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Friday, January 28, 2011

PAS guns down ‘gangster’ Muhyiddin

PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar reminds Muhyiddin that he is the deputy prime minister and not the “deputy extortion minister”.

LABIS: PAS has opened fire on Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, whom it accused of terrorising the voters in Tenang with threats.

Calling him a “gangster”, PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar also reminded Muhyiddin that he was the deputy prime minister and not the “deputy extortion minister”.

Muhyiddin earned the title over his warning to the voters that casting their ballots for PAS candidate Normala Sudirman could dampen development in the constituency.

Shocked by the threat, Mahfuz said: “This is a form of gangsterism. Does he mean that if Normala wins then the district offices will close the next day? That the police will stop working and there will be no police stations? And the village chiefs will no longer have their jobs?”

Last night, Muhyiddin was reported to have said that development would suffer if Barisan Nasional candidate Mohd Azahar Ibrahim was defeated in Sunday’s by-election for the state seat.

He said that voters must avoid “making a mistake” as the state and federal governments were under BN.

Meanwhile, Mahfuz said that he perplexed as to how a deputy prime minister could utter such things.

“This is a form of extortion, it’s just like being a gangster. You must remember, you are the deputy prime minister not the deputy extortion (minister), You shouldn’t extort the rakyat,” he said.

“Because no matter who wins, it is the government’s job and responsibility to service the rakyat,” he told a joint press conference here.

Citing the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat, Mahfuz said although BN won the by-election, the Pakatan Rakyat state government, however, continued with development in the area.

‘Interlok decision to fish for Malay votes’

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, came under fire for retaining the controversial Interlok novel as well.

According to DAP MP Charles Santiago, the timing of Muhyiddin’s announcement revealed that the latter was desperate for Malay votes in Tenang.

“The issue here is the timing. All is not well with the Malay votes in Tenang, there is infighting in Umno. He could have announced it on Monday,” he said.

Santiago also alleged that Muhyiddin was pandering to Perkasa and the ultra Malays.

“If we read the book, these are all systematic stereotyping that we don’t need at all as we are already divisive enough. Enough of marginalisation in Malaysia. We must not let our education system be compromised by politics,” he said.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin announced that the novel would be retained as a component for the Malay literature subject for Form Five students, but amendments would be made to the parts deemed offensive to the Indian community.

Zeroing in on Tenang, Santiago said there were many Indian and Malay areas where poverty was extreme, indicating BN’s alleged failure in helping the poor.

“These are people earning only RM700 a month, how can you survive like that?” he said, calling on the government to implement a “living minimum wage” rather than a “poverty minimum wage”.

‘Don’t insult people’s intelligence’

In another development, PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub accused Umno of insulting the people’s intelligence by claiming that BN candidate Azahar was only a witness in a court case involving an illegal land sale.

“Umno treats the Tenang people as stupid and unable to differentiate between a defendant and a witness in a court case. They think the Tenang folk don’t care whether Umno has integrity, credibility or the qualification to be a representative,” he said.

Previously, Azahar was alleged to have abused his powers as a former assistant district officer by illegally selling a land and subsequently being sued by the buyer.

The court had returned the land to the victim, with costs, in 2008. The subsequent buyer of that land is also suing Azahar, claiming RM1.5 million in damages. - FMT

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