Stop fooling Malays with racial sentiments, Zuraida tells Shahrizat

Ida Lim, The Malaysian Insider

PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin has told her Umno counterpart Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to stop fooling Malays with racial sentiments.

“Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil should not play with politics of racial sentiment because it is not in line with the 1 Malaysia concept that is dilaung-laungkan (raised) by Prime Minister (Datuk Seri) Najib Razak,” Zuraida said in a statement.

Najib is also chairman of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and president of its mainstay party Umno.

Zuraida said Malaysians have long lived in unity, but claimed that political foe Umno has been playing dirty politics.

“Just look at Perkasa which frequently makes various racial and religious provocations that have caused all sorts of negative reactions towards non-Malay voters,” she said, referring to the Malay right-wing group that is seen to have close ties with Umno.

“Why would Malays be sidelined if they lose political power? After over 50 years of Umno in power as the government, is that not enough time to bring up the living standards of the Malays?”

Zuraida claimed that the Malays who have helped economically by the government were the family members and cronies of Umno politicians, while the people only got leftovers.

She also pointed to the alleged involvement of Umno members in bribery scandals as a reason for the people losing confidence in the party’s ability to fight for their rights.

“So I want to remind Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to stop the shallow politics of fooling Malays with racial sentiments because the people are not stupid and can judge between diamond and glass.”

The Malaysian Insider had reported on Wednesday that Shahrizat raised the May 13 riots during the opening of the Wanita Umno general assembly here to encourage delegates to work harder for Umno’s victory.

She told nearly 1,000 delegates at the PWTC that a weak Umno would spread uneasiness among the Malay community and possibly invite the same racial conflict that caused the bloodshed during the 1969 tragedy.

“Do we want to have such a terrible situation repeated in our country? Of course we do not,” she had said, according to the text copy of her opening address to those gathered at Dewan Merdeka here.

Shahrizat said Umno must overcome five key challenges to strengthen itself ahead of the coming polls, including fighting off its foes in PAS, attracting more young voters and ensuring that the Malays continue to hold political power.

“If we no longer have power, then the country’s political stability will be affected.

“I fear that this could lead to a racial tension that could invite the same tragedy of May 13, 1969,” she said.

The upcoming 13th general election is expected to be a closely-fought battle between BN and PR when the federal mandate ends by next April.