Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Zahid Hamidi calls Malays to defend rights, says ‘over our dead bodies

pilihanraya kini     3:22 PM    

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi gives a speech at Bendang Pak Yong in Pengkalan Kubor, September 22, 2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi last night called on Malays in PAS and Umno to close their ranks to defend against those bent on challenging Bumiputera privileges, just ahead of Thursday's by-election in Pengkalan Kubor, a state seat in Kelantan with a 90 per cent Malay electorate.

The Umno vice-president told a ceramah here that divisions among the Malays, which he characterised as the Umno and PAS rivalry, have made its foes “big-headed” and bold enough to question provisions in the Federal Constitution that safeguard Malay interests.

“We must unite. If we are divided we will be trampled on… we must protect our rights and tell them if you want to take it away from us, over our dead bodies,” he told the all-Malay audience.
Zahid, who is also home minister, cited incidents surrounding the Perak constitutional crisis to back his claim that divisions among the Malays had given the predominantly Chinese opposition party the DAP space to pit the two races against each other.
Zahid said the Perak crisis was a good example of how Malays have become so politically divided that it was willing to insult the monarchy, a symbol of Malay sovereignty.
He suggested some Malays were willingly doing the dirty job for the Chinese by putting their lives on the line.
“I remember during the Perak crisis, they were protesting (against the Barisan Nasional takeover) at the time, they tried to block the entrance to the state building. You know who were the ones lying down on the streets? All Malays.
“Where were the DAP people? They were throwing stones at the Raja Muda… they also threw stones at my car. I was there. When they were doing this, those lying down on the road were all Malays,” he said.
In the 2008 elections, PAS worked with DAP and PKR and succeeded in taking control of Perak for the first time since Independence.
The three parties then formed a loose coalition as Pakatan Rakyat to govern the state, but their rule was short lived after two of its assemblymen defected, triggering a constitutional crisis in Perak.
Zahid said PAS and Umno supporters must now set aside their differences to protect these provisions, adding that the Pengkalan Kubor by-election could be the platform for future co-operation between the two parties.
“I say enough is enough PAS and Umno, let us unite… you can do this first by backing BN on voting day,” he said.
Zahid's call for Umno and PAS to bridge their differences follows the open and protracted fight between PAS and its Pakatan Rakyat allies, DAP and PKR, over the Selangor mentri besar post before the state ruler finally decided on PKR deputy president Azmin Ali’s appointment yesterday.
The squabbling, triggered by PAS's refusal to endorse PKR's move to replace incumbent Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, had pushed the state into a prolonged crisis and threatened to split the pact.
The Pengkalan Kubor by-election is called following the death of its Umno representative Datuk Noor Zahidi, who held office for three terms.
Noor Zahidi had retained the seat in the general election held last year with a majority of 1,736 votes, beating Saharun Ibrahim of PKR and Izat Bukhari.
The by-election is a three-way contest with Umno's Mat Razi Mat Ail, PAS's Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim and independent Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary having cast their hats in the ring.

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