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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Race relations: Stop the rot – LDP

KOTA KINABALU: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) secretary-general Datuk Teo Chee Kang said the party is not opposing Barisan Nasional (BN) despite being viewed as the opposition party in BN.

He believed BN could accommodate different voices in its big family, as politicians should act and speak out of conscience.

Teo said the urban voter sentiment could be seen from the political tsunami in 2008 and the Sarawak state election several months ago.

He said voters in urban areas have higher educational level and political awareness, thus they are not worried about water supply, electricity supply, road and basic infrastructures.

“Their concerns are whether issues related to the people and country have been resolved, whether social justice is upheld,” he said at the LDP Api-Api-Luyang Joint Divisional Conference here yesterday.

Teo said the key to winning urban voters is to show greater sincerity and determination in tackling issues close to the people’s hearts.

He said the religious and racial issues in Malaysia have become more serious, in particular the ’1Bumiputra’ issue highlighted by Utusan Malaysia which runs counter to the 1Malaysia concept advocated by the Prime Minister.

He pointed out that the newspaper’s baseless report about the role of Christian leaders in turning Malaysia into a Christian nation with a Christian premier was clearly aimed at provoking religious discord.

Despite that, the newspaper has only received a warning letter from the Home Ministry without any action taken, he said.

As Utusan Malaysia is an Umno-controlled media, it is difficult not to think that it has the acquiescence from the government, Teo said.

He noted that the latest Merdeka Centre survey showed the people have less confidence in ethnic relations in the country.
“As of May this year, only 66 per cent of Malaysians rated ethnic relations as ‘good’, a drop by 12 per cent from 78 per cent in 2006,” he said.
In terms of racial unity, the survey found that ‘sincerity or friendliness’ among ethnic groups had decreased from 54 per cent in 2006 to 35 per cent this year, he added.

Hence, Teo said, the government should take stern action to correct the mistakes, and stop further damage to racial harmony caused by the political issues.

Teo said LDP should uphold the ‘People First’ concept, and win the people’s respect and support by serving the people selflessly.

He congratulated LDP deputy president cum Api-Api chairman Datuk Chin Su Phin on his appointment as a senator in June and being the third LDP member to be given the role after former president Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat and former Women chief Datuk Naomi Chong.

“This proves that even though our party risks being sidelined in the state, we still receive the respect and support from BN top leaders,” he said.

Meanwhile, Teo said power sharing and mutual respect advocated by BN were non-existent in Sabah.

He said the State Cabinet, government organizations and agencies should not act based on personal factors, but rather on power sharing according to the BN structure.

He said that following the 12th general election in March 2008, BN component parties who did win seats were not given mainstream seats in the State Cabinet, while those who did not win for BN were given trust by the government.August 15, 2011, Monday

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