It has always been alleged that BN, or to be more exact, Umno always pulled out the racial card whenever all else failed them.
However, as could be observed in the relocation of Pengerang Chinese graves issue, it was Pakatan, or to be more exact, DAP which pulled out the racial card when their chips were down.
The issue is now among the hottest topic of discussion on the country's Chinese-side of the cyberspace. The rhetorics were quite fearsome actually. As if the "Umno (read Malay) government" is out to desecrate the Chinese graves.
Now, why would the current government, which some of its own supporters are accusing it of bending backwards to please the Chinese wants to do such a thing?
Those who are familiar with the Pengerang petroleum hub issue should remember that it was Pas which first appeared to lead the Pakatan's campaign to stop the project which will transform Pengerang from a Johor's backwater into the most exciting economic growth centre of the country. The place is after all a Malay-majority area and an Umno stronghold.
However, it turned out that Johor Pas leaders such as Salahuddin Ayub, Mazlan Aliman and Suhaizan Kayat were not up to the job. They failed to turn the Malays in Pengerang to go against the project.
Actually, they can't really be blamed for their failure. The odds were against them. The Johor government had anticipated the coming attack and had made the necessary preparations to counter it. The Pas leaders were simply not used to factual arguments and this is where they failed as it needed facts to convince most Johorean Malays on any particular issue.
The last straw was when the Pas' so called "himpunan tanah" at Plaza Angsana, JB in May failed. Only about 1,000 people turned up out of the expected 30,000.
The next blow to Pakatan was when the Sultan of Johor, while launching the petroleum hub project later in the month cautioned the people of Pengerang from being influenced and used by those who want the project to fail. This virtually shut up the Johor Pas leaders, who know that it would be a political suicide for them to go against the Sultan as the Johorean Malays still respect their royal institution.
DAP, which was expecting to win big in Johor in the coming general election by exploiting the perceived Chinese unhappiness towards the BN government were dismayed but decided not to give up. The Pengerang petroleum hub project is after all the only platform where they could create a big issue in Johor to lessen their over dependence on their actual strength - Chinese chauvinism. They were banking on it to create similar positive vibes for them as the one which they successfully did in the Lynas issue.
But in Pengerang, DAP can't rely much on the local Chinese as unlike Kuantan, the Chinese community in Pengerang is much smaller. Furthermore, the local Chinese are not really against the project. They know they too will benefit from it.
DAP also found that they can't argue against the project based on facts because they know the State government is ready for that and if they tried it they will surely fail, just like their Pas lackeys did.
So, the only option DAP has now is to once again resort to sentiments - racial sentiments, that is. That is how we now have this Chinese graves issue in Pengerang where no one used to really care about the racial background of each others.
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