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 Malaysia: Ruling Party Members Protest Against Government In Opposition Ruled State Of Penang

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Number of posts : 332
Registration date : 2008-01-28

PostSubject: Malaysia: Ruling Party Members Protest Against Government In Opposition Ruled State Of Penang   Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:34 pm

为什么到现在还会有如此这般思想的人?Is it wrong to be fair to everyone irrespective of race?

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Hundreds of ruling party members protested outside the administrative headquarters of the opposition-ruled state of Penang on Friday (14 Mar) in the first sign of partisan tensions after the weekend elections, police said.

The United Malays National Organization members were demanding that the newly installed Penang government retain affirmative action policies for the majority Malays, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to make public statements.
Some 300 UMNO members took part in the demonstration, chanting slogans and waving banners, the spokesman said by telephone. One banner read "Don't Abolish the New Economic Policy," a reference to the affirmative action program.

The protesters dispersed peacefully after less than an hour when police backed by trucks mounted with water cannons arrived on the scene, the officer said.

UMNO state secretary Azhar Ibrahim, who led the protest, declined to comment when contacted.
UMNO claims to represent ethnic Muslim Malays, who form 60% of Malaysia's 27 million people. Most of the remaining Malaysians are ethnic Chinese and Indians.

UMNO also is the dominant party in the ruling National Front coalition, which suffered humiliating losses in 8 March general elections. The Front lost control of the Penang state legislature and four other states. In addition, its parliamentary majority was reduced to a 140 seats in the 222-member house.

The Chinese-dominated Penang state was won by the Chinese-based Democratic Action party, which formed an alliance with two other opposition parties to present the first credible nationwide challenge to the National Front in 51 years.

Immediately after taking the oath of office Monday (10 Mar), DAP's Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced he planned to run an administration "free from the New Economic Policy that breeds cronyism, corruption and systemic inefficiency."

Some Malays feared his comments were tantamount to a declaration that the NEP would be scrapped. The policy gives huge privileges to Malays in jobs, education, business and religion. But even some Malay critics say it has been misused to benefit a well-connected Malay elite.

Friday's protest was the first open show of anger by a government party since the elections.
Jeff Ooi, a Penang legislator who witnessed the protest from his office window, said the state government will not discriminate against Malays.

"Their fears are unfounded," Ooi told The Associated Press. "We will be fair to everyone irrespective of race. Our aim is to run the state government without the abuses that stem from the NEP such as corruption and nepotism."
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