Gerakan raps Shahidan over 'retrograde' call

A BN component party has panned Shahidan Kassim’s claim that voting along racial lines will ensure stability in the country.

 Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong dismissed the suggestion by the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department as “retrograde and divisive in nature”.

Furthermore, he said a call to vote along racial lines is against the Bangsa Malaysia concept  which aims to create an inclusive and composite national identity for all Malaysians.

 Mah maintained that voting should be based mainly on the capability of the candidate to carry out his or her legislative duties as a parliamentarian or state assemblyperson under a representative democracy without narrowed reference to one’s race or religion.

 He said the nation should move forward with voters  giving more emphasis on competency and credibility of the candidate and not the ethnicity or religion of the candidate.

“As a multiracial party which upholds the Malaysian spirit, we at Gerakan denounce such a claim as we strongly advocate cross-racial voting patterns to promote national identity as Malaysian,” he said in a statement.

“Conversely, voting along racial lines contradicts government’s efforts to nurture social integration  and wholeness of the nation which could eventually lead to social division and it certainly does not  augur well for the welfare and stability of the country.

“A leader should always embrace a holistic, inclusive and forward-looking perspective to guide the people forward. I am disappointed with Shahidan. I expected more from him,” he added.

 Shahidan, who made the call in Parliament yesterday, also drew flak from the opposition with DAP MP Ong Kian Ming calling on the minister to resign for propagating “electoral apartheid”.





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