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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Matthias Chang defends Kit Siang, slams Umno "numbskulls"

By Matthias Chang | Malaysia Chronical

Utusan Malaysia accused DAP advisor, Lim Kit Siang as having once served as the press secretary to former Singapore prime minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and because of this background, Singapore will use DAP as the means to achieve her political objectives for Peninsula Malaysia.

Wow! This is indeed a serious accusation.

But, if one is to look at the facts objectively, the accusation by Utusan Malaysia is not only mischievous, but downright stupid. It is gutter politics.

If truth be told, UMNO politicians (including the rank and file) hold the view that the Chinese being immigrants were very fortunate to be given citizen rights when UK granted independence to Malaya. It was a huge concession by UMNO leaders. It was a political deal entered between UMNO and the MCA. And, the Chinese must forever be grateful to UMNO.

This is the “truth” and “reality” which UMNO insists must be accepted by one and all. I have no wish to enter into the polemics of this divisive issue, but suffice to say that Utusan Malaysia and UMNO politicians must explain to their followers and the larger Malay community why in spite of their aversion to the Chinese in Malaysia (a so-called potential Trojan Horse of the Singaporeans and as alleged against Lim Kit Siang), they are in awe of the former prime minister of Singapore, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew?

I refer to the visits by Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and the red carpet treatment accorded to him. Other foreign leaders, such as Margaret Thatcher were treated with less, much less pomp and ceremonies. But, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew was given every opportunity to lecture to our leaders and even our “first lady” was given a special audience with this Chinese leader. Our intellectuals in leading Think Tanks were only too eager to absorb his wisdom on statecraft, economic theories and geopolitical analysis. Future prime ministers would do well to pay Mr. Lee Kuan Yew a visit to legitimise his standing as the future leader able to stand on par with this ivory-skin Englishman.

UMNO political and business wheeler-dealers never cease in their efforts to seduce and lure Singapore businessmen to invest in Malaysia. We need not look further than the multi-billion Iskandar project in Johore. Its success hinges largely on Singapore and her investments in the region. The mass media is replete with editorials, articles and pictures depicting the so-called close ties which our leaders have with their counter-parts in Singapore.

And this is the irony. The majority of the citizens in Singapore are Chinese and historically, most of the Chinese in Singapore were from peninsula Malaya. The same holds true for the Malays and the Indians in Singapore. Singaporeans will tell any visitor that they have relatives in Malaysia. Singapore was in fact owned by the Sultan of Johore until the British Colonialists carved it out as a separate political entity.

The Johore State government is sparing no efforts to ensure that Singaporeans can invest in Iskandar and to buy up the residential properties which cost much less than similar properties in Singapore.

Are we not allowing Singapore Chinese (who are not citizens and who pay no income tax) to enjoy almost all the benefits of citizenship without the responsibility as such?

How is it that Utusan Malaysia and UMNO politicians do not consider this huge influx of Singaporeans a national threat, but accuse Lim Kit Siang as the threat when he is the elected representative in Malaysia’s Parliament and one time Leader of the Opposition in that august house?

How is it that Utusan Malaysia and UMNO politicians condone (with the exception of Tun Mahathir) the sale of sand to Singapore thereby assisting in the territorial expansion of Singapore to the detriment of Malaysia’s coastline and territorial waters?

How is it that Utusan Malaysia and UMNO politicians did not make a hue and cry when Tan Sri Hassan Merican, the brilliant President and CEO of Petronas was booted out and thereafter sought greener pastures in Singapore, selling his expertise to Singapore? Why has there been no condemnation by Utusan Malaysia against Tan Sri Hassan Merican?

How is it that the Barisan Nasional government led by UMNO is willing to sell water to Singapore at pre-World War I prices notwithstanding the objections of Tun Mahathir Mohamad?

The silence of Utusan Malaysia on the above issues is deafening and yet it has the audacity to accuse a loyal son of Malaysia for undermining the country in collusion with Singapore. While I may not support DAP as a political party, I have no reason to doubt his loyalty to the country for which he has made huge personal sacrifices, to be incarcerated under the Internal Security Act for his political beliefs.

I wonder how many scribes of the Utusan Malaysia are willing to make similar sacrifices!

And adding insult to injury, the intellectually bankrupt editorial scribe “Awang Selamat” has the audacity to accuse Lim Guan Eng, the present Chief Minister of Penang of participating in the infamous May 13 racial riots when at the material time, he was only a little boy of eight. This shows that Utusan Malaysia is a fascist mouth piece of the tiny moribund of UMNO leaders who are being confronted with the nightmare that they might lose power after the 13th General Election.

If truth be told, it is these fascist scribes that will be the downfall of UMNO and Barisan Nasional. They reflect the worst of UMNO and not its best. There are good people in UMNO and the Barisan Nasional, but unfortunately they lack the courage of their convictions to condemn these political faggots. Their sins are the sins of omissions and they bear a greater responsibility for the demise of the Barisan Nasional for they could have put an end to this kind of gutter politics but they chose to remain silent.

A final parting shot to these numbskulls.

Recently, the Barisan Nasional controlled mass media made a hue and cry regarding the alleged Letter of Support (Surat Sokong) issued by the political secretary of the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Selangor as evidence of corruption.

A Letter of Support is not a letter of approval or even a recommendation. It is an invitation to the relevant authority to consider the application if there are merits. If indeed such letters are acts of corruption, then Barisan Nasional must be indicted first and foremost for the numerous surat sokong that they have issued over the years. It is prevalent in all Barisan Nasional administrations, at both Federal and State levels. Lest our memories fail us, there used to be a joke that the fifth prime minister was so accommodative in issuing such surat sokong, that for every project that he has approved there would be more than ten such surat sokong to ten different personalities and or corporate entities.

So be careful, for this allegation against Pakatan Rakyat may just boomerang against Barisan Nasional for the Opposition will have abundant opportunities to distribute thousands of such letters issued by State Assemblymen, Members of Parliament, Menteri Besar (Chief Ministers), Political Secretaries, Ministers and Prime Ministers, past and present.

There is another millstone around the necks of Barisan Nasional Ministers.

The best whistle-blowers are not civil servants, but those businessmen who have lost out on tenders to unscrupulous rivals who failed to qualify and only got the job because of political affiliations.

When RM billions are at stake and RM millions spent to submit a tender, rest assured that those who succeeded by underhand tactics will pay a heavy price. Need I say more?

Barisan Nasional Ministers are forewarned.

Matthias Chang is the ex special political secretary to former PM Mahathir Mohamad

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