'Wounded Umno wants to keep Malays in economic bondage'

KOTA BARU: Pakatan Rakyat’s success in the 12th general election in 2008 brought forth a new dimension with the introduction of a multiracial party system which was attractive to the empowered Malaysians, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said today.

However, with this new political landscape, she said, came Umno-Barisan Nasional’s revenge at its unprecedented loss.

“Pakatan attracted support from the rakyat to the point that it sidelined Umno which had ruled for 50 years .

"In fact, Umno is increasingly losing its powers within its core Malay group,“ she said in her presidential address at the sixth PKR national congress here today.

Still seething from the humiliating defeat, Umno, two years on, had resorted to using lies and every possible strategy to discredit PKR and Pakatan, she said.

"Umno... is now divorced from the true aspirations of the Malays because Umno is busy trying to secure its wealth through and as a result of corrupt practices.

"It is now fear that is driving Umno to focus on attacking PKR in a bid to kill our credibility among the Malay voters. We have been accused of being anti-Malay,” she said, adding that Umno was sending out a dangerous message with its racial polarisation policies and its seditious attempts to fan racial and religious intolerance.

She described the government’s 1Malaysia concept as hypocrisy “because there exist contradictions and conflicts between their sweet promises and their greed”.

Common policy

Azizah also expressed her concerns over the mainstream media’s propaganda which fanned racial discord.

As such, she said, it was important for PKR to explain its policies to the people, especially the Malays, to counter Umno’s claims that PKR had compromised Malay rights and privileges.

“The rakyat must know about PKR’s stand on Malays and Bumiputera. They must be told of the common policy adhered to by the Pakatan coalition, which has openly acknowledged the status of the Malays and Bumiputera as enshrined in the Federal Constitution,“ she said.

She also called on the 2,000 delegates present to also explain PKR's stand on the New Economic Policy (NEP) and the reasons it wants NEP abolished.

"Umno harassed the people when we called for the dismantling of the NEP.

"We must convince the people that PKR is against the NEP because it has failed to achieve its intended aim, which was to uplift the Malays.

“The NEP failed to look after the Malays... Its implementation was targeted at enriching families and cronies of Umno leaders. This has been done at the expense of the people including the Malays, Orang Asli, Dayak, Iban, Kadazan and others,“ she said.

She also said Umno had been duping the Malay and Bumiputera communities for a long time.

“Umno has lied to the Malay and Bumiputera communities all these years.

“Umno wants the Malays to continue depending on the government because it is fully aware that if the Malays rise and become self-sufficient, they will abandon Umno politicians.

"As such, their economic policy is to throw bits of assistance to the rakyat from time to time to ensure that they continuously live in economic bondage,“ she said.


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