By Sabah News Today
KOTA KINABALU: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin today urged voters in Kimanis to give their votes to Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) candidate, Karim Bujang in the Kimanis parliamentary by-election on Jan 18.
Chan said that in order to safeguard ethnic harmony in Malaysia, East Malaysia’s political forces must be strengthened, especially in parliament, so as to be able to counter Umno, that gained political limelight by instigating hatred amongst races.
Chan, who is also the secretary of DAP Sabah, told reporters this after distributing mandarin oranges and calendars at Foh Sang and Bornion Centre on Sunday together with Sabah Youths and Sport Minister cum Luyang Assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe, Nominated Assemblyman Ronnie Loh Ee Eng, and Mayor Datuk Nordin Siman.
“Many people in Kota Kinabalu were asking us today about the latest development on the Kimanis by-election and this shows that this by-election is a greater concern for all Sabahan. It is an important battle that affects the whole of Sabah, and even the political situation in Malaysia as a whole,” said Chan.
Chan noted that after the establishment of the new government, there seemed to be many voices of dissatisfaction and criticisms about the performance of the new government from Malaysian in general.
However, this is totally understandable and can be attributed to their high expectations from the Pakatan Harapan and Warisan coalition governments, both in Federal and State level.
Conversely, despite losing power, the opposition Barisan Nasional radicalised and turning further towards the extreme right-wing of the political spectrum.
Instead of engaging in better policy debates to win back votes, Umno and Pas formed the “Muafakat Nasional” political pact, aimed at concentrating Malay and Muslim votes through walking a more radical and extremist racial and religious pathway.
This has caused further polarisation of society, and it is akin to running a “scorched-earth policy”, which is a retrogressive political pathway for Malaysia, a multi-ethnic nation.
“Pas has publicly stated more than once that non-Muslims should not be allowed to hold any high positions in Malaysian politics, such as the Minister of Finance; every time Umno members of parliament debate in parliament apart from creating a sense of crisis that “the Malay society is losing its rights”, they never really engage much in discussion of substance.
“Even the recent Chinese New Year Decoration incident in SMK Pusat Bandar Puchong 1 was a result of instigation by an organisation that shared a similar extreme views as that of Umno,” claimed Chan.
Chan noted that ironically, Umno had also maintained a traditional alliance with the MCA and the MIC, and then when it came to the Kimanis by-election, they had managed to ask other Sabah based opposition parties (such as the PBS and STAR) to make way for it.
Even the one and only Member of Parliament from PBRS, Arthur Kurup, had been seen campaigning during the election happily together with Umno’s Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein.
“Are these Sabahan opposition parties aware of what they are pawning away to Umno?” questioned Chan.
Chan further pointed out that Barisan Nasional’s reaction to the Puchong Secondary School incident was a classic case of “thief shouting thief.”
Organisations closely related to Umno had ceaselessly continued to instigate ethnic sentiment and create a sense of insecurity in the Malay community which led to the call for Chinese lanterns to be removed in the school.
However, on the other side, MCA had aggressively attacked the new government’s inability to control racial tension.
“To the voters of Kimanis, please clearly see that the people who created the crisis were none other than the same kind of people in MCA and Umno!” said Chan.
“To counter the incitement of ethnic relations by Umno and PAS, we need more East Malaysian political forces that embody multicultural values and play an important role in Parliament.
“Ethnic relations are absolutely harmonious under the Sabah government led by Warisan. Here, you have Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, a Muslim leader, who can proudly proclaim a two-day Christmas holiday for the people of Sabah. When compared with Umno or PAS leaders, the clear difference is like night and day!” said Chan.
Chan finally urged all voters in Kimanis, regardless of ethnicity and religion to cast their votes for Warisan, which respects multiculturalism, to win one more seat in Parliament in order to defend the value of a diverse society.
He reminded the voters that to cast a protest vote against Warisan merely to vent their dissatisfaction is to give Umno an extra seat, which will only lead to increasing racial disharmony.-SabahNewsToday