Trailblazers from the south?
COMMENTPakatan Rakyat clearly intends to put up a tough fight in the 13th general election and has sent two of its most experienced war generals to the south (Johor) to launch an offensive from that flank, namely Salahuddin Ayub, one of the PAS vice-presidents, and DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang.
Kit Siang will be contesting for the parliamentary seat of Gelang Patah which has two state seats: Skudai and Nusajaya.
Salahuddin will be contesting in the state seat of Nusajaya and the parliamentary seat of Pulai.
Therefore as the location of Salahuddin’s state seat is in Kit Siang’s parliamentary constituency, both are now working hand-in-hand to conduct meet-the-people sessions.
Although these two Pakatan candidates may seem to be like “parachuted” candidates, in reality they are not so as both of them were born in Johor.
Barisan Nasional leaders, realising that these two men are heavyweights, have now sent former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to fend off Pakatan’s southern attack.
Mahathir’s statement, asking voters to bury Kit Siang’s career in Johor, is not a nice statement and is very offensive. This may cause BN to lose votes.
Another statement by Mahathir that there may not be peace if Kit Siang wins is also a bad statement and even PAS leaders are irked by it and have come out to say that if anything untoward were to happen, it is purely Mahathir’s fault.
PAS is brave enough to tell off Mahathir and thus Mahathir must wake up to the fact that this is 2013 and therefore the old methods can no longer be used.
Mahathir had written in his blog:
“Apabila Kit Siang memutuskan untuk bertanding kerusi majoriti Cina di Gelang Patah, ia adalah disebabkan beliau mahu orang-orang Cina di situ dan di Johor menolak untuk bekerjasama dan berkongsi dengan orang-orang Melayu.
“Kontroversi kaum yang tidak sihat akan menggantikan kerjasama Cina-Melayu yang menyebabkan Malaysia stabil dan makmur. Kerjasama itu akan berakhir jika Kit Siang menang di Gelang Patah.”
Said Salahuddin, “If there is a repeat of the incidents of 1969, it is Mahathir who had lit the spark. Mahathir is clearly against racial harmony and unity by saying that there will be ‘incidents’ if Lim Kit Siang wins Gelang Patah. This shows that sowing racial discord is Umno’s weapon to face the increasingly intelligent electorate.”
Salahuddin noted that Mahathir is still using the ancient methods of fear-mongering and is indirectly trying to create racial strife to destroy the nation.
“Although Mahathir tries to be indirect so that his writing does not seem seditious, the more he tries to conceal it, the more obvious his intention becomes. I do not want to say that his writing is from the rotten core but Mahathir himself has once said that Umno is rotten to the core,” said Salahuddin.
Hoping for a new era
It has to be said that Pakatan has worked hard to foster racial unity after the 2008 general election while BN is hellbent on destroying it.
Salahuddin stressed that he is sure there will not be any problems if Kit Siang wins in Gelang Patah because Malaysians now want to see a new era of racial harmony and co-operation.
On his part, Kit Siang had referred to the voters in Gelang Patah as Malaysian voters instead of “Malay voters”, “Chinese voters” or “Indian voters”.
PAS vice-president, Mahfuz Omar, pledged that PAS will take care of the safety of all races regardless of their ethnic origin.
Mahfuz also slammed Mahathir for stirring up racial sentiments and urged Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail to take legal action against Mahathir by using the Sedition Act.
“If the Attorney-General refuses to act against Mahathir, then it will amount to condoning Mahathir’s action if there is racial strife. This is clear evidence that Mahathir is living in fear of the 13th general election. He is afraid for his children and therefore he is spreading his fear like a virus to the citizens,” said Mahfuz.
Mahfuz stressed that if there is a change of government, the Federal Constitution will still remain the same and therefore there is nothing for Mahathir and his children to be afraid of if they have been good, law-abiding citizens.
Recalling the incident of May 13, 1969, Mahfuz said that the moment race riots broke out in Kuala Lumpur, Kelantan menteri besar at that time, Asri Muda, had immediately called the community leaders for a meeting at the menteri besar’s residence in Kelantan and issued a warning that if any harm had befallen any Chinese anywhere in Kelantan, he would hold the penghulu of that place responsible.
Asri had also gave an assurance to the Chinese representative at the meeting, Chua Say Paw, that no harm would come to the Chinese in Kelantan.
Now we know who are the real planners of the 1969 chaos.
Therefore the time has come to bury the vicious zombie of May 13. It is time to usher in a new era by choosing wisely at the ballot box.
This we must do for ourselves and for our future generations and, most of all, for this nation so that Malaysia can realise its full potential by being one of the best places to live in in this world.
Selena Tay is a DAP member and a FMT columnist.