Wednesday January 30, 2013
Masing: BN must correct current imbalance in power-sharing
By NIGEL EDGAR
KUCHING: A senior state BN leader has suggested that BN needs to correct the current perceived imbalance in its power-sharing concept to regain lost support among Chinese and Indian voters.
PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing said: “At the Federal level, some ministerial changes seem to favour Umno. That perception is not healthy in a multi-racial society in our country. Power sharing means that all groups must be given a place in the administration in this country.
Masing said this when asked to elaborate on his speech during a 1Malaysia gathering at the Siniawan old bazaar with Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday night.
“The BN leadership should ask themselves what had caused the political tsunami back in the 2008 parliamentary elections which had caused the coalition to lose its two-thirds majority especially in the urban areas,” he said.
In his speech at the function, he said BN once had strong support from the Dayak, Chinese and Indian communities but of late, there had been huge blocks of the communities losing their trust in the coalition.
Masing said that back in the 80s, the Works and Telecommunication Ministries were the domain of the Indians of MIC or Sarawak Dayaks of PBDS, while the MCA Chinese were allocated the financial portfolio.
“Then both the Works Ministry and Telecommunications Ministry were very important ministries to the rural areas, and the Indian and the Dayak communities were in great need of the infrastructures provided by these two ministries.
“Thus Datuk Seri Samy Vellu (MIC president) and Tan Sri Leo Moggie (PBDS president) were allocated those two ministries. And I believe in the 60s and 70s, the finance portfolio was allocated to MCA,” he said.
Moggie was the Energy, Telecommunications and Post Minister from 1978 to 1989 and Federal Works Minister from 1989 to 1995, while Samy was Works and Utilities Minister 1979-1989; Energy, Telecommunications and Post Minister 1989-1995 and Works Minister 1995-2008.
“I understand that political scenarios have changed. I am also aware of political dynamism which necessitates these changes.
“However, the needs of the ethnic groups — Indians and Dayaks — have not changed much thus does not require drastic reshuffle of parties on the said portfolios,” said Masing.
He said in the ever changing political dynamism, one must never forget the meaning of meaningful power sharing among the various groups in the country and what it meant to the various communities.
“In a highly educated society like Malaysia, the citizens understand the difference between power sharing and power dressing or cosmetic. The usage of power sharing or power dressing by BN would influence the type of support it would get from the populace,” he added.
He said if the Government meant well it would definitely be well received by voters of various communities.
“If we are genuine in our intention of sharing our resources, if we are genuine in wanting to share our power, if we live to our slogan Rakyat didahulukan (People first), I am sure the people will reciprocate accordingly and give us their full support as they had done in the last 50 years,” said Masing.