Friday, December 21, 2007

Gerakan Youth vice-chief S Paranjothy alleged today....

Gerakan rep: Umno incites racial sentiments Print E-mail
Friday, 21 December 2007, 06:51pm

©Malaysiakini (Used by permission)

In an audacious move, a notable Gerakan politician has taken Barisan Nasional coalition leader Umno to task for inciting racial sentiments among Malays to gain political mileage.

“They incite racial sentiments among their community in a petty attempt to further their political career,” Gerakan Youth vice-chief S Paranjothy alleged today.

Such attempts, he said, include taking potshots at other BN component parties which draw their support from non-Malay communities.

“Umno leaders are very found of picking on component parties and use them as their punching bag or stepping-stone to gain popularity in their community,” Paranjothy said in a hard-hitting four-page statement entitled ‘Discrimination from Womb to Tomb’.

He singled out Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussien’s keris waving and his deputy Khairy Jamaluddin’s claim that non-Malays would take advantage of a weak Umno leadership, as prime examples of racial posturing.

He also cited Khairy’s speech at the Umno general assembly last month, during which heblamed newspaper vendors for not wanting to work on Deepavali day. He made a pointed reference to the fact that the sector is predominated by Indian Malaysians.

(Each year, the print media takes a break during the major festivals. This year, Deepavali fell during the week of the Umno general assembly, and there was no publication on the day following the delivery of the presidential address.)

“Umno is fond of playing up sensitive issues among Malaysians. Statements and decisions made by Umno politicians have been (discriminatory) and contain a lot of racial slurs. So who is playing racial politics in Malaysia?... So who is causing racial disunity?” asked Paranjothy.

He warned that national unity would be elusive as long as political parties and politicians continue their communal approach towards politics.

“Politicians always feel (they) must fight for (their) own party. Since we have mostly ethnic parties, they are fighting for their ethnic group. It is difficult to achieve any kind of consensus.”

He stressed that the 14 BN component parties must consolidate into a single party in order to “end racial manipulation in politics”.

“In a multiracial party, if a politician wants to succeed, he would need to prove his ability and win support from all races, not just his own,” he explained.

‘Fourth-class citizens’

Commenting on the Nov 25 Hindraf rally, Paranjothy said the 30,000 Indians took part to express their “frustrations and anger” because the community has been “marginalised, oppressed and ignored”.

Paranjothy said Indians form the most neglected group in economic terms, as shown by key performance indicators such as tertiary education.

“(They) are treated as fourth-class citizens. Where the Indians predominate over their fellow Malaysians is mostly in prison, violent crimes, gangsterism, suicide and social ills. Government policies have failed to improve (their situation).”

On the government’s hardline stance against public demonstrations, Paranjothy said the government has practised double-standards in the issuance of police permits.

“I have participated in street demonstrations and rallies organised by Barisan Nasional Youth, spearheaded by Umno Youth, to handover a memorandum... over certain issues that had taken place (abroad) which I believe would not have benefitted Malaysia.

“Did BN Youth obtained a permit to hold the rallies or demonstrations?... Looks like the government is one-sided when it came to the issuance of permits for public gatherings. BN started this culture of street demonstrations and now others have emulated it.”

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