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Date: 18 Nov 1999
[the-malaysian] The MALAYSIAN - Thursday 181199
Who will riot?
No one -- if it is up to the Barisan Alternatif. For the simple reason that the loser in such an event will be the Barisan Alternatif, not the Barisan Nasional.
Just think about it:
who controls the police? who controls the army? who can declare an emergency? who can order detentions under the ISA? Yes -- the Barisan Nasional!
So, in the event of a riot, Mahathir will order the detention of the Barisan Alternatif's leaders and activists, declare an emergency, and rule by decree!
One party, and one party only, stands to gain from a riot. That party is the Barisan Nasional.
Now why would the Barisan Alternatif want to hand itself on a platter to Mahathir and the Barisan Alternatif?
Mahathir Is Afraid Of Anwar
No, he didn't say so in so many words. But his behaviour says so.
Here is a man sitting in jail in maximum security Sg Buloh, a man who has lost a great deal of weight, is still losing weight, is losing his hair, staring at a possible 20 years jail term on top of his current 6 years, has restricted access to family and the outside world, is not even attending court any more.
Yet, this is the man who haunts Mahathir no end. He declares the man irrelevant, yet he cannot stop talking about him, piling story upon story, each more fantastic than the last, alleging all kinds of wonderful powers to him.
This is the man whom Mahathir alleges will cause a riot, with the help of foreign friends. Truly awesome. Is this going to be done through remote control and mental telepathy? Or maybe it will be via the services of an astrologer -- the same as the one who had worked out that the number 2 would be best for the Barisan Nasional?
Anyway, this is typical Mahathir, playing the same old tired litany of lies. In 1990, he alleged Tengku Razaleigh was an agent of the Pope, a traitor to the Malays, and a trojan horse for Sabah Christians. Today, of course, this agent of the Pope, traitor to the Malays and trojan horse for the Christians has been sent to conquer the Malay Muslim heartland of Kelantan.
Anwar causing riots through remote control of foreign agents? Why should Anwar want to hand Mahathir the reason he needs to strengthen his power and control?
Since Mahathir is not a fool, the only conclusion is that he is a liar!
A vote for the MCA is a vote for UMNO
Ling Liong Sik should slap his own face.
Wednesday, in Seremban, he tried to play the race and religion card again when he lied to the Chinese that a vote to the DAP is the same as a to PAS as the two parties were members of the Alternative Front.
By his own logic, a vote for the MCA is the same as a vote for UMNO. Indeed, it's worse -- a vote for the MCA is a vote for UMNO. Why? Simple -- has Ling Liong Sik or the MCA ever dared stand up to Mahathir and UMNO on anything of importance?
Take the simple matter of Chinese primary schools. It is official policy to have Chinese primary schools. So why is it always a matter of the MCA and the Gerakan having to go hat-in-hand to plead to allow schools to be moved to where the people have shifted? Why do they have to plead for additional schools when there are not enough?
If it is government policy to have Chinese primary schools, then the number and location of schools is a simple administrative matter: Locate the schools where they are needed, and build the number according to demand. Both these matters are known years in advance.
So why is it always that at every election, the MCA and Gerakan have to make a big show about how they have been able to get permission to have new schools, or for schools to be re-located to where they are needed?
If this isn't having to beg for something that the BN government has supposedly recognised as a policy and a right, then the MCA has been a beggar for so long it thinks that's the normal state of affairs.
In contrast, the Alternative Front clearly states its intention to de-politicise such matters. Since it will be BA government policy, the Alternative Front's approach is to make this matter of the location and number of schools an administrative matter, to be settled on the basis of need and demand, not political bargaining for election purposes.
This is clearly stated in the Alternative Front's manifesto: "Increase the number of mother tongue schools and upgrade their facilities according to need and demand".
Ling Liong Sik should slap his own face a second time.
In Seremban, Wednesday, he declared that the Chinese rejected the DAP as it co-operated with PAS whose ambition was to set up an Islamic nation.
Yet it was the MCA which advised Malays that if they didn't vote for UMNO, then Malay dominance would be endangered. So it is the MCA which is insisting on retaining a system of racial dominance.
PAS is not a racial party. It is a party founded on religious values. These values of morality and ethics are universal -- every religion teaches the same. One of the fundamental values of Islam, and all religions, is that there can be no distinction by race, for we are all God's creation.
This does not mean that the NEP is invalid. Remember that the NEP's original intention was to eradicate poverty and to restructure society so that we would all be more equal, not more unequal. So also, the original intention of the Constitution's provision of special privileges for bumiputera was to take account of their relative backwardness and poverty.
It is the Barisan Nasional, in particular UMNO, with the full and total support of the MCA, which has perverted the NEP and special privileges into an instrument for the rich and well-connected, into an instrument of cronyism and nepotism. It is UMNO, with the full and slavish support of the MCA, which has used the fake idea of Malay dominance to line the pockets of a select few while hoodwinking the Malays, many of whom remain poor. It is UMNO, with the MCA in tow, that has frightened the Malays into believing that without racial dominance, they would be submerged by other races.
In contrast, the Alternative Front states clearly its intention to observe closely the true intention of the NEP and special privileges.
In its manifesto, the Alternative Front clearly states: "Uphold the Malay special privileges provision in the Constitution while opposing abuses and extending affirmative action to weak and backward groups irrespective of race, social background and religion".
The Alternative Front manifesto also clearly states its intention to:
Allocate the education budget in a fair and equitable fashion, without neglecting any group; Provide more scholarships and other financial assistance on the basis of need. Another Ling Lie
Ling Liong Sik proudly proclaimed that the MCA worked closely with Umno which pursued Islamic principles, but Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) did not prevent other races from embracing the religion of their choice.
If Ling Liong Sik wants to imply that the Alternative Front and PAS will destroy freedom of religion, then he's a liar.
It is clearly stated in the Alternative Front's manifesto that it will:
Allocate land for graves and places of worship for non-Muslims on the principle of freedom of religion. This is more than what has been practised by the Barisan Nasional with the full and slavish support of the MCA. Everyone knows how difficult it is to get land and building permission for places of worship for other religions. That is the reason why many have to pray in shop-houses.
In contrast, in Kelantan, it was a PAS government that gave permission for the construction of a sleeping Buddha. And when the Mentri Besar Nik Aziz visited the main Buddhist temple near Kota Baru, it was UMNO that tried to criticise him for doing so.
The facts are clear.
The choice is yours: Carry on with the BN and beg for more schools or beg to be allowed to build a place of worship, or vote for the Alternative Front and have your legitimate rights recognised.
Yet Another Ling Lie
Ling Liong Sik has slept so long in the same bed as UMNO that he no longer remembers the difference between principles and practicalities. Ling has been a 'yes-man' for so long that he no longer knows what it means to have a difference of views while working together for a common cause.
So he makes a big deal of such differences of views and statements of principles and practicalities. Ling Liong Sik said the Alternative parties were in disarray as their leaders often differed in their views such as the statement by Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat that PAS was prepared to accept a non-Muslim from DAP as Prime Minister but PAS president Datuk Fadzil Noor was against it.
It is a matter of fact that the Constitution of Malaysia does not say that only a Malay or a Muslim can be the prime minister of the country. That is a right open to all Malaysians as a matter of principle.
However, until such time as the people of this country no longer think along racial lines, it is clearly a practical impossibility for a non-Malay to become prime minister.
Who wishes to keep the country thinking along racial lines? The Barisan Nasional or the Barisan Alternatif?
Just compare: none of the Barisan Alternatif parties are racial parties. All the major Barisan Nasional parties are racial parties. Non-Chinese cannot join the MCA. Non-Malays cannot join UMNO. Non-Indians cannot join the MIC. UMNO preaches Malay dominance (although it practices crony dominance). MCA supports UMNO in this.
In contrast, all the Barisan Alternatif parties are non-racial. PAS is founded on religious principles. KeAdilan is a multi-racial party. So also are the DAP and the PRM.
This is what the BN really fears. The rise of the Barisan Alternatif will mean the beginning of the end for the out-of-date (or not Y2K compliant) Barisan Nasional parties.
This is why they want to kill it, especially KeAdilan.
Good Numbers Don't Tell The Whole Story
Early next week, The Malaysian expects an announcement that third quarter (June to September) GDP grew by 7-8 per cent compared with the same period last year.
The Barisan Nasional and Mahathir will make a big deal of it. In fact, it will likely be announced on the same day -- November 22 -- as when the BNís foreign friends in the Dow Jones Index will reinstate the KL Stock Exchange in their indices.
Tomorrow, The Malaysian will go into a little more detail on this matter.
But we would just like to leave you with a little thought. Say you start off with 1000 chickens. Your chicken farm is hit by an epidemic, wiping out 400 of your chickens, leaving you with 600. A year later, the number of chickens grows back to 900. You can faithfully report that you have experienced a 50 per cent growth in the number of chickens compared to a year ago. But remember, you started with 1000.
In the meantime, the price of feed for your chickens has gone up. Vaccines for your chickens now cost more. You have to pay more to go attend a regional trade-show in a neighbouring country on the poultry business.
Has your chicken farm business fully recovered?
Now, while you are still trying to get back up on your feet, people elsewhere have invested in further improving their efficiency and productivity. Your farm is still the same as it was two years ago; farms elsewhere have changed. Are you on a sustainable growth path?
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