Poverty Eradication Regardless Of Race, Ideology BN Candidate's Agenda. But Is That Umno's Agenda?
The eradication of poverty among the people regardless of their race, religion and political ideology will be the national agenda for Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah in Parliament if he were to win in the Permatang Pauh by-election on Tuesday.***** If Arif Shah were to be candidate for the PM's post, at least we can give him the benefit of the doubt for that very muhibbah claim. Unfortunately he is but a mere cog, and an insignificant one at that, in the racist Umno wheel. One can safely dismiss his speech as election bluster.
He said the poverty eradication agenda would not be realised if the approach used was based on racial interests and political ideologies of a particular community.
"There must be other ways of resolving the poverty problems of the people. A comprehensive study involving local leaders who are truly concerned must be carried out.
"It should not involve leaders who are only interested in seeking positions but do not carry out studies because certain people have different political ideologies and thus are left out. In the end, we cannot resolve the poverty problem," he told Bernama here Saturday.
"I have a national perspective in the various fields to be shared together if I were elected as a Member of parliament," he said, refuting allegations that he could not make any significant contribution in the Dewan Rakyat.
When asked on his agenda in strengthening racial unity, Arif Shah said a solution must be worked out to ensure that unity between the various races and differing political ideologies could be nurtured.
The Seberang Jaya State Assemblyman said currently solidarity between the Malays themselves was weak, what more between the various races.
"The Malays themselves are divided into the Umno Malays, PAS Malays, and PKR Malays, and even among the Umno Malays, they are divided into several groups. Thus, we have to find a solution so that they will become a single Malay entity.
"Among the Chinese, Indians and the other communities, we have to identify a way of merging them to eliminate whatever prejudice that are being fanned by those with ulterior motive," he said.
In this context, he said more programmes involving all the various races and supporters of the various political parties must be held to instil solidarity between these various groups.
Arif Shah believed his agenda on poverty eradication and strengthening solidarity not only among the Permatang Pauh electorate but also the people of the whole country could be achieved with cooperation from all the communities and local leaders.
"If this (cooperation) can be achieved, then it is easy for us to meet this target," he said.
In the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election, Arif Shah is involved in a three-cornered fight with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim) candidate Hanafi Mamat. The seat fell vacant when the incumbent member of parliament Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also PKR president, resigned.
Umno in its present form will continue to be the practitioner of undisguised and unrepentant racism.