Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Penang Malays' Demands; Lim Keng Yaik's Forthright Reply.

Blame yourselves and not the Chief Minister, said the plainspoken Gerakan President Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik, in his usual straight-from-the-shoulder style.

His deputy and Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon should not be blamed for the existence of several groups of backward Malays in the state. He said this was because some Malays residing in Penang chose not to accept modernisation and progress despite fair development undertaken by the existing administration.

"I can say that Malays in Penang have better living standards compared with those residing in other states," he said. Based on his observations since being at helm of the party for 26 years, Dr Lim said there were Malays who chose to maintain their traditional rural lifestyle. "So do not blame (Dr Koh) Tsu Koon if there are Malays in Penang who are backward," he added.

There is of course much truth in what he says, although we cannot generalise that all Malays do not prefer modernisation and refuse to budge from a rural lifestyle. In fact a rural lifestyle is in itself a good thing. More importantly the crux of his message is that the Penang Malays should not look for scapegoats and instead look at themselves and see where the real problem lies. Whether it is all the state government's fault or have they in a large measure contributed to their perceived 'backwardness' through their own shortcomings and defects?

Time and again many have questioned what the four Malay Exco members including the Deputy CM have done for their people? If they have done precious little, is it because they have tried and failed or they had never bothered about the Malays there at all? This is one aspect of the story that must be probed by those non-politicians who are genuinely interested and care for the future of their Penang kinfolk. To depend on the politicians in this matter is an utter waste of time because as seen in other places these political-types are more interested in feathering their own nests than helping the truly needy.

So if Penang Umno think they can consider and treat CM Koh as a whipping boy, don't forget Uncle Keng Yaik is round the corner looking out for them, ready to dish out singlehandedly, Robocop-style, swift retaliation against any further unsubstantiated attacks!


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