Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ahmad Shabery : BN government stresses on consensus

Despite the ongoing challenges with harmonious race relations, the issue of race nonetheless continues to hold significant social-political implications across the Malaysian multi racial society.

It is important to note that in the intervening years under the Barisan Nasional government since independent, the government was committed to improving racial situation.

The sincerity attitude towards the race issue has achieved tremendous result of making race relations better.

Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek

Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said, race relations under the Barisan Nasional government are more sincere than in the opposition-led administration.

He said, the opposition parties had not been honest and sincere in their own pact as seen in the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states. PAS had never fielded a Chinese candidate in Terengganu to look after the interest of the Chinese community, he said.

"When PAS was in power (in Terengganu), they promised that they would amend the party constitution to enable a few state assemblymen (from the Chinese community) to be elected but they have never done so.

“When they were in power, they forgot about the interest of the Chinese community in the state," he said.

"In Penang, PAS was helpless when after the last general election, its assemblyman was not given the opportunity to be a state executive councilor by the DAP.

"Therefore, it appears that relations among them (the three parties in Pakatan Rakyat) are not sincere but full of doubts and suspicion about each other.

"But it is different in BN where the government stresses on consensus and considers the interests of all races when making decisions."

He said this could be seen in the state seat of Bandar in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary constituency when a Chinese was picked to contest the seat although they only made up only 40 to 45 percent of its constituents.

"Each time the Chinese candidate wins, he will be appointed to the state executive council (EXCO) so that the voice of the community can be heard.

“The EXCO system is like the cabinet system where the members make decisions based on consensus." He said the Malay and Chinese voters in Kuala Terengganu must learn from the past when the state was under opposition rule.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Shabery regarded as baseless, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's claim made during his ceramah (talks) that there were "Umno hands" that "changed" news stories filed in by media reporters.

The minister said those who made such allegations should show proof.

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