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Thursday, 2 June 2011

Malaysians first, Time to stop thinking along racial lines, says Soi Lek!

Time to stop thinking along racial lines, says Soi Lek

KUALA LUMPUR: The people must start thinking of themselves as Malaysians first rather than the racial group they belong to, said MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

He said Malaysians had to accept the political reality that the country was a multiracial one and everyone must work together to make it a peaceful and developed place.

“At MCA, we have always asked for the column stating race to be removed from application forms,” he told reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony of the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Chin Woo Association multi-purpose activity centre here yesterday.

However, Dr Chua acknowledged that it would not be easy to achieve the 1Malaysia objective right now as the people still had very strong racial identity and feelings.

He said Malaysians, from government servants to businessmen, were still thinking along racial lines.

On whether Barisan Nasional component parties that represent the major races in the country are hindrances to achieving the 1Malaysia concept, Dr Chua said they should not be.

“We have been in existence for so long. When we solve problems, we do not talk about race,” he said.

He said even Pakatan Rakyat was a coalition of parties that represented the major races in the country.

“PAS is basically (made up) of Malays and Parti Keadilan Rakyat is (made up of) people (who were previously) from Umno while DAP comprises mostly Chinese,” he said.

On another matter, Dr Chua said more young faces with high chances of winning will be chosen to be MCA candidates in the next general election.

He said young candidates who were media-savvy and had passion and good organisational and language skills would form a good combination with their older counterparts.

“The best combination will be to have the old, middle-aged and the young ones as our candidates,” he said.

He said MCA had always tried to infuse new blood into the party, so those who had been holding party positions should not assume that they would automatically be selected to be election candidates.

“We will also not pick candidates based on their gender or the faction they belong to,” he said.

Recently, Dr Chua hinted that leaders, especially division chairmen who had lost in the previous general election, would not be chosen as candidates in the next general election.

On whether this would backfire and cause acts of sabotage among party members, Dr Chua said: “If a candidate has a high chance of winning, he or she should not be worried.”

He said when MCA made the decision to not take up any government posts should it perform poorly in the next general election, it was a warning to incumbent leaders not to be complacent but to work hard to get the support of voters.

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