Posted: 20 May 2013 08:11 PM PDT
Instead of a "national reconciliation" pronounced by the Prime Minister on the night of election, what we are witnessing today is the "national aggravation" of race-relations by all UMNO and BN-related machinery, particularly the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia and Umno's team of bloggers and cyber-troopers.
The situation, with absolutely no restraint from UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself, is spiralling out of control, worsening race-relations to its lowest ebb in recent decades.
Utusan Malaysia takes a completely racist position when defending UMNO over BN's worst ever electoral performance in history, placing the blame squarely and entirely on the Chinese community. The newspaper kicked off its tirade with the inflammatory headline "Apa lagi Cina mau?". It has since on a daily basis, inundated its readers with racist quotes from UMNO and NGO leaders chiding the Chinese for being ingrates such as the quote from Dr Mahathir who claimed that "the Chinese has rejected the Malays' hand of friendship".
Utusan Malaysia has gone one to attack the CEO of AirAsiaX, Azran Othman who had gone on record to say "I am Malaysian. I am anti-racism. I am disgusted by Utusan's editorial stance." Utusan Malaysia now accuses Azran of being "anti-Malay", "having forgotten his roots" and an ingrate towards presumably Umno and Utusan, for contributing for his achievements today. It has become shocking how those who stand against racism are being vilified in the mainstream media owned by Umno and Barisan Nasional.
Now the Umno-owned media are playing up the call to boycott "Chinese-owned" goods and services by Umno bloggers, cyber-troopers and Umno-linked NGOs. Muslim Consumers Association Malaysia (PPIM) for example, had recently called for consumers to boycott or at the very least buy goods sold by Chinese companies last.
While the new Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Minister, Datuk Hasan Malek has stated that the Government will not endorse such a call, he has at the same time said that it is these organisations' right to make the boycott call as it is a free country. Such a lame response to a racist attempt to divide the nation certainly leaves much to be desired. It is certainly true that people can choose to be racist, but it is the moral duty of the Government to demonstrate leadership by discouraging and rebuking such racist actions and causes.
Pakatan Rakyat call upon all Malaysians to not only frown upon racist calls – whether to boycott "Chinese" goods, or to discriminate against "Malay" companies – but to stand up against racism because regardless of whether the goods were produced by Chinese or Malays or Indians, we are all Malaysians.
Unlike the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who likes to keep his "elegant silence", Pakatan Rakyat leaders will not hesitate to condemn attempts to divide the country through racism or religious bigotry. We have proven that in the recently concluded General Election, Malaysians of all races have increased their support for Pakatan Rakyat, and not only the Chinese and we have called for the results not to be racialised.
Hence we call upon the Prime Minister to demonstrate his sincerity in "1Malaysia" by breaking his silence and condemn the racist developments in the country before his reign becomes recorded in history as the one which caused Malaysians to be the most racially divided.
Posted: 19 May 2013 11:05 PM PDT
In the interest of Selangorians, Datuk Seri Najib Razak must now instruct the new Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, Datuk Maximus Ongkili to immediately press for the return of the water concessions to the Selangor state government
The battle for Selangor in the last General Election was fought on one crucial platform – the control of water in the state.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak who personally headed the BN machinery in Selangor campaigned vigourously in the state for the people to return BN into government to "solve Selangor's water crisis".
Pakatan Rakyat, led by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim offered his vision for water services in Selangor where the control is returned to the state government, the rights to water to her people. Pakatan Rakyat has argued vehemently that essential services such as the provision of water should not be conceded to private companies which the sole interest of maximising profits.
We can see the consequences reflected in Subang Jaya today where the residents have been suffering for the 4th day now without water supply due to Syabas incompetence and lack of maintenance. In the water concession agreement, the obligation of maintaining the treated water reservoirs, as well as replacing broken and old pipes lay completely with SYABAS. Their failure to fulfil their obligations have caused repeated water shortages all over the Klang Valley over the past few months.
Despite the massive onslaught by BN led by the Prime Minister himself, the outcome of the 13th GE in Selangor has proven Najib's utter and complete failure in making any in roads in the state. Not only did Najib not manage to recapture Selangor, BN lost additional 8 seats, allowing Pakatan Rakyat to capture 44 seats and leaving BN with only 12. In terms of popular support, Pakatan Rakyat Selangor enjoyed a 4% increase in popular votes from 55.4% in 2008 to 59.4% in 2013 confirming that we have won over our doubters in 2008 with our policies and administration.
Datuk Seri Najib's defeat meant that the people of Selangor has spoken, and that they have no confidence in the BN federal government in resolving the water crisis. It is also an outright rejection of the mega-project proposed by BN, the Langat 2 water treatment plant which is expected to cost in excess of RM8 billion, inclusive of the Pahang-Selangor tunnel as well as land acquisition costs.
Instead, the rakyat have insisted in no uncertain terms, that the privatised water concessions be returned to the state government. The people of Selangor have also agreed with the state government that there are other much more effective, efficient and cheaper measures which can be taken to increase the water supply in Selangor. They can also see that the current water crisis is caused by or is manufactured by the BN Government.
Given the urgency of the water crisis in Selangor, and the appointment of a new Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili, we call upon the Prime Minister to instruct Dr Ongkili to exercise the powers vested in him under the Water Services Industry Act (WSIA) 2006 to enforce the return of the water concessions to the state government.
In fact WSIA 2006 empowers the Minister to make decisions in national interest which cannot be challenged in the court of law.
The determination of what amounts to national interest issues arising from the coming into operation of this Act shall be made by the Minister and such determination shall be final and binding upon all persons and shall not be challenged, appealed against, reviewed, quashed or questioned in any court.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak must accept the will of the people of Selangor to have the water concession returned to the state government. The failure to do so will mean that the Prime Minister is once again snubbing the needs and demands of the people, making a plain joke of his "people first" slogan.
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