Pakatan woos Penang Malays amid polls talk

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

With snap polls looming, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders are wooing Malays in Penang and trying to assure them the state government has not sidelined them in favour of other races.

PR leaders present here during a rally last night went through great pains to convey administration’s positive steps in taking care of Malays in the state, and instead blamed Umno for painting a “false” picture of the community’s so-called plight in Penang.

“We are confident in the abilities’ of Malays. In fact 90 per cent of the positions within JKR are held by Malays. It is just Umno that is spinning this issue because they cannot accept the fact that the Penang government is not anti-Malay,” said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

The Bagan MP said that Barisan Nasional (BN) had begun fresh attacks against his state administration, this time zeroing in on land issues in Teluk Kumbar, Penang.

“With regards to Teluk Kumbar, Umno has attacked me saying that I had given out land to non-Malays. After I explained that I had indeed gave out land to deserving Malays, MCA started its attacks on me, claiming that I did not look after the Chinese.

“How can I be anti-Malay and anti-Chinese at the same time? PR is not anti-Malay, Chinese or Indian, just anti-BN,” said Lim.

Last night, PR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also appeared to hit out at Umno-linked religious scholars for accusing him of souring ties between the different races in the country.

“Some religious figures have accused me of spreading racial discord. Well, I am proud to be Malay, but at the same time I am not arrogant about it.

“You can have all the power in the world, but when you die, you’ll be buried the same way- underground,” Anwar told the rally attendees last night.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang claimed that the difficulties faced by Malays now — especially in Penang — were caused by BN, not PR.

“The predicament faced by Malays in Penang is not because of mistakes by either PAS, DAP or PKR. It’s the mistakes of the likes of Umno, MCA and Gerakan who ruled for more than 50 years. Under their rule, Umno got more contracts.

“If you look at it, Pakatan defends Bumiputera rights as they are guaranteed under the constitution, and they are also the majority of the country. But at the same time we won’t sideline the Chinese or the Indians,” said Hadi.