When PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was Education Minister, he did not dare make such a decision because he wanted to remain popular with the Malays, (read here) he said.
“So please believe me when I say that we will be fair to the Chinese. Universiti Teknologi Mara should not be an issue,” he told the Chinese community in Butterworth in reference to Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's proposal to allocate 10% of the university's intake to non-bumiputras.
During the function, Najib also approved a RM500,000 allocation requested by the villagers for an indoor basketball court. He also said there would be good news in the 2009 Budget.
On Sunday Najib made a plea to the Indian and Chinese voters to support the Barisan Nasional by voting in its candidate, Arif Shah, and to reject the Opposition.
Admitting that that they had been abandoned by the coalition, he told them not to gamble the future of their children by supporting the opposition candidate who had been making false promises.
The BN, he said, would champion the Indian and Chinese communities' cause in the constituency as they had been neglected by the opposition. (The PKR has been holding Permatang Pauh Parliamentary seat since the 1999 G.E)
This what he had promised, in particular to the Indian voters that:
* a newly-set special cabinet committee to look after the well-being of the Indian community increase the educational opportunities of the Indian community,
* vocational and skills training courses were conducted for those living in the estates.
* Tamil primary schools with less than 50 students each were to be merged to enable the government provide better facilities for the students.
He also announced aid for six Chinese primary schools. (Malaysiakini - Goodies roll in, RM1 mil for Chinese schools).
Below is an excerpt from Malaysiakini
Goodies roll in…from all sides
On the PKR front, Anwar Ibrahim made an impromptu visit to Kampung Jalan Baru in Seberang Jaya, where some 100 households were affected by the flash flood.
During his brief visit, the opposition leader made a few stops at some houses and visited the affected families.
After he left, a team led by the party’s Kedah chief senator Zamri Yusuf handed out rice packets and hampers to the families amounting to about RM6,000. However, no cash was given.
Zamri told reporters that the aid was from a donation drive initiated by party members after the incident yesterday.
Also present was PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. The former MP for Permatang Pauh said this was not an unusual practice as she used to give out such aid in her capacity as a parliamentarian before.
A check with the locals however revealed that they have not received such aid before, apart from a sum of RM300 they had allegedly received from Arif Shah during the 2004 general election.
Anwar launches election slogan
Earlier today, Anwar launched his election slogan called 'mermerdekakan rakyat’ (independence for the people) at an event held in Seberang Jaya witnessed by about 200 supporters.
Standing on a lorry and against the backdrop of a huge board carrying the words ‘this country does not belongs to Umno or BN, it belongs to the rakyat,’ Anwar appealed to the voters to make the right choice.
The opposition leader said somebody asked him why he chose the slogan since the country had gained independence 50 years ago.
"I said the independence is not for ministers or son-in-laws, it should be for the people," he told the audience. He then led the crowd in chanting ‘merdeka’ three times.
At a press conference later, he said Pakatan Rakyat will review projects which do not benefit the rakyat should it come into power.
As examples, he cited the RM15.2 billion high-speed broadband service project announced recently, the double-tracking railway and the undersea cable projects.
"(These projects are awarded) at a time when people complain of suffering and when the economy is not picking up, they (the leaders) are losing their sense of priority," he said.
Under the Election Offences Act 1954, a candidate cannot spend more than RM200,000 to contest a parliamentary seat and RM100,000 to contest a state seat.
However, there is a grey area on whether the allocation or goodies handed out by the candidate’s party during election campaigns contradicts any election law.
The Election Commission has previously argued that these developmental allocations are not a form of bribery.
Read The Ancient Mariner's take : Now or never here and Magick River's Trawling the Malaysian Blogosphere here.