Over the weekend, from Thursday right up to Sunday, I was kept busy travelling to Kelantan, Johor and Malacca. In Kelantan, I officiated MCA AGM in five divisions. In Johor, I launched a Youth program in Muar. In the same day, I held the first BN coordinating meeting in Muar. On my way back to KL, I officiated another MCA AGM in Malacca. On Sunday night, I was back again in Johor Bahru to officiate another MCA AGM.
In Kelantan, MCA only has a state seat and we lost in the 308 general election. However, in most of the division AGM meeting that I have attended, I noticed that attendance in the AGM is satisfactory considering there are not many Chinese and MCA members in Kelantan. The Chinese make up about 4-5% of the total population in Kelantan, which are about 30,000 to 40,000 people. I suspect the younger generations are mostly working outside Kelantan.
Travelling through Kelantan, I notice that there is not much change in term of development and economic activities. In Kota Bharu, I noticed that are some new shop houses and shopping centre. On Friday, there was traffic congestion during lunchtime because of the Muslim’s Friday prayer. Otherwise, it’s the same old Kota Bharu. I was wondering why Lee Kuan Yew in his visit to Kelantan did not make any observation about the development in Kelantan and other states. In Penang, he commented that George Town have not seen much changes compared to Ipoh and Seremban. This was enough to trigger a verbal war between Koh Tsu Koon and Lim Guan Eng. Maybe Kuan Yew being a ‘political animal’ did not want to offend PAS.
PAS has a formidable party organization and has the most number of members compared to DAP and Keadilan. Hence, it is not surprising that the PAS President Hadi Awang and his supporters have been very vocal in stating their claim to be the Prime Minister if they come into power. Of course this has not gone down well with Anwar and Keadilan members. I am wondering what is DAP’s stand. I suspect DAP will go along with Keadilan rather than PAS.
What Kelantan has achieved under PAS in the last 19 years is not very encouraging. If PR comes into power at the federal level with PAS taking the lead, then a lot of us may not be so enthusiastic about the future of this country. The fundamentalist in PAS would over emphasize religion over economic development.
Kelantan today has the highest rate of poverty in peninsular Malaysia. It also has the highest unemployment rate as creation of new jobs is lacking. It has hardly any foreign direct investment. However, it has one of the highest incidents of the HIV and drug addicts. I was also told that it has one of the highest divorce rates in the country. Maybe, it has low crime rate. If this is the record that we have, then I shudder at the thought that PAS’ leadership like this can be in the pilot’s seat at federal level.