It’s all about the money

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The weekend’s demonstration is more than about politics, political intrigue and Azmin Ali. It is not about Malays versus Chinese and Indians. It is about the Haves and Have Nots among the Malays, and there may be hell to pay.

Dina Zaman, MMO

On Sunday, January 25, 2015, residents living in Kampung Keramat demonstrated against the Datum Jelatek luxury condominiums.

“Fearing their Malay-majority city neighbourhood may soon be overrun by Chinese, a group of residents in Taman Keramat marched to the construction site of upscale condominium project Datum Jelatek here and violently tore down its cladding today.”

Yesterday, PKNS was quoted in The Star that, “All 674 units of controversial Datum Jelatek condominiums have been registered to Bumiputra buyers, debunking allegations that the Malays could not afford to purchase the luxury units. Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) in a statement said that a total of 1,097 potential bumiputra buyers have shown their interest, exceeding their expectations on the project.”

With the median salary in Malaysia at RM1,700, one would need to pay a monthly instalment of RM3,500 for a RM700,000 apartment.

Melayu sudah maju. Melayu sudah kaya.

Social media, of course, exploded with heckles — who’s embarrassed now? The protesters now have egg literally on their faces. There would not be an invasion of Chinese moving to the mostly Malay enclave, but rich, moneyed, we-have-arrived Malays. Their very own brethren.

The lawyer cum columnist, Azhar Harun, wrote a public note on his Facebook, of his suspicions about the protest.

“I can’t help but suspect that the said demonstration was orchestrated by certain parties who were out to tarnish the Selangor state government. Call it a hunch. Or intuition. Or reasonable deduction. Whatever. I don’t have evidence. But that’s how I feel. That was my first reaction. Which public rally or demonstration would make available free nasi lemak and drinks to the rally goers?”

He continued to say that Sunday’s demonstration was a stark reminder that within our seemingly peaceful multi-racial society, “… there are sections that are parochial and exclusionary in nature. At a glance, such parochial, tribalistic and hence, exclusionary sub-society, is almost a trademark of our society so much so that it has been accepted by all and sundry. Or at the very least, accepted by acquiescence.

“The failure of our affirmative actions and economic policies in establishing a fair and equitable distribution of wealth and closing the gap between the haves and the have-nots only serve to create inter-class enmity and resentment.”

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