Penang is the first to set up government so obviously, it's doing a lot of trailblazing into a virgin territory of sorts. I find it impressive that Lim Guan Eng has set out to clean up his state immediately without sticking around to play PR games.
Obviously the Abdullah administration doesn't like it. So what does the head honcho do? Well, stoke flames of course. Try and incite racial tensions by implying Guan Eng is infringing on minority rights.
Let's dissect the news report of his lame rhetoric:
PUTRAJAYA: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was warned by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi not to make statements that could stoke racial tensions.
Lim, after his swearing-in as the new Penang Chief Minister on Tuesday, told reporters that the DAP-led state government would not practise the New Economic Policy (NEP).
Lim had also said that the NEP, which was introduced in 1971 after the May 13, 1969, racial riots to eradicate poverty and restructure society, was the source of “cronyism, corruption and inefficiency.”
I couldn't agree more. About time we stopped fooling ourselves that it has eradicated (or even come close to it) poverty.
Abdullah told Bernama in between meetings with top civil servants at his office here that the NEP had in fact benefited everyone.
“I would like to ask the DAP which community has been made poorer because of the NEP,” he said.
A very good question, Abdullah, which I can answer. The Malay community, of course. They have systematically been denied of equal education as the non-Malays by allowing them into sub-standard ones like matriculation instead of STPM.
This has created a domino effect, where they are forced to enter Malay dominated fields, such as government service or join the police, army, navy, air force, customs department, etc., where the salaries are very low.
Those who have managed to break into multi-national corporations are paid lower than their non-Malay counterparts because their skills are lacking and sometimes their command of the English language is left wanting.
Most are aware that they're not competent enough and have low self esteem. This kind of psychological distress is unnecessary.
Believe me, the NEP has done much more harm than good.
“The (Penang) state government must not try to create an atmosphere which can cause racial tensions,” warned Abdullah, who is also head of Penang Umno.
He also said that the new state government in Penang should not marginalise the Malays, who are the minority in the state, and other minority groups like the Indians.
“Do not marginalise the Malays. I want to ask Lim Guan Eng what his plans are for the Malays in Penang? What are his plans for the Indians in Penang? What are his plans for other minority groups in Penang?”
Now this is when yours truly gets royally pissed off. I have 3 words for Abdullah: GO TO HELL!!
I am warning you, Sir, do not drag the issue of Indians into this matter. The issue of Indians is the last thing on your mind unless you are intent on spraying more chemical-laced water or hurling tear gas on them for good measure.
I don't know about the Malays, but Indians would like to be treated merely as normal citizens with no additional, fringe benefits.
Indians are not retarded, so they do not need crutches and wheelchairs thrown at them under the disguise of 'help'. An equal policy, a transparent one will be enough to enable them to compete on equal footing. And they certainly do NOT need a 'special' plan based on skin colour.
The prime minister gave an assurance that the federal Government would continue to look after the lower-income groups in the state and would also continue with the special assistance programmes for the bumiputras.
Yeah sure. And pigs fly, too.
Of course, Abdullah's racist stance has obviously upset a few in Penang. However, UMNO could never be credited for being original. My personal take on that is because they ceased thinking a long time ago.
Nevertheless, a few have taken to the roads to demonstrate their protest against the non-practise of the NEP at Penang state level. Now these clowns have obviously no clue about the purpose of a protest, demonstration or rally.
BERSIH and HINDRAF took to the streets because for ages, their proposals and requests were made to deaf ears. So this disorganised little social gathering that UMNO put up (with the help of a few random banners) was unnecessary because Barisan Nasional controls the freaking media, after all!!
They also forgot their memorandum. :) Ah well.
It didn't perturb the Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who appeared not to have even batted an eyelash as he took it in his stride.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.
Of course, it seems to have escaped Barisan Nasional that street protests "are not our culture".