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Friday, August 27, 2010

Umno race-religious card to deflect Malays from RM52bil scandal


Malaysia Chronicle

The recent rash of Umno racial and religious politicking is to deflect Malay attention from calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the party for having allegedly hijacked RM52 billion worth of shares allocated to the Bumiputera community since 1971 when the New Economy Policy was launched.

"They fanned the fire and created all sorts of racial and religious issues to blindside the Malays from asking questions about the RM52 billion shares scandal,” Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng told a press conference held late on Thursday night.

Creating hatred for Guan Eng and the non-Malays

Indeed, just days after Guan Eng issued a statement exposing the "monstrous hijack" and also leading calls for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry, Umno vice president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi began accusing him to trying to replace the King’s name with his own during Friday prayers at state mosques.

Helped by other Penang Umno leaders and Utusan daily, they created a ruckus that lasted for days. Several police reports were lodged and even Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin began calling for a thorough probe although by then the Penang religious authorities had already completed their investigations and denied the allegations.

“From the RM54 billion that was given to the Bumiputera, there is only RM2billion. This is why they kept playing racial and religious until the Malays forget about this issue,” said Guan Eng.

In his statement on August 15, Guan Eng had also said that if not for Umno siphoning out the money, the Malays would have long ago achieved their target of 30 percent of the equity in the country.

“If the RM52 billion worth of Bumiputera shares still remained in Bumi hands, then the 30 percent Bumi/Malay equity target under the NEP would have long been achieved. The real problems for Malaysia are not BN's claims of race or religion but deep-seated corruption, inefficiency, abuse of power, mediocrity and lack of rule of law,” Guan Eng’s statement 15 had said.

Media blitz but Pakatan to keep pushing for Royal Commission

The khutbah Jumaat issue crept up soon after this and hit a crescendo on Sunday, August 22, when an online news portal ran 4 headlines reflecting the racism, religious bigotry and lies being spread in the country.

- Perkasa, MPM want Soi Lek arrested under ISA
- Pakatan wants to ‘destroy’ constitutional monarchy, claim Malay groups
- Ibrahim Ali follows Tee, tells those who disagree to get out
- Malay groups want vernacular schools abolished

Utusan also front-page inflammatory headlines and reports, but no action was taken by the police against the Umno-owned newspaper.

- Elak perang besar – Harussani enggan dedah pihak terlibat wujudkan ‘perlembagaan bau’
- Benar, ‘perang besar’ boleh berlaku di Malaysia
- Nama Guan Eng ganti Agong

“There is a sickness in the country which is total mockery and negation of Prime Minister Najib’s 1Malaysia. Clear cases of sedition are now seen to be committed with impunity, like calls for the closure of Chinese and Tamil primary schools which had been decided by the courts,” protested DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.

Nonetheless, despite the obstacles thrown in their path, Pakatan leaders said they would continue to push for the Royal inquiry.

“Who else could have hijacked the RM52 million other Umno-BN. This is because they don’t want a Royal Commission of Inquiry to be set up,” said Guan Eng.

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