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Zam is a disgrace to Malaysian nation-building onher 50th Merdeka anniversary, a Minister who is handicapped by his narrow-minded thinking from becoming a full Malaysian, constantly playing the communal drum to turn every issue including human rights, corruption and justice into a racial one
(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin is a disgrace to Malaysian nation-building on her 50th Merdeka anniversary, a Minister who is handicapped by his narrow-minded thinking from becoming a full Malaysian, constantly playing the communal drum to turn every issue including human rights, corruption and justice into a racial one.
This is the Bernama report of Zainuddin’s remarks attacking the DAP in Sungai Petani yesterday:
Zainuddin said many of the
party's statements seemed to be aimed at eroding public confidence in the
police force, besides taking a swipe at the Malays by connecting police with
the Malay community.
It is sad and tragic that although Malaysia has just celebrated 50 years of independent nationhood, there are still people occupying positions of power in government who have not kept abreast with the evolution of Malaysian identity and consciousness but continue to cling to their chauvinist mindset, seeing everything through the communal prism.
A quarter of a century ago, when I spoke up against the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history, the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal, I was charged of being anti-Malay with the accusers completely ignoring the cold-blooded murder in Hong Kong of a young and promising Malay accountant Jalil Ibrahim, who was the Assistant General Manager of BMF.
Just like the late Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, who chaired a three-man Commission of Inquiry into the BMF scandal, the question of race never passed my mind but only accountability, transparency and integrity for the RM2.5 billion public funds and justice for the murdered Jalil Ibrahim when I pursued the BMF scandal both inside and out of Parliament.
When I read Zainuddin’s fulminations, I felt not only shock, outrage but also a deep sense of shame that Malaysian nation-building had been so unsuccessful that on Malaysia’s 50th Merdeka anniversary, there is still a Cabinet Minister who is so handicapped by his narrow-minded thinking that he cannot grow up to be a full Malaysian as he sees everything through the communal prism.
I make no apology, both in and out of Parliament, in taking a strong stand for the restoration of the fundamental rights of Malaysians to be free from crime and the fear of crime, whether in the streets, public places or the privacy of their homes, because of the unchecked crime waves in the country.
The prevalent fear of crime felt by ordinary Malaysians is tragically summed up by the heading of a “Letter to the Editor” to the Star yesterday – “Not safe at home, not safe to go out”!
Zainuddin would not understand such fear felt by ordinary Malaysians about their personal safety and those of their loved ones while going about their ordinary lives because he has the full 24/7 police protection as Cabinet Minister.
But he should know that he cannot have lifelong protection as he will have to step down as Cabinet Minister – sooner than later – and he will then be as vulnerable to the rising crime wave as any ordinary Malaysian, as many VIPs have found out, including former Cabinet Ministers, former Inspectors-General of Police and even the former Yang di Pertua of Sarawak.
The heinous rape-murder perpetrated on eight-year-old Nurin Jazlin Jazimin is a reminder that crime knows no race and it is a great national disservice for any leader, let alone a Cabinet Minister, to give it a communal twist.
The Cabinet should censure Zainuddin for such rank chauvinism, trying to twist and distort the campaign for an efficient, incorruptible, professional, world-class police service to keep crime and corruption low – the objectives the Royal Police Commission established by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi – into a communal issue when the victims of crime come from all races.
Just as race had never entered into my mind when I consistently advocated increased pay and improved service conditions for the police, I will continue to demand a more efficient police force capable of ensuring a low crime rate in the country not on any grounds of race but because it is the fundamental right of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, gender or age!
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman