[Politics] Quick Updates

PS: PLEASE VOTE FOR MY REDISCOVER THE WONDERS OF MILK ENTRY HERE! In case you’re wondering, the main prize’s an Asus eeePC 1002. :D

So, will you join me to rediscover the wonders of milk?

Quick note: Apparently, the S’gor govt has been rewarding contracts to cronies, no different from BN. Can anyone point me where to look for the information on this?

Also, Zaid flames Utusan. :D

Former Umno leader and minister Zaid Ibrahim has lashed out at Malay daily Utusan Malaysia for playing up racial sentiments.

He said the articles which appeared in the daily’s Sunday edition reminded him of how far removed the paper is from the reality of life in Malaysia.

“This is probably the reason why its readership is on the decline. It’s theme and main plot is race, race and race,” he added in a blog posting.

Zaid cited a particular article with the heading ‘Melayu dikhianati?’ (Malays betrayed) penned by Awang Selamat.

In the article, the former Umno leader said, the writer lamented that he is hurt by the demands, which reek of racism, of the non-Malays since the last general election.

“In other words, Malaysians must not hurt the feelings of Awang Selamat because when Awang Selamat is hurt, Umno is hurt and when Umno is hurt, the Malays are hurt.

“This is the logic of Awang Selamat,” he added.

Zaid said the writer made no mention of the ‘extreme’ demands made by the non-Malays in his article.

“If they (the non-Malays) are asking about scholarships, land allocation and employment opportunities, can’t these questions be addressed rationally and based on facts?

“Why get hurt so easily?” he asked.

Are all their demands baseless?

The former de facto law minister also questioned if all the demands of the non-Malays, whose rights are enshrined under the Federal Constitution, were baseless?

According to Awang Selamat, he said, this appears to be the case because “50 years ago Umno and the Malays were generous enough to offer citizenship to their (non-Malays) ancestors.”

“Since Umno had been gracious in according them citizenship, their descendants should never make any demands because they must always be grateful to Umno,” he added.

Zaid pointed out that this is the exact mindset which is no longer viable and has been rejected by all races.

When a citizen, be it a Malay, Chinese or Indian, asks for something, he said it is the duty of the government and the media to evaluate it in order to grant the request.

“If the demand is excessive, explain but don’t raise history to cover up shortcomings. Do not get angry always, threaten and dish out pieces of incomplete history for political mileage,” he said.

Zaid also reminded that the country obtained independence because the British agreed with the alliance on the terms. “When we agree, we must honour the agreement,” he said.

In view of this, he said there was no reason to state that “we were being generous in granting citizenship to the Chinese and Indians.”

“The fact is, that is the term we agreed to. At the time, it was impossible for the British to relinquish Malaya if the issue of citizenship for Chinese and Indians was not resolved.

“The British were strict on this issue and Umno agreed. That is the price which the Alliance accepted with an open heart. Does Utusan have different historical facts?” he added.

Zaid said even if one went by the perception that Umno was generous in giving citizenship to non-Malays, there is still no room for Awang Selamat’s ‘feudalist mindset’ in a modern nation.

Those with ‘blind hearts’

Meanwhile, he said another article by senior writer Zulkiflee Bakar had advised Utusan readers not to be ‘historically blind’.

“I suppose Malays like myself are historically blind. But history is not difficult to learn and I am interested in knowing more.

“However, the most unfortunate people are those whose hearts are blind. When our hearts are blind, no amount of facts or knowledge can fill the void,” he added.

Zaid said instead of stoking racial sentiments, Utusan should help the prime minister find ways to develop the economy via pragmatic and just policies.

“To Utusan, the Malays fail because of the Chinese and Indians. Wake up Utusan, non-Malays and Malays themselves can tell the difference between the Malay race and Umno, they know that when an Umno policy is criticised, it is not challenging the Malays but Umno.

“Much effort is being put into creating friction between the Malays and Chinese. Believe me, racial flames will not burn as brightly as before,” he said.

“The Malay mindset has changed. They know the challenges that lie ahead in the world and the changes which they must make. Only Utusan has not realised this,” he added.