Malaysiakini reported MCA leader: BN singing same old tune the following:
In a bold and ironic departure from his Chinese-base party lines, MCA PJ Utara division chairperson Dr Wong Sai Hou called it "amusing to see the leaders of Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC continue to swim in the quagmire of racial politics".
"If they continue to run their parties along the same old racial lines, playing all the emotional sensitivities it carries, five years from now BN could very well be relegated to an opposition party," he warned.
"For the first time in 51 years, we see Chinese voters casting their votes for PAS candidates and the Malay ones voting for DAP candidates.
"It is very clear that our people have achieved a high level of political maturity."
Indeed. But before we indulge in BN bashing, let’s look at the so-called Barisan Rakyat, though officially there is no such Front other than a loose coalition of the DAP, PKR and PAS.
Penang and Perak have already kow-tim (settled) their exco composition and appointments, including the deputy MB.
But what about Selangor? Is it going to be, as one blogger has grandiloquently and insensitively termed it, "Land of the PKR" in every sense of that meaning?
MB Khalid Ibrahim has been tap dancing away from appointing his deputy. DAP, the second largest component of the informal (winning) coalition in Selangor, has nominated sweetie Teresa Kok to be the deputy MB.
It’s a shame Khalid Ibrahim has not dealt courageously with the triple political whammy (to him) by immediately appointing as his deputy, a colleague who’s a woman, Chinese and a Christian (all rolled into one), whilst the neighbouring State of Perak has already shot ahead in scintillating unique precedence with a similar scenario.
What happened to the PKRs’ avowed multiethnic politics? Is it now to be a case of 'scratch the surface and one sees ........'?
Or could it be that Khalid is being subservient to the words of Muhammad Munir Bani, the Selangor sultan’s private secretary, about the palace's ‘preference’ for a Malay (and, alas, not a Malaysian) deputy MB?
But Muhammad Munir denied reports that the sultan wanted ‘a deputy from a particular race’ (meaning 'Malay'), although he added the sultan was the religious head for Islam and Malay culture, and thus the MB has the task of assisting in these duties, which would also have to handled by his deputy.
In the most unbelievable zigzag explanation, Muhammad Munir, after denying HRH wanted a Malay deputy MB, in the same breath averred that it was only proper a Malay (not a Malaysian) be the deputy MB.
Following that, Malaysiakini reported in Expert: No legal need for Malay deputy MB that Prof Abdul Aziz Bari, a constitutional expert who lectures law at the International Islamic University Malaysia, was consulted on the matter.
Prof Abdul Aziz dismissed Muhammad Munir’s claims that the deputy MB should ideally be a Malay to assist the MB in Islamic and cultural duties.
The Prof said: “The Sultan of Selangor does not need the menteri besar or the deputy menteri besar in matters pertaining to religion and Malay custom.”
According to the Prof, the sultan, as the head of Islamic matters and the Malay adat, is the person in charge of such matters in the state, and not the MB or his deputy.
He said: “Matters cited by the palace are entirely within the sultan's jurisdiction. As the sultan may act on his own discretion on these matters, the constitution provides that a council may be appointed to assist him. This is what is commonly known as religious councils or majlis agama, which looks after the religious department or the jabatan agama. In the other four states and federal territories, the Agong will have the same establishment.”
Prof Abdul Aziz said that a prolonged delay in the appointment of a deputy MB was unnecessary and might even be unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, Khalid Ibrahim has finally announced that his exco would be sworn in on the coming Monday.
However, the Star Online said that Khalid has refused to divulge names of assemblyman picked for the state Exco or how many people were picked from each of the three parties forming the present DAP-PKR-PAS coalition government.
He also declined to comment on whether the exco would be made up of six Malays and four non-Malay councillors. There have been rumours that the palace had disagreed with a proposal for five Malay and five non-Malay councillors formula proposed by the new coalition forming the new state government.
If that has been true, it’s a lamentable harkening back to an old ethnic-divisive policy mentioned by MCA Dr Wong Sai Hou in BN singing same old tune.
And it’s doubly lamenting because it implies the palace (though not necessarily the Sultan himself) is interfering with the political process of democracy.
When asked whether the appointment of a Deputy MB had been postponed or scrapped altogether, Khalid side-stepped the issue by stating the need to explain the matter (what?) properly to the people (who?), and that he would do this after the executive councillors had been sworn-in (why?).
Not an encouraging start to a so-called multiethnic transparent coalition. It woudl seem that the colour of one's skin continues to be significant in the "Land of the PKR".