Apr 27, 2007

Ijok : 24 hours to go

Sometimes it is mind boggling that we seldom hear any comments from the candidate, K.Parthiban himself, but instead so many claims from DPM Najib.

Anyway, official campaigning is till 11.59pm tonight.

(BERNAMA) Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak believes Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) will not get the support of the Chinese community as its advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim failed to fulfil its aspirations when the latter was an education minister.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that as such, Chinese voters would not be taken in by empty promises made by Anwar and the PKR that the party would fight for the Chinese interests, describing them as political gimmicks to fish for Chinese votes in the Ijok by-election, polling of which is on Saturday.

Speaking at a gathering with members of the Chinese community at the Sekolah Menengah Teknik hall in Batang Berjuntai here tonight, Najib said that when Anwar was education minister, he (Anwar) refused to abolish Section 21 (1B) of the Education Act 1991, which empowered the minister to shut down Chinese and Tamil schools, despite repeated calls to do so by the Chinese community.

In exposing the matter, Najib said that it was him when appointed the education minister in 1995 who took the courageous decision to have the section withdrawn when he tabled a new education act in 1996.

"But when Anwar was the minister, he did not want to do it because he wanted to be popular among Malay intellectuals. He is only interested in himself," said Najib.

According to him, this assured that national type Chinese and Tamil schools could continue to exist in the country.

"This was my contribution to the Chinese and Indian communities when I was the education minister... we want to ask Anwar when he was the minister (education), what he did (to fulfil the aspirations of the Chinese). When you had the power, what did you do?," he said to thunderous claps from the 1,000 odd people present.

Najib also refuted allegations by the opposition that MCA leaders were not brave enough to champion Chinese interests in the Cabinet and were mere "yes men".

"I have been in the Cabinet since 1986 to this day and I can give the assurance that the MCA leaders in it always speak out for the Chinese and the nation's overall interests.

"Maybe they are not like DAP leaders, always going around shouting this and that. But MCA leaders always discuss matters with the other leaders in the Cabinet, the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno," he said.

The Deputy Prime Minister also assured the people of Ijok that the closure of the landfill in Kubang Badak, Batang Berjuntai was permanent and would not be reopened as alleged by the opposition.

Najib also reminded Chinese voters not to be shortsighted and vote for the PKR as this would only benefit PAS.

"If you support Khalid (the PKR candidate), indirectly you are supporting PAS. That party does not have an inkling of what the Chinese want," he said.

At the function, Najib also handed over a cheque for RM1 million for the building of an extension to the Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Yuk Chih in Batang Berjuntai.

Also present were MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and the BN candidate, K.Parthiban.

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