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Monday, January 30, 2012

Malays have no qualms about joining DAP: Only Umno says they have


Malays have no qualms about joining DAP: Only Umno says they have
Some UMNO leaders and the nuisance-to-society Perkasa apparently still belong to the old school of thoughts that race and religion can be used to gain votes from the Malays. More often than not, they prefer to sow hatred among races in the country to achieve their selfish goals.
The new educated or enlightened Malay race – New Malays (Melayu Baru) do not auspiciously subscribe to this divisive politics or racial and religious rhetoric of UMNO or Perkasa anymore. The New Malays see race, religion and the country as a whole from an entirely different political perspective. They seem to spurn politics based on shallow discourse relating to race and religion. They have a bigger ambition for the country to see it develop with people of all races having a fair share of the economic pie.
Some irrelevant Malay politicians belonging to the old school of thoughts are wasting their precious time organising public speeches trying to delude the Malays into thinking that non-Malays are a threat to them or that Christianity is a threat to the Malays and the religion of Islam in this country. When these bigots sense that they are not getting the crowd to their numb sermons – as the people are not interested in their story telling – they resort to their friendly media to pad the events. They fail to realise that the majority of Malays are at ease living together with other races and seeing the many religions being practised in peace. There are many more Malays working, studying in Christian countries without fear that they will be converted to Christianity. Many Malays have even left this country for good after having hatred for  UMNO’s approach to politics.
In truth, the New Malays in the country will not fall to UMNO’s bilk that DAP is a threat to the Malay race, Islam and the royalty.  The country and its political parties have evolved for many years. DAP is today perceived by the New Malays as a party for all Malaysians. Never in the history of DAP’s party manifesto has it shown any predisposition towards the Malays, Islam or the royalty.
A result-oriented party
Malays join or vote for DAP for many legitimate reasons. These Malays are those who are able to think rationally as what elements should constitute good governance. They are actually fed-up with UMNO’s relentless propaganda and its endless rhetoric demonising the Chinese and DAP.  And they see DAP as a less-rhetoric based but a result-oriented party. They perceive UMNO in many ways that have failed the majority of the Malays and Malaysians in general. To the New Malays UMNO is a political vehicle only to enrich a few of their cronies. And this practice has impeded the country’s progress.
The New Malays generally perceive UMNO of today as corrupted to the core and that it is less prudent and  accountable  in the management of the country. They cannot be blamed for this view. There is obviously lack of transparency in big government projects in negotiated tenders awarded to those closely connected to those in power. The New Malays feel that the country must do away with the present corrupt and obscure policies that only benefit a few select cronies at the expense of other competent and deserving Malaysians.
Huge sums of money have been wasted by giving multi-million ringgit projects to those who have no experience in the trade. Money spent or taken as loans from the government end up as sub-serviced or non-performing loans. In many cases in the past, these companies  had to be bailed out by the government using money from national resources and taxpayers. Individuals who initially secured the projects would conveniently enrich themselves, never mind if their companies were in the red.
Malays have left the country
Malays are not only leaving UMNO in droves but also the country for greener pastures. Over 3 million Malaysians have left the country for a better life within the past 6 decades and this includes ethnic Malays, It was reported that in 2007, 140,000 professionals of all races emigrated and the figure doubled to more than 300,000 the following year. The flight of the country’s cream of the crop among Malays and non-Malays would continue if UMNO continues to play the race card for their self-made failed policies and keeps using the Chinese threat to frighten the Malays. Those who leave are the talented ones  who are seeking a better space to ensure a better life for them and their future generations.
The New Malays feel that UMNO has failed to change the feudal mindset of the Malay race despite the many years of independence. When they see UMNO using race and religion and also the royalty to remain in power they know that UMNO will never make sincere efforts to change the mindset of the Malays. UMNO has made Malays stay inferior and fear of competing with other races. UMNO seems not to believe that Malays can compete with other races and this has made the Malay race lagging behind the Chinese economically and their mindset remaining static and weak.
Many successful and enlightened Malays have left the country and to attract back these talents is not going to be easy. UMNO’s ethnic-based policies also have deterred many competent non-Malays from coming back home. With UMNO’s policy of favouring a single race many local-based industries and entrepreneurs are moving out to other developing countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and China to invest.
The country indubitably cannot be turned into a high-income nation with the exodus of too many local talents. Besides, UMNO-led BN is not perceived by New Malays as pursuing a clean, fair economic policies to ensure that it can attract sufficient talents to transform the country into a high-income nation. UMNO seems not the least bothered about the loss of talents to other countries. Their prime concern is, as long as they can take in the majority Malays and remain in power they are pleased.
Children must learn to mix
The New Malay race believe in their true abilities, unlike some despondent Malay leaders who keep on branding the Malay race as weak and having a static mindset.  It is not surprising that an UMNO leader who helmed the country for 22 years had himself claimed that he had failed to change the mindset of the Malays. Was it deliberately done to lull the Malays or he was not competent enough as a leader to change the mindset of the Malays? The home-grown new Malays are those who are willing to stand on their feet, have friends and work together with the other races trusting each other. They have faith that Malays and non-Malays can work together to bring the best out of them for the country. They find that UMNO is not their platform to achieve their goals. Many disillusioned with UMNO are leaving the party to join DAP and other alternative parties.
They believe that just policies for all the races will lead to high-income status for the country. They believe that schools and colleges must not be created for a single race but for a multi-racial community. Their children must learn to mix with all the races in the country to help understand each other better. They have to grow up not to hate other races or religions but abhor injustice and corruption in the country. The New Malays realise that injustice, unbridled corruption and abuse of power are destroying the country – not the Chinese, Opposition or faith of Christianity.
UMNO has failed to wipe out poverty despite the many years in power. More than 60 percent of this ethnic group are still in the poor category. But then the New Malays see that poverty is not only confined to a single race. They have seen how poor Indians, Chinese and the Indigenous are suffering in life without any decent income, shelter and proper education. Thus they feel that government policies should not favour a single race.
The trademark of NEP
The more UMNO tells the people that DAP is not for the Malays the more inquisitive the Malays would become. The New Malays sees DAP as a political party from entirely a different perspective. They are educated and well exposed to the media. They can differentiate between a party or government that does not subscribe to competency, accountability and transparency and that which does.  The majority of the Malays have come to realise that UMNO is not a political party that they wish to be part of. They sense that it is a party shrouded with a lot of hidden agenda. Despite 40 years of having the NEP only a handful of Malays have got out of the cycle of poverty. The NEP has actually created many rich cronies who were associated to those in power when the poor have been marginalised.
Ali Baba business has always been the trade mark of the NEP. Those with connections at the top were given huge government projects through negotiated tenders. And most of these projects were later sub-contracted down the line while the favoured party who first obtained the project make clean profits with no sweat.  Many of those who had won projects were known to have abused the privilege by spending on luxuries instead of getting their projects completed. Despite the UMNO-led government realising this failure they keep on practicing the same ‘art of business’ in the name of NEP.
Many huge projects through negotiated tenders – not open tenders –  had failed  in the past and had to be bailed out. Elements of corruption cannot be ruled out in any negotiated tenders. The culture that bred corruption began 30 years ago and it has trickled down to the present time. Many of these projects when handed out enriched many individual contractors when the companies they handled flopped. The New Malays thus see no virtues in UMNO’s brand of governance. Unlike the state of Penang under the DAP-led Pakatan government, UMNO-led BN government has underrated the ability of genuine Malay contractors, as in many cases in the past contracts procured by dubious contractors or companies were abandoned, sold off or passed on to others for immediate profits.
Failed government projects were known to have been bailed out using taxpayers’ hard-earned money. Ironically,  some blacklisted companies were again given projects on the platter to see them repeating the same ‘art of doing business’. In this process, the rich and the well-connected have become richer.
Despite all the excitement on the NEP, ethnic Malays – 60 percent of them – have remained poor until today. And many of those enriched by UMNO have left the country after conning the government. The New Malays are aware that the Chinese are not a threat to the Malays but the real threat comes from within the race itself.  They are aware that many of the critical economic sectors like oil and gas, plantations, transport, ports, insurance, banking, banking, highway infrastructure and tolls, telecommunication, government universities, foods monopoly are all dominated by the Malay community. Their concern is not on who owns them but on the efficiency of all these economies for a better Malaysia.
Better progress
For instance, when they see RM250 million National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) where money meant for rearing cows is used instead to purchase luxury condos, they see something amiss in the system of governance here. When SIA (Singapore Airlines Limited) could make huge profits, they want to know why Malaysian Airlines (MAS) is forever losing money. In 2010, Singapore Airlines – coming from a tiny island – was announced by the International Air Transport Association as the world's second largest airline in the world by market capitalisation with a worth of 14 billion US dollars. Where does MAS stand in this category?
The New Malays are concerned that Tenaga Nasional Berhad – a Government Linked Company (GLC) – is not able to make money of late and keep on seeking tariff increase despite their monopoly and being the single entity to power distribution in the country. Why must tolls still be collected when the companies entrusted to build the highways and collect tolls have made billions far exceeding the costs of building the infrastructure?  Bridges are still highly tolled despite the authority having recovered the costs of building them. The New Malays also perceive that there is a lot of hanky-panky in the procurement of defence equipment for the country. They feel that a lot of matters are hidden from the people. They are now seeking a government that emphasises more on integrity in the management and the delivery system of all government bodies, government-related companies and other related entities.
It is not surprising then the New Malays are resorting to DAP to bring better governance to the country. DAP today is fast becoming popular among the Malays and other races. If truth be told, it’s the fear of losing power  and Malay support that UMNO is demonising DAP.
Fast achieving its goals
Pakatan government under DAP in Penang has proven what integrity means in management. There are no elements of corruption and abuse of power in governance and delivery system. The four years of Pakatan rule in Penang has seen all round success. Policies and implementations are transparent and the state government entertains no political cables to win projects. Many genuine and capable Malay contractors with no party affiliation have won projects in the state.
No Ali Baba business or sub-contracting by cronies to make easy money is entertained by the DAP-led Pakatan government. Bribery is no more a business culture in the state. The New Malays are convinced by DAP’s sincerity and they have no qualms to being part of this team  to see a fair and honest administration in the country.
When UMNO and Perkasa are good at rhetoric (menang sorak), DAP is fast achieving its goals and objectives of building a state worth replicating by the other states. Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan have equally proved to be successful within a shot span of four years under competent and honest leadership. The New Malays feel that instead of demonising DAP and its leaders, UMNO should emulate the exemplary performances of the state of Penang. Penang has been internationally acknowledged as the best state governed in the country since 2008 by a team of politicians who are competent, accountable and transparent.
Penang has earned the admiration of national and international business conglomerates when the CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency) Governance of Penang was praised for the anti-corruption efforts by Transparency International 2010. When abuse, wastage and corruption have tarnished the image of some other states under UMNO-led BN, the Auditor-General’s Reports for the past three years have described Penang as the best financially managed state in the country.
The success is due to the state’s prudent management of public funds. The state has benefited by eliminating waste, corruption  and implementing open tenders. The state has shown what better things could be done if the government eliminates waste and if there is open tender.
Since the new government took over in 2008, Penang Development Corporation (PDC) had issued 23 tender awards, of which 7 (30 percent) were won by non-Malay contractors and 16 (70 percent) were won by Malay contractors. Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang (PBAPP) had issued 66 tender awards of which 22 (33 percent) were won by non-Malay contractors as compared to 44 (67 percent) by Malay contractors.
The performance by Malay contractors in an open tender system with non-Malays proves that Malay contractors could compete with others and win tender awards on their own merit. Ethnic Malays could do it if given the path to compete in all sectors. Seemingly, it is not the race that is an issue here but the failed policies of UMNO-led BN government that keep on perpetuating a dependency system to help UMNO-BN maintain the status quo and its clutch on power that have deprived the Malays compete fairly with the other races.
Prudence and transparency in governance
Penang under DAP has been the first state in the country to eradicate abject poverty among its people. There is genuine multi-racialism in the state where every citizen feels that he or she is not discriminated against. It is not the policy of the DAP-led Penang government to discriminate against any race or religion. It’s fair treatment for all races.
Prudence and transparency in governance have made it possible for the state to help the people. When the Gerakan government allocated a mere RM12 million for the Penang Islamic Council, the DAP-led Pakatan government managed to provide RM62 million just within four years’ of their governance.
In fact, the problems faced by the Malays in Penang existed long before Pakatan took over the state in 2008. Penang was under Alliance and BN rule for 51 years. Nothing much was done to bring glory to the Malay race in the state. Give 10 years to Pakatan under DAP and the Malays in Penang will see their dreams of a better life fulfilled. What more if the whole country is governed by Pakatan. Matters at the state level could then be accomplished very much faster without any political bickering or prejudice.
What UMNO and BN have promised the people for 54 years could be done within 4 years by DAP-led Pakatan in Penang. This achievement is equally convincing in the state of Selangor under the competent leadership of the incumbent Menteri Besar with his team of DAP, PKR and PAS lawmakers. Thus, there is no convincing reason why Malays have to turn away from DAP.
Malaysia Chronicle

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