I were to ask an MCA friend citing the above examples, can he/she tell me, in giving out land for housing, which race has benefited more from Nizar’s actions? The Malays got more land, and the Malay has a bigger lot measuring 3,200 square feet compared to the Chinese new villager who got 1,125 square feet.
Did Nizar victimise the Perak royal house as far as land is concerned? Well, judge for yourself. During the tenure of a former Umno MB, Ramli Ngah Talib, there was a verbal agreement to award the Perak Ruler land totalling 600 acres located in Tanjong Tualang. But the land was not transferred by the Umno government.
This was what Nizar did. His Exco confirmed the verbal promise made earlier by an Umno MB, to vest the land with the Perak Ruler. The transfer of the title was made in the name of a nominee of the Perak Ruler to one individual named Pak Tok Khair.
The nominee completed the transaction, paid the necessary premiums and the land was formally transferred.
What Umno failed to do for the Ruler, Nizar succeeded.
In another instance, a religious teacher who runs a religious school (pondok), Tok Guru Pak Teh, applied for land for cattle grazing in 2004. He applied for 45 acres. But each time his application was rejected by the Umno government. Again, what the Umno government failed, the PR government under Nizar, who was supposed to be dictated by the DAP, approved the 45 acres to Tok Guru Pak Teh. To add security, the area was gazetted as grazing land for the benefit of Pondok Tok Guru Pak Teh permanently. For that Nizar received a personal note of appreciation from the Tok Guru who has since died.
In addition, Nizar approved small lots ranging from half an acre to three acres to operators of state land. The approval was justified on the grounds that the operators had worked the land for a very long time.
That was all Nizar did. Umno goes to town accusing Nizar of selling out to the Chinese.
Now let us see what Umno, the party that fights for Agama, Bangsa dan Negara did during its tenure. Let’s go back to see what Umno did before PR took over Perak.
1. 22,000 acres belonging to PKNPk in Lekir Manjong planted with oil palm were pledged to KLK which is owned Tan Sri Lee Oi Lean. He is a Chinese.
2. 500 hectares of Malay reserve land in Padang Rengas (Nazri Aziz’s parliamentary seat) together with a cement-making factory jointly developed by PKNPk and Hanjoong of Korea was sold to YTL. Now, the present Perak Umno government is busy acquiring more Malay reserve land as it sees fit.
3. The Umno government has given 1,300 acres of land to Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in Kampar to construct the biggest UTAR College.
4. The Umno government gave 15-30 acres to each farmer in the areas between Bikar and Bidor and Teluk Intan. Most of these farmers were Chinese farmers.
Now let’s see what Zambry did when he took over as MB. He sold off the Casuarina Hotel belonging to the state government within two months of assuming office. He sold it to the Perak Sultan’s son in law Tengku Farouk for only RM48 million. Nizar has steadfastly refused to sell even when commanded by the Sultan. That hotel belongs to the state and the value of the strategically located land in terms of market price was then around RM94 million.
Under Zambry, who has a Ph.D. in Islamic studies, quarry land, timber concessions, mangrove concessions are being distributed to Umno cronies wantonly. It’s like there is no tomorrow for these people.
Zambry has approved 1,100 acres to the Brazilian firm Vale for the purposes of setting up an iron ore plant. The award was given when Zamry was in office.
Now, who has actually betrayed the Malays? Umno or Nizar? Umno has sold out to the Chinese more than anyone else can. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com
* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.