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Sunday, October 12, 2014
Be the PM for all, not just Barisan supporters, Najib told
By ANISAH SHUKRY
Published: 12 October 2014
Najib has received flak for his comment in a speech at the MCA general assembly that the Chinese community can make demands only if they support Barisan Nasional. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, October 12, 2014.
Opposition politicians and academics alike have poured scorn on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for saying that the Chinese community cannot make demands from the government unless they supported Barisan Nasional (BN).
They said that as the prime minister of a country, Najib had to represent all Malaysians and listen to the demands of all, and not just those who voted in his party.
“Does Najib not realise that the main concept of democracy is to allow the people to choose during the general election? The right and freedom to choose a party and candidate is something that cannot be questioned in a democracy,” DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke said today.
“Thus, it is the responsibility of the party that forms the government after the election to administer the country and serve all the rakyat without any vengeance towards those who did not support them.”
The Seremban MP added that more than half of Malaysian voters (52%) had rejected BN in the general election, and those who supported Pakatan Rakyat cut across all races.
“If the people cannot make demands from the government, will these 52% be exempted from paying any taxes, including the goods and services tax?” he asked.
PKR vice-president Tian Chua described Najib’s speech today as a huge blunder and unbecoming of a prime minister.
“He forgot that he used to announce very proudly ‘I will be the prime minister for all’. Now he’s talking about being a partisan prime minister.
“It is very unbecoming of a prime minister. I hope he will retract his statement and carry out his responsibility as a prime minister for all people,” said the Batu MP.
Providing services without collecting taxes is charity. And collecting taxes without providing services is robbery. - Dr Wong Chin Huat
Earlier this morning, Najib said that the Chinese could not make demands on BN if they continued to support Pakatan Rakyat.
Speaking at the MCA’s 61st annual general assembly, Najib said BN would only be fair to the Chinese if they supported the ruling coalition instead of PR.
“I’d like to do more, maybe one day I can do more. But I also need the Chinese community to support BN. Come on. You have to do your part.
“You can’t demand and then support DAP. You can’t demand and then support PR. You demand, you support BN, we will be fair to the Chinese,” said Najib.
Dr Wong Chin Huat, a fellow at the Penang Institute, said that Najib’s statement revealed that he saw himself as a prime minister for only 47% Malaysians.
“If any community or individual has to forfeit their right to make legitimate demands from the government, then they should forfeit their duty of paying tax.
“After all, being government is about collecting taxes and providing services. Providing services without collecting taxes is charity. And collecting taxes without providing services is robbery,” said Wong.
Dr Lim Teck Ghee of the Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI) said that Najib had apparently not learned from his past mistakes in making such “crude” statements.
“He has continuously put out this line to the Chinese, and it’s never worked. He may actually be doing the MCA a disfavour by putting it so crudely that if you don’t vote for us, we aren’t going to take care of you.
“Threatening voters in the country like that smacks of political blackmail. Worse, he’s doing it in front of a national audience, not just in a ceramah. It’s likely to backfire.
“Najib must realise that he surely wants to be prime minister for all Malaysians, not just the ones who vote for BN and Umno. So this kind of message he came out with really goes against the fact that he is the prime minister of the country, of all Malaysians.”
In the general election last year, MCA suffered its worst defeat, winning only seven out of the 37 parliamentary seats and 11 of the 90 state seats it contested.
The May 5 poll results prompted Najib to describe it as a “Chinese tsunami” that night, and Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia ran the headline “Apa lagi Cina Mahu?” (What more do the Chinese want?) on its front page the following day. – October 12, 2014.