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  • Racial politics must go so that the country's prosperity could be sustained. And this is absolutely uncompromising!

Sin Chew Daily

Among the proposals of the government's TN50 Youth Report are the establishment of a national identity to promote greater unity among young Malaysians of different races.

Ironically, an Umno minister has recklessly hit out at tycoon Robert Kuok in a move that grossly disregards efforts to promote unity among Malaysians.

How could a political leader behave in such a conflicting way?

Conflicts between Umno and its allies have indeed been present since the dawn of nationhood, and it is this discord that makes it difficult for the BN to properly run this country.

For instance, prior to the 2008 general elections, then Umno Youth chairman Hishammuddin enraged the Chinese community by raising the Malay keris (dagger) during the Youth assembly. MCA subsequently blamed its humiliating election defeat on Umno.

This time, Umno is trying to exploit the same strategy to consolidate its hold of the Malay fundamental support. While MCA has attempted to make amends after the outbursts, such a goodwill has been outright ignored by Umno.

MCA president Liow Tiong Lai implied hat some in BN were trying to collude with the opposition to take down MCA.

Thanks to the endless racial politics in the country, MCA has been unable to win back the confidence and trust of Chinese voters.

Some speculated that Nazri is a good friend of DAP, arguing that his venomous remarks against Robert Kuok were politically motivated.

This, nevertheless, is an oversimplification of the issue, as Nazri was not the first to hit out at Kuok. Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi, deputy agriculture minister Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and minister in the PM's dept Azalina Othman Said had all done it before, while Malay dailies were happy to dance to their tune.

New Straits Times and Berita Harian even carried prominent coverage of PM Najib's statement that Robert Kuok owed his success to the "key" provided by the government. These papers will not take instructions from Nazri.

Nazri's vulgar language like anjing, pondan, ayam betina, tiada telur was the reason for him to come under the attacks by the local Chinese community.

The fact that Nazri was not immediately reprimanded by his superiors and was not instructed to apologize proves that it was not his solo action alone.

Therefore, it is hardly convincing when some people are bragging about becoming one of the world's top 20 countries by 2050. To them, keeping themselves in power is their ultimate priority. This also explains why all these years we have been moving in an opposite direction from our national vision.

Take for example, Umno's attitude on PAS president Hadi Awang's RUU355 has been ambiguous. The other 12 BN component parties indeed were waiting for Najib to issue an official statement on BN's rejection of the hudud, but so far we have heard nothing from the PM.

Will the RUU355 amendment bill make Malaysia a top country in the world? Absolutely not. The key lies with the power. The same goes with the Robert Kuok incident, another political strategy without taking into account the grave consequences.

Today we have Robert Kuok, but someone else may be dragged into the hot water next time. Won't our elite businessmen feel completely dejected?

Another complication from racial politics is the distortion of our politicians' minds. They no longer can tell the government and country apart, equating perfectly lawful actions of supporting opposition parties to treason that warrants the revocation of an individual's citizenship.

Country Heights founder Lee Kim Yew has been far more sober than these people. He said a political party can come and go, and it is a citizen's democratic right to support or reject any political party.

This explains why the overwhelming support of DAP by Chinese Malaysians in the last two general elections has been undemocratically exploited by some irresponsible quarters.

Race-based political parties have for so many years been upholding patronage politics, and have customarily seen the benefits handed out to the rakyat as government generosity which must be reciprocated with gratitude and loyalty from the recipients. They often neglect the fact that these entrepreneurs have become so successful in their businesses by virtue of their own hard work.

Racial politics has contained their room for further expansion, and it is the big, big world outside that has actually provided them with infinite opportunities to advance their ambitions.

How can we develop a healthy business culture if our government treats government-business relationship this narrowly?

Just as the predominantly Chinese parties within BN have slowly walked out of the gloom of RUU355 to create a more positive sentiment before the election, Umno's arrogance has hit them hard in the face.

The zero-sum racial political game has not only dealt a severe blow on MCA but has also bruised the confidence of non-Malays in the couintry, pushing them further away into the embrace of the opposition.

In short, racial politics must go so that the country's prosperity could be sustained. And this is absolutely uncompromising!

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