Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 18th of March, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur
After being criticized by Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh, in parliament and in a press statement, for asking a group of mostly Chinese voters in Sungai Chua, Kajang, to “vote for the BN candidate that is one from your own race”, Minister in charge of National Unity in the Prime Minister’s Department, Joseph Kurup quickly made a ‘clarification’ by denying that he used the word ‘race’ in his speech.
This begs the question of what the Minister actually meant when he asked these mainly Chinese voters to “Vote for BN who is one of your own” (In BM: “Undilah calon BN yang merupakan orang kamu sendiri”). The Minister, as far as I know, did not elaborate further in his one paragraph clarification statement to Malaysiakini.
Could this mean that the Minister was asking the voters in Sungai Chua to vote for Chew Mei Fun because she is from Kajang? This is not possible since Chew was born in Penang and was previously an MP in Petaling Jaya. Could this mean that the Minister was asking the voters to vote for Chew because she is Hakka, like the majority of the voters in Sungai Chua? This is also not possible since Chew is Hainanese, not Hakka.
The only possible explanation left is that the Minister was asking the Chinese voters in Sungai Chua to vote for Chew because she is a Chinese i.e. one of their own!
Instead of trying to deny the obvious insinuation of his campaign speech, Joseph Kurup should immediately apologize for his inappropriate remark which makes a mockery of his position as Minister in charge of National Unity.
If the Minister in charge of National Unity can resort to using the race of the candidate as a campaign issue, it is no wonder that other BN ministers and leaders continues to and will continue to use race and religion in order to create fear and division among Malaysians before, during and after the Kajang by-election.
As the DAP’s liaison officer for the Kajang by-election, I have seen and heard speakers from PAS, PKR and DAP speak a consistent message throughout all the ceramahs in Malay and Chinese majority as well as mixed areas. And the message is that Pakatan Rakyat, through the candidacy of Dr. Wan Azizah, is campaigning in Kajang to uphold principles of justice, transparency, fairness and a better quality of life for ALL Malaysians, regardless of background, religion or race. I call upon voters in Kajang to support Pakatan’s campaign and reject the politics of race and fear being practiced by Barisan Nasional.