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At the recent PAS Muktamar (annual assembly), members groused about how the Malays were being neglected in Penang. A Penang PAS committee member went so far as to allege that the Penang state government was trying to drive out Malays from the state by using cunning ways to displace them through development and infrastructure projects. He also claimed that at the rate things were going in Penang, “it is only a matter of time before pig farms appear in the middle of a Malay kampung”. He continued his racist drivel by saying that he found it very upsetting that non-Malays dominated the state legislature.[1]

The way he described the situation in Penang, one would have concluded that the very survival of the Malays in Penang was hanging in the balance. Of course, it’s all just absolute hogwash. In fact, both Malays and non-Malays in Penang are far better off than they are in states like Kelantan and Kedah which are both ruled by PAS. Indeed, thousands of young men and women from Kedah have migrated to Penang in search of job opportunities and a better quality of life.

In response to the fake allegations about Penang, the PAS leadership promised to pay greater attention to the so-called plight of the Malays in Penang and the weaknesses of the DAP-led state government. He also informed delegates that the PAS leadership had appointed an officer in Penang to serve with the party’s mouthpiece – Harakah – to specifically focus on issues pertaining to Penang. In passing, it should be noted that Harakah is so boring that even PAS members can’t be bothered to read it.[2]

In any case, it is laughable that PAS should be concerned about the weaknesses of the Penang state government when it has done nothing about its own weaknesses in the states it now rules.

Indeed, it is common knowledge that PAS has mismanaged every state it has ruled. The party has simply no idea how to run a modern state. Kelantan, for example, is one of the poorest states in the country and is barely able to even finance itself. Jobs are so few in the state that thousands of Kelantanese have to migrate to other states just to make a living. Kelantan also has problems providing clean water to its citizens and is mired in a host of social problems ranging from drug abuse to incest. 

And what does the state government do when confronted with all these pressing problems? It passes laws prohibiting sex with corpses and animals, pushes for tighter hudud laws, plays up racial and religious issues, and of course, buys expensive cars for its exco members. It just shows how hopelessly out of touch they are with reality. Perhaps, they might better serve their own people if they took the trouble to learn from Penang instead of making up fake stories about the state government. 

[Dennis Ignatius | Kuala Lumpur | Wednesday, 10th November 2021]

[1] Conspiracy against Malays in Penang, claims local PAS leader, FMT, 6 November 2021

[2] PAS info chief: We always give special focus to ‘weaknesses’ of Penang govt, Malaysiakini, 7 November 2021