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Friday, January 28, 2011

Rais: Felda settlers in Tenang must remember Umno-BN's deeds


Information minister Rais Yatim, recently at the centre of rape scandal, has reminded Felda settlers in Tenang not to forget the government deeds in bringing them development and a better life.

"The benefits to families and communities must be evaluated especially during this by-election," Bernama reported him as saying at a kampung feast with the Felda Chemplak Barat settlers on Thursday night.

The minister was in Tenang, where a hotly-fought by-election will be balloted on Sunday. PAS' Normala Sudirman, a former school teacher, will be challenging Umno's Azahar Ibrahim, a former land officer.

So far, observers say Umno appears able to defend the Malay vote, which comes mainly some 7,000-odd Felda settlers. Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's Pakatan Rakyat is hower making strides amongst the non-Malays, which form slightly more than 50 per cent of the 15,000-strong electorate in Tenang.

But 96 per cent of the poorest in Malaysia are Malays

Meanwhile, Rais took pains to remind the Felda folk that top Umno leaders from the late Onn Jaafar all the way until Prime Minister Najib Razak had contributed much to the prosperity now enjoyed by the people.

He urged the young generation of Felda settlers not to forget the prosperity they enjoyed was due to Umno's struggles.

However, Pakatan leaders rubbished his claims. They say it was due to Umno's massive corruption that has kept the country poor, in particular the Malay and bumiputra community which forms 96.7 per cent of the lowest income group in the country.

“Malay supremacy is a slogan used by a small group of Malay elites who are cheating the Malays as a whole for their own interests. After 53 years in power, the Malays and bumiputera are still neglected. The 30 percent Malay-bumiputera equity has yet to be met. Of the RM54 billion equity and shares for bumiputera, only RM2 billion still belong to them,” PKR president Wan Azizah had said, sparking a furore as Umno tried to discredit her.

But economic experts say the numbers are on record and point to gross financial mismanagement by the BN. Just days ago, deputy Trade minister Mukhriz Mahathir refused to initiate a government probe after a renowned Washington-based think-tank issued a report revealing that RM888 billion had been illicitly transferred out of Malaysia during the period 2000 to 2008. - Malaysia Chronicle

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