7 Nov 2019
Press statement by MCA Secretary-General Datuk Chong Sin Woon
Benefit-offering, Racial agendas and Threats – Scraping the bottom of the barrel for Pakatan Harapan
In the run up to the Tanjung Piai by-election, the Pakatan Harapan government has shown its true colors in a florid display of benefit-offering, incitation of racial issues, and barefaced threats. The dismaying matter is that this is just the early stages of the campaigning period, yet sadly Pakatan’s credibility and hype ran out so fast that they are already scraping the bottom of the barrel.
To elaborate, while the general consensus of this by-election is to send a message of defiance and dissatisfaction to Tun Dr Mahathir and his ilk, Tanjung Piai voters are served with the ‘Pakatan Harapan Special’ which can be seen at nearly every by-election. The three courses being:
First, the appetiser: benefit-offering. Pakatan Harapan wasted no time handing out funds and allocations (or the promise thereof) like candy. Shortly after the late Allahyarham Datuk Wira Dr. Mohamed Farid bin Md Rafik passed away at the tragic young age of 42, a choir of PH ministers flocked to the South, singing sweet promises of allocations and projects worth up to RM7 million. According to Dr Mahathir, all this have been planned long ago, and it was pure coincidence that a by-election was to occur in Tanjung Piai. Additionally, the Menteri Besar of Johor Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal announced yesterday the distribution of a one-off RM1,000 special aid for fishermen in southern Johor (which includes Tanjung Piai). These are examples of PH blatantly misusing government resources to buy votes. And yet they are in complete denial of this.
Secondly, we are served with a hearty course of racial agendas. PH candidate Karmaine Sardini claimed that Bersatu is the ‘real’ advocate for the Malays. Does this imply that Malays should only vote for Malay candidates? Earlier, PH also tried to instigate PAS supporters by bringing up the subject of “Muslim votes for Muslims”. We have seen this strategy before in the Rantau by-election where Human Resource Minister M Kulasegaran called for Indian voters to vote for the PH candidate (who happened to be Indian).
Finally, when the treats don’t work, they serve up threats. The honourable Finance Minister and DAP secretary-general YB Lim Guan Eng claimed that if MCA regains the Tanjung Piai seat, this will cause the closure of Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools. Furthermore, he also claimed that Christians would also be unable to gather for prayers. To top it off, the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub, having the audacity to expound his threats in a school hall, implicated that the return of Barisan Nasional will bring dark days for businesses, with children having no access to education, rampant cases of gun fights, and the nation plummeting into chaos.
Has the Pakatan Harapan of today reached such a level of dysfunction that it is mute on facts and crippled on policy? How will such a government be able to bring about the reforms it promised? Seeing this powerful organisation, wielding both power and national resources yet having to resort to such low-class tactics, is almost painful to watch.
Datuk Chong Sin Woon