Vice-President Dato Simon Lim Seng Chai on Dato' Seri Azmin Ali's Statement on the Bumiputera Agenda
Tuesday, March 05, 2019
We are deeply concerned over the posturing by Economics Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali following the conclusion of the Semenyih by-election. Barely hours after the polls results were announced on Saturday night, Azmin had issued a media statement calling for the Bumiputera agenda to be fulfilled "without feeling apologetic or fearful".

The tone of Azmin's message and the speed at which it was issued raises the prospects that the upcoming Rantau by-election will see heightened posturing of this sort. This is unsettling considering Azmin's Ministry oversees massive public funds involving the country's economic well-being.

Political leaders should avoid knee-jerk reaction over the results of by-elections. Instead, they should focus on long-term national interests. There is no room for narrow communal posturing that harms the fabric that holds this diverse nation together.

The current Federal government swept to power last May on the promise of being a government for all. Pillar 5 of the PH Manifesto pledges to "Create a Malaysia that is inclusive, moderate and respected globally". It had also pledged to "implement  policies  and programmes  that  unite  the  nation  and  create  an  inclusive  society  and maintain  the  harmony  of  multi-racial  and  multi  religious  Malaysia."

The current administration should stick to the letter and spirit of the promise. It should also learn from the mistakes of its predecessor whose overt racial and religious pandering was a put-off to voters, resulting in the coalition getting the boot in the last general election.

Voters, especially minorities, who bought into PH's pledge for reforms are increasingly frustrated and disappointed by the ruling coalition's pandering to right-wing groups bent on dividing Malaysians.


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