Najib Tun Razak must actualize his 1Malaysia concept by first reigning in the hotheads in Umno who spew racism and religious intolerance.
KUCHING: The out-going Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president George Chan had some parting advice for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his band of federal leaders about ‘actualizing’ the 1Malaysia concept and containing Umno’s ‘hotheads’.
“In Sarawak we believe that freedom of religion and racial harmony are the most important aspects of life.
“In Sarawak, you can see a Muslim satay stall together with a char-siew mee stall and an Indian roti canai in one coffee shop.
“You can see Dayaks, Chinese, Malays and Indians sitting down together and ordering their own favourite food and complaining about inflation or gossiping about the latest scandal, adding pepper and salt to it.
“This is the common wish of the ordinary people that is, that they can sit down and enjoy each other’s company.
“The chauvinist and religious fanatics will tell you otherwise. They believe the world and heaven only belong to them.
“We in BN (Barisan Nasional) believe in moderation except for some hotheads.
“I dearly hope you (Najib) will ‘kutuk’ these hotheads as soon as they utter provocative and racist remarks,” Chan said at SUPP’s triennial delegates’ conference (TDC) which was opened by Najib yesterday.
Chan said whilst the 1Malaysia concept was coined by Najib after he took over the helm of the federal government, Sarawak had been practicing the concept since it attained statehood.
“We don’t just talk about 1Malaysia, we actualize it in Sarawak and our Chief Minister has been promoting this 1Malaysia concept,” said the former deputy chief minister.
Chan’s advise to Najib was in the wake of Umno’s recent annual general assembly which was full of rhetoric, racism and religious intolerance.
Reprimand racists and chauvinists
Chan said that SUPP is moving away from the last vestige of chauvinism to a truly multi-racial approach.
“This has been visibly reinforced by our bumiputera YBs (elected reps) and members playing an increasingly more important role in the party.
“Even in my own branch, a Sikh was voted in as secretary,” he said, pointing out that SUPP believes in multi-racialism and meritocracy.
Another phenomenon that is also very obvious is that there is a massive rural-urban migration in Sarawak.
“SUPP, being a strongly urban-based party, must be ready to respond to this phenomenon proactively,” he said.
“Besides, our multi-racial approach goes down very well with your 1Malaysia concept: 1Malaysia must not and cannot fail.
“The whole country’s future depends on it,” said Chan, telling the Prime Minister that the party and the members are all behind him 100%, in fact 101%.
“Tell the delegates what your plans are for the future, why you are a better person, and a better leader. Convince them of your ability and sincerity.
“Please don’t bad-mouth your opponent, especially with lies and half-truths in the coffee shops and internet.
“I can assure you the delegates will not think highly of you if you do that,” he said.
He told them that the most important thing is to close ranks after the challenges, saying that their real fight is out there among the people.
“We must find ways to win the hearts and the minds of the people. You may win the party polls, but if in the process you lose the confidence and hearts of the people, then you lose it all.
“Winning the battle of the delegates is meaningless, if you lose the war for the people’s hearts,” he added.
No show by Wong
Chan was referring to the supposed fight between party organising secretary Peter Chin and deputy secretary-general Wong Soon Koh for the presidency of the party.
Wong and his team comprising five state assemblymen and one MP have boycotted the TDC after they alleged there were irregularities and manipulation in branch elections.
They have lodged their complaints with the Registrar of societies.
Wong’s team includes Lee Kim Shin, (Senadin assemblyman), Ranum Mina (Opar), Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Francis Harden (Simanggang), Johnichal Rayong (Engkilili) and Tiong Thai King, (MP for Lanang).
Meanwhile, Wong and his team and supporters failed to attend the TDC and did not also carry out demonstration and protest during the opening of the TDC by the prime minister as they had promised earlier.
Election of the 135 Central committee members will begin on Sunday. The CC members will the elect the office-bearers including the president of the party.