By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — MIC leader Datuk M. Saravanan has backed Utusan Malaysia’s attack on Chinese voters, calling them ungrateful for voting against the Barisan Nasional (BN) government which he said had served the community well.
The Tapah MP also suggested that the government not help Chinese voters who rejected the coalition in Sunday’s polls.
“I agree with the views of Datuk Seri Ali Rustam because even in my constituency, I have fulfilled my responsibility as MP well.
“I can’t find any reasons why they should reject me… I share his view,” Saravanan (picture) told reporters after attending a closed-door meeting between BN lawmakers and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the PWTC here.
Ali, the former Malacca chief minister, was defeated in the contest for the Bukit Katil parliamentary seat in Sunday’s polls.
The Umno supreme council member, who joined a list of big casualties in a polls battle that bloodied the ruling coalition’s nose, blamed the Chinese for his loss, calling them “ungrateful” for rejecting BN despite his contribution to the community when he was chief minister.
Saravanan noted that Najib instructed BN lawmakers not to turn the 13 party coalition’s failure to win a bigger mandate into a race issue.
However, the MIC vice-president was quick to point out that BN had done all it could to meet Chinese demands but the community has not been appreciative and appeared adamant to vote the coalition out.
“(Najib) said we should approach them based on issues but I don’t until when… we have given the best. How are they to realise?” he said.
Umno’s Utusan Malaysia front-paged today the question “Apa lagi Cina mahu (What else do the Chinese want?) in what appeared to be an attempt to shape the results of Election 2013 as a Chinese-vs-Malay vote.
Analysts have said data from voting trends showed the outcome of Election 2013 was not simply the result of a “Chinese tsunami” as Najib has claimed but a major swing in the urban and middle-class electorate that saw Malaysia’s urban-rural rift widen.
But Utusan Malaysia, a newspaper that has represented the right-wing forces aligned largely with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, decided today to publish a number of stories blaming the Chinese for dividing Malaysia.
Utusan Malaysia’s front page also suggests that Najib will have his hands full dealing with the powerful right-wing faction in Umno from which he received strong backing in the elections.
An analysis of how the vote went shows a country with rural-urban and class divisions that will make any reconciliation and necessary reforms even more difficult to implement.