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Malays should ride with DAP

 | June 21, 2012

In the past Malays were dependent on Umno to champion their plight, but since BN remains an underdog in Penang, the community has better prospects with Pakatan.

GEORGE TOWN: DAP will not last a week in Penang if all Malay candidates in Pakatan Rakyat lose in the upcoming general election, said the Penang Malay Congress.

Its president Rahmad Isahak said: “Even if Pakatan regained power in Penang, minus its Malay assemblymen, the state government will be a lameduck and can last perhaps seven days.

“It is vital for the Pakatan government to ensure its Malay candidates or incumbents withstand the onslaught of a “wounded tiger” in BN.”

One way to do this, said Rahmad, was for PKR and PAS to consider allowing DAP to field Malay candidates in Penang.

This is because DAP has become a major political force in Penang, akin to how PAS had strengthened its grip on Kelantan.

Anyone contesting on a DAP ticket stands a strong chance of winning.

The election outcome should reflect the aspiration of the races, but if one major ethnic group does not have any representation in the state, any government is bound to fail, said Rahmad.

“We are living in a county where race and religion are part and parcel of our make up. Any government formed should have the participation of all races, not just one,” he added.

Rahmad hopes that PKR and PAS will support the congress’ proposal that DAP be allowed to field Malay candidates here.

“It is not that the congress is an ally of DAP, neither is it supporting BN. We just consider ourselves the guardians of the Malay political rights and voices in Penang,” he said.

Malays marginalised

According to Rahmad, the congress is only expressing views that many Malays who have become fence-sitters, are worried about.

“We are driven to speak out on issues from the perspective of the Malay community who feel that they are being  marginalised because the growing socio-economic divide,” he added.

Rahmad said that in the past Malays were dependent on Umno to champion their plight, but since BN remains an underdog in Penang, the party may not be able to serve them here.

“This is where the Malays should find an alternative platform to continue their struggle and that platform lies with DAP,” said Rahmad.

“The community here does not want to witness a scenerio where the only Malay political representatives, are in the opposition in Penang, courtesy of Umno.”

Malay leaders like state PKR chairman Mansor Othman and his vice-chairman Abdul Malik Kassim are struggling to meet the expectations of the Malay electorate, Rahmad claimed.

He also urged state opposition leader Azhar Ibrahim to retire gracefully and to stop criticising the congress.

Referring to Azhar’s statement that the only way for Malays to contest on a DAP ticket, was if PKR and PAS made way, Rahmad said this issues does not concerned Umno.

Azhar as the state Umno secretary has expressed his wishe to retire and he should do so now and stop trying to influence the present struggle of the congress, said Rahmad.


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