There is a saying – hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated, and the ongoing UMNO General Assembly (PAU 2017) is living testament of this. As usual, when the UMNO circus comes to town, Malaysians are given front row seats to witness the amusing antics by political leaders from the far right and taking the top place is none other than Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
During her speech at the recent UMNO General Assembly (PAU 2017) held at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), she declared that the the upcoming 14th Malaysian General Elections would entail an epic showdown between two political forces “There are only two choices – a government led by Najib through BN or the opposition led by Kit Siang, ‘Maharaja Lim’ (Emperor Lim)”. She further reiterated her statement by reminding delegates that the rakyat “should choose “the right side” led by Najib”. (1)
What makes her statement amusing and banal at the same time is that, while Datuk Seri Shahrizat is blindly and foolishly toeing the party line, such remarks depict her as nothing more than an out of touch, condescending political leader who has been lucky enough to have escaped persecution.
Allow me to reiterate: Malaysians will never forget the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) scandal and how her family failed to repay the RM250 million loan for its failed cattle-rearing project.
The NFCorp scandal was first exposed in the 2011 Auditor General Report which uncovered that the project had failed to meet its objectives and that funds were abused to invest in high-end properties abroad. NFCorp was operated by Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil’s family; husband Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Salleh Ismail served as chairman and the board of directors included their children.
This project could have benefited the rakyat and contribute immensely to the local economy but instead it collapsed under the heavy weight of human greed, lack of competency, lack of accountability, lack of transparency and most of all, lack of conscience.
I have faith that Malaysians will not blindly eat the lies kleptocrats like Datuk Seri Shahrizat and the others in UMNO are trying to sell. These leaders will continue to squander taxpayer’s money for their own vested interests and have very little political will to propell our nation to greater socio- economical achievements. These very same leaders are also fully aware that the calls for political reforms are growing louder with each passing day, therefore, will not hesitate to utilize vile tactics such as encouraging hate speech and promoting bigotry for their own political survival.
Perhaps, while some might agree that fear presents some level of use but everyone can agree that, cowardice has none and this is exactly where leaders in UMNO dwell in this present space and time.
SYERLEENA ABDUL RASHID
DAP Wanita National Assistant Publicity Secretary
DAP Penang State Assistant Publicity Secretary
DAP Wanita Penang Political Education Director
Councillor at Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP)