Penang Gerakan, criticised by Utusan Malaysia’s Zaini Hassan this week, fired back by throwing in his face an assessment that Penang people are fed up with the Barisan Nasional.
And Dr Teng Hock Nam, the Gerakan’s leader in Penang, also threw back in Zaini’s face assurances from Barisan Nasional and Umno leaders that Umno would not stake a claim to the chief ministership if the BN were to regain power in Penang.
Zaini’s comments were “premature”, Dr Teng said, in answer to Zaini’s column this week urging Gerakan and other BN parties to keep quiet and stop creating trouble.
Zaini had said the BN would win back Penang if the people were promised that the Chief Minister would be from Umno. Malay voters would desert Parti Keadilan Rakyat, he said.
In the 2008 general election, the Pakatan Rakyat partners won 39 seats (DAP 19, PKR 19 PAS 1) to Umno’s 11. The Gerakan, MCA and MIC were wiped out.
Counting their chickens
Dr Teng said the Barisan Nasional must first restore public confidence, regain the people’s support and win the election, before it can even talk about the chief minister’s post.
Zaini’s views “lacked consistency and were premature”, he said. Instead, writers like Zaini should disseminate information on the progress and prosperity from BN rule in the past 54 years.
Free Malaysia Today said Teng’s statements seemed to be a hint that Penang people remained very much against the BN, and especially Umno.
No Umno chief minister
Dr Teng said BN and Umno leaders Najib Tun Razak and Muhyiddin Yassin had already said the next BN chief minister of Penang would not be from Umno. “This was the assurance given by Umno,” he said, and quoted Penang Umno leader Zainal Abidin Osman as saying that the party will not stake a claim for the post.
MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek had also said earlier this month that the next BN chief minister would be an ethnic Chinese.
DAP uses Zaini as proof of Gerakan, MCA perfidy
Although Dr Teng took issue with Zaini, the state DAP pounced on his column in ironic agreement — but only to score points against the Gerakan and MCA. Zaini’s column was cited by Ng Wei Aik, political secretary to the chief minister, as showing that Gerakan and MCA would hand over the chief minister’s post on a silver platter if Umno demanded the post.
Conclusion from all that kerfuffle
- Utusan can’t see beyond race;
- Barisan Nasional leaders are desperate not to upset the racial apple-cart;
- Gerakan is flailing (not failing, but that could also be the case);
- the DAP won’t miss any chance to whip Gerakan and MCA as Umno’s racial stooges.
Nothing’s changed, then: our politicians think of nothing but race and the election race. Happy Merdeka day.