She went on to claim that the contract was among 968 valued at RM125 million awarded by the state government since 2008 under the open tender system and only 0.2% of the projects were given to non-Bumiputras.
She said: “Does this mean that there are no Chinese contractors able to meet the standard of a 19-year-old?
“Is Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng saying that the capabilities and competitiveness of the Chinese in Penang have declined so much so that they are unable to compete with other races?
“Where is the fairness of DAP’s so-called multi-racial approach?”
I am not really surprised if it is true that the teenager was given the contract. Why not if he’s a capable businessman? After all, Tan herself admitted that the project awarded to him – a double-storey religious school in Batu Maung - had since been completed. He was also allegedly awarded a cleaning contract by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council.
However, I will be thoroughly surprised and disagree with the Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, if only 0.2 per cent of projects were given to the non-Bumiputeras.
I understand if the DAP wants to show that it’s not neglecting the Bumiputeras, but to sideline the non-Bumiputeras is unfair and politically unwise.
True that even Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak is going out of his way to appease and please the minorities, like visiting and recognising the Vatican and, most recently, promising to make the MIC President S. Palanivel a Minister, but for the DAP to sideline the non-Bumiputeras in Penang is unthinkable.
So while the BN is appeasing the minorities, the DAP is pleasing the majority. Does this mean that the BN believes that the votes of the majority – meaning the Melayu – are in the hand and, all that it needs to do is butter the minorities?
On the other hand, the DAP has every reason to believe that the votes of the minority – meaning the Chinese – are already in the bag as was confirmed during the recent Sarawak state assembly election.
Back to the MCA allegation that the DAP was favouring the Bumiputeras in Penang, if indeed this is the case, I hope those fortunate Bumiputera contractors are real and genuine, and not some sort of Ali-Baba or proxies.
Maybe be, the time is a changing – to quote Bob Dylan’s famous song. It’s the time for the DAP to appease and please the Bumiputeras and for the Umno-led BN to appease and please the non-Bumiputeras.
Like R Azmi said, “dunia lah sekarang sudah lah terbalik, pemudi berbaju jarang , pemuda berbaju batik.” In the days of R Azmi, it was unusual from young women to wear transparent or revealing clothes and for young men to wear batik.
If Tan’s allegation is true, could it be that the DAP is trying to correct the injustices done to the Penang Malays and other Bumiputeras during the 51-year rule by the MCA and the Gerakan? Or it is trying to do better than what the MCA and Gerakan did for the Bumiputeras. Not a bad strategy. The MCA and Gerakan, in spite of being junior partners to Umno, got to run the state by keeping the Malays happy.
If that’s the case, I say kudus to the DAP and its Pakatan Rakyat partners in Penang. I know too that the DAP is trying hard to entice the Malays to join its rank and file with the aim of putting them up as candidates in the coming general elections.
Listen to what Bob Dylan has to say:
"Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'."
C’est la vie. That’s life. Itulah kehidupan.