Third vote could lead to another May 13, Hadi tells DAP

Hadi Awang

(Malay Mail Online) – Local elections that DAP is pushing for could worsen racial inequality in Chinese-dominated urban areas and lead to discontent that may fuel  a repeat of the May 13 race riots, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today.

In the party’s latest swipe against DAP that it accused of unilaterally pushing for the so-called third vote, Hadi also said the PAS ally in the Pakatan Rakyat pact was only pandering to voters in towns and cities that form the bedrock of its support.

“We cannot only consider political victory and the economic domination of one party in a mixed society,” he said in a statement posted on the website of party mouthpiece, Harakah.

“We should not propose something that could trigger instability, widen the rural-urban gap, and most frightening of all, this tension could lead to burning discontent that may cause a repeat of the May 13 incident that must be considered a black mark in the country’s history.”

Hadi cited as example local authorities in two unspecified Selangor areas, one urban and Chinese-dominated while the other rural and of another race, claiming that the former was allocated RM250 million while just RM50 million was given to the other.

He said that the administration of cities must take into account the needs of the various races, despite the Chinese majorities, and that DAP was making a mistake in seeking to restore local council elections.

Hadi then said policy proposals must consider the needs of all facets of society, including the Malays in the villages, the Indians in the estates, and the Orang Asli in remote regions who do not enjoy the fruits of urban development.

PAS has accused DAP of acting unilaterally in seeking to restore local council elections, in apparent retaliation to its PR ally’s vehement attacks over the Islamist party’s ambition of implementing Islamic criminal law in Kelantan.

PAS is facing heavy fire from DAP for its insistence on enforce hudud in Kelantan, a controversial move the secular party says could be the “last straw” to break the young opposition coalition.

In August last year, the Federal Court decided that DAP-ruled Penang may not hold local council elections.

Local council elections used to be held in the country where Malaysians get to elect their local councillors between the 1951 and 1965.

The local council elections were suspended in 1965 because of the Indonesian Confrontation and the then-prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had promised the Dewan Rakyat that local elections would be restored once the Confrontation was over.

The Confrontation ended in 1966 but local government elections were never restored.

Hundreds of Malaysians are believed to have died during the May 13, 1969 clashes between the Malay and Chinese communities. Although ostensibly triggered by the results of Election 1969, it was rooted in ethnic tensions between the two communities.