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Dragged into the water

  • Perhaps BN should just focus on playing the China card to win the hearts of Chinese voters. Any uncalled for moves will only derail MCA's plan to woo back Chinese voters. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

Sin Chew Daily

BN is wooing the Chinese voters by announcing plans to construct ten new SJKCs and relocate six micro schools, What is perplexing now is that the ruling coalition is cooking up the issue of Robert Kuok allegedly funding DAP in a bid to topple the Umno-led government.

Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, who is on exile in UK, published several articles on his website Malaysia Today accusing the Sugar King of providing financial assistance to DAP in order to establish a Chinese-dominated regime.

RPK also accused Kuok of supporting The Malaysian Insight to promote his Chinese agenda. Faridah Begum, the sister of TMI chief editor cum managing director Jahabar Sadiq, is the wife of attorney-general Apandi Ali.

RPK is a highly controversial figure who was almost forgotten by the public until he raised some issues recently. He supported the opposition prior to the 2008 general elections, and went on exile after he was sued for criminal defamation of Rosmah Mansor. He later turned to support the BN administration.

Last October, he wrote an article accusing Apandi of accessing the AG job through corrupt means. Apandi lodged a police report but as he later found that RPK was already a bankrupt, no action has been taken.

Apandi's wife Faridah also lodged a police over another of his article which accused her of influencing the AGC's decisions, which the AGC has since denied.

So, how can we believe in allegations made by such a blogger against Robert Kuok? Then why should Malay dailies carry prominently reports on Umno leaders' reactions, including the warning that Kuok is an ungrateful person?

In his memoir published last November, Kuok revealed that he had asked Tun Hussein Onn to implement meritocracy irrespective of race, but the then PM admitted he was incapable of making the change.

The tycoon therefore wrote, "The train of the nation had been put on the wrong track. Hussein wasn't strong enough to lift up the train and set it down on the right track."

Sure enough such a candid remark is bound to draw the ire of Umno leaders, but they refrained from doing anything until now.

Kuok's nephew James posted pictures of him having lunch with DAP leaders which were exploited by RPK to support his claim that James Kuok was the "middle man" in Robert Kuok's funding of the opposition party.

James' earlier statement disapproving of the New Economic Policy goes well with DAP's "Malaysia for Malaysians" stand. Prior to this, Umno leaders alleged in the party's general assembly that DAP was against the Malays and that Pakatan Harapan was dominated by DAP, adding that nightmares would befall if there is a change of federal administration. Kuok's funding of DAP serves to fortify such a claim.

While the latest accusation may reinforce Umno's rural support base, it is nonetheless a double-edged sword that will nullify all the efforts of predominantly Chinese parties in BN to woo Chinese voters, because Robert Kuok is a highly respected man among Chinese Malaysians.

Although Kuok has been living in Hong Kong all these years, he has remained strongly bonded to his native country where he salvaged some failing companies in the likes of Mulpha Holdings and Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (now defunct). He also paid RM20 million to bail out former MCA president Tan Koon Swan detained in Singapore on CBT charges. He was a major political contributor to BN and MCA especially in the run-up to general elections.

Consequently, MCA chose to steer clear of the latest controversy, as VP Wee Ka Siong questioned RPK's credibility.

Given Kuok's low-profile and politics-shy style, it is hard to believe he would ever have the intention of overthrowing the Umno-led government. If he were to do all this for potential rewards from a new administration, will he still need to do this given his already enormous wealth?

It is questionable whether frying up this issue will help Umno win some Malay votes, because the Malays themselves are already divided.

As Robert Kuok is a world-class entrepreneur, blowing up this issue will not augur well for the country's effort to lure foreign investments and will instead deal a severe blow on the government's credibility in checking the spread of misinformation.

Perhaps BN should just focus on playing the China card in order to win the hearts of Chinese voters. Any uncalled for moves will only derail MCA's plan to woo back Chinese voters.

As the general election is drawing near, the emergence of conspiracy theory brings out the utter confusion in BN's strategies as well as a severe lack of confidence among some of its leaders.



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