Since everyone already seems to be in a General Election mood we can start focusing on real issues—both national and local—that people want to hear about. I expect the politicians will be sparring day and night from now on but this being Malaysia, what captures the imagination of the news portals is totally irrelevant to readers and what they’re truly interested in.
The Barisan Nasional propaganda unit started it all by asking the Pakatan Harapan to name their Prime Minister-designate. Then they asked if the Opposition would have a Chinese as Deputy Prime Minister. The Prime Minister’s aide kept the ball rolling by asking Lim Kit Siang if he would reject the posts of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance after the elections.
The BN’s baiting technique should not be too difficult to respond to. In fact, they don’t deserve a response at all. This is just a low-class and racist taunt that has no place in our political discourse. But just to humour the BN propaganda unit, let’s go back in time and see what history has to say on the matter.
Around 1974, when he was MCA President, Tun Tan Siew Sin asked that he be considered for the Deputy Prime Minister’s post after the incumbent Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman passed away suddenly. There was no national outcry at either the request or the Prime Minister’s response. Tun Abdul Razak quietly and wisely told Tun Tan that UMNO and Malays were not yet ready for such a change. The events of May 1969 were still fresh on everyone’s mind and it remained a difficult period in the country’s history. Tun Tan, who was also Finance Minister, was not happy but he did not make a fuss. He later left the Cabinet and assumed the position of Chairman of Sime Darby.
Today, over 40 years later, any Chinese leader—whether from the DAP or MCA—or any Dayak from Sarawak for that matter, who were to ask for the post of Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister would be considered in the same fashion. After the next General Election, after the Opposition have won, I guess leaders like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang, in consultation with other key leaders from Sabah and Sarawak, will decide on the matter if such a request is made. If the people of this country, in particular the Malays, consider the candidate to be suitable and acceptable then the answer will be yes. Otherwise, it will be rejected. There is no need to make a fuss and indulge in all sorts of speculation.
The reason why the BN is raising this issue is because they are desperate. They have nothing to offer to the people so they try to hide that fact by putting out racist stingers and sowing fear that someone from DAP will lead the Government. They have no basis for that speculation, only their own imagination and their hope that they can spin this non-issue into a subject of contention at the elections.
There is no need for UMNO to play this racist game so early in the campaign when the issue has not even arisen. They are spinning a brazen fiction in their attempt to get Malays to reject the Opposition. Malays are smarter than that, smarter than them.
I see signs that the BN is on the verge of collapse. We should stop entertaining mischievous and dangerous politics by their propaganda unit and move on to more important matters. On this one, they deserve no response whatsoever.