Is not the ethno-religious politics of PKR like BN’s?

Posted on September 25, 2010

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“The basic principle of the Pakatan Rakyat is to, firstly, melt down the narrow sectarianism. We will not win (elections) if we continue to defend outdated sectarianism and neglect the principle of being fair to all…I suggest the Chinese, Indians, Ibans and Kadazans destroy this racist mentality. We need to uphold the principle of brotherhood of mankind” – Anwar Ibrahim, speaking at the Pakatan Rakyat convention in Shah Alam last December, reported in Malaysiakini.

Perhaps Anwar and the leaders in PKR should first practise what the Ketua Umum preaches.

“The difference between us and Umno is that they see things from a racial lens, while we see things from the viewpoint of justice and fairness” – Anwar, in his closing speech at that same convention, reported by Malaysiakini.

Really?

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On 22nd September, Malaysiakini reported that N Gobalakrisnan was joining the race for the post of party vice president. It was reported that “Gobalakrishnan said this would be his third for the post in an attempt to oppose the ‘factionalism’ within the party. Urging party members not to vote by faction, he said PKR’s top leadership should have a better representation of Indians to make sure ‘the Indian voice’ is heard”.

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On 17th September, ex Deputy Sec-Gen Jenapala Perumal Subaan, in a press release, announced that he was offering himself for the position of Deputy President of PKR.

He advanced four reasons for deciding to contest. The very first was that the “party membership data shows us that approximately 40% of PKR membership is made up of Indians. Yet we remain under-represented in this party. Some members have also questioned if Indians are even treated with dignity to begin with”.

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On 13th September, I called Azmin Ali over the phone to get his response to allegations that he was behind a letter dated 5th April, 2010 said to have been emailed to MB Khalid of and concerning Zaid. I had blogged about this HERE.

After Azmin had strongly denied having anything to do with that letter, I asked him about information I keep receiving about Anwar and he being on a Muslim agenda.

I explained to him that what moved me to take a chance with Anwar, despite all the misgivings and reservations I have long felt, was when I heard Anwar say, at a ceramah in Bentong in August, 2008 : ‘”Anak Melayu, anak kita, anak Cina anak kita, anak India, pun anak kita. Mengapa harus kita bezakan?”

“Haris, I have never hidden that I am a fundamentalist. I hold to the fundamentals of Islam. However, in all the ceramahs that I speak at, I have always made it clear that the Muslim majority must look out for and protect the rights of the other communities. That is something that PKR is committed to”, Azmin clarified.

I responded.

“Isn’t this the same communal politics of BN? Isn’t this still dividing the rakyat along ethno-religious lines? More than half of the 8 million voters who voted on 8th March voted to reject communal-based politics. Are you not perpetuating the very brand of politics that those who voted you in have rejected?”.

Posted in: Say No to Racism