Kit Siang reminds Umno: more Malays in towns now

Hadi-Kit Siang-Rahman Dahlan

DAP elder scorns “twisted logic” of BN minister defending PAS president’s race remarks.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Lim Kit Siang turned his disdain today on Umno politician Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s “twisted logic” in defending PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s race-tinged opposition to local government elections.

“In fact, this is the first time anyone has claimed that the restoration of local government elections could result in another May 13 race riots,” the DAP elder said at a party dialogue session here this morning.

He said the riots were caused by “irresponsible elements” exploiting the 1969 general election results for their own ends, reinterating a call for a full investigation into the causes of the rioting.

“However, with Hadi opening the way, I will not be surprised if this will henceforth be used by reactionary Barisan Nasional leaders as an additional reason for opposing the restoration of local government elections. Malaysians are already seeing the extraordinary spectacle of the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Abdul Rahman Dahlan springing to the support of an opposition leader – with his own twisted logic,” Kit Siang said.

He dismissed their claims that local elections would see towns being dominated by the Chinese, pointing to census figures that showed 88% of large urban areas having a plurality and in most cases, a majority, of Malay residents. “Even in a place like Petaling Jaya, the Malay population (46.2%) outnumber the Chinese population (39.6%),” he said.

Going into the history of local elections in Malaysia, he pointed out that there was “a very vibrant local government democracy” in the 1950s and early 1960s – with well over 3,000 elected local councillors in 373 local authorities before local elections were suspended on March 1, 1965. In 1976 local elections were abolished by the Local Government Act.