Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Wake-up call for Malaysian Chinese voters!



ANALYSIS By BARADAN KUPPUSAMY

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek says Malaysians need a New Deal that is fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive to address today’s concerns and it should epitomise the core expectations of the people.



DATUK Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has outlined a wide-ranging “New Deal” for Malaysians that include abolishing obsolete laws, relaxing the hold on the media, democratising the economy and liberalising the education system.

The MCA president urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who was at the 58th MCA general assembly over the weekend when Dr Chua called for the reforms, to “take a giant leap forward” and offer the deal to all Malaysians.

“It should not allow the baggage of the past to be a millstone around the necks of our children and grandchildren,” he said to the applause of the delegates.

“Malaysians need a New Deal that is fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive of all Malaysians to address today’s concerns.

“It should epitomise the very core expectations of the people,” he added.

While proposing that outdated and irrelevant laws be repealed, he also proposed permission for public protests at designated places with a transparent police permit application system.

On the all-important economic front, he said cronyism and nepotism when awarding projects should be abolished and affirmative action based on needs and merits be extended to any group that is poor.

On education, the New Deal hopes that mother tongue languages would eventually be made compulsory in all national schools.

Dr Chua also called for Unified Examination Certificate graduates to be admitted into public universities.

On calls for English to be made compulsory, Dr Chua said it is time the Government set a time frame to achieve this.

He also proposed a one-off cash payment to poor Malaysian households to help them tide over the rising cost of living and a monthly allowance for the affected households – a move that many Malays and Indian households would also welcome.

His New Deal is within grasp and achievable for the younger generation who wants to see the country reform.

Dr Chua is banking on these reforms, in part already promised by Najib, to carry the MCA into the next general election and win the support of Chinese voters, who make up the majority in 46 parliamentary constituencies.

He is, in fact, eyeing the young voters.

The MCA performed dismally in 2008, winning only 15 parliamentary seats.

The DAP has since emerged as the champion of the Chinese community, a position once held by the MCA.

The reforms can help the MCA stand its ground against the DAP’s accusations that it did not fight for the Chinese community and had only kowtow to Umno all these years.

This is not true as cooperation with Umno and the Government had allowed the MCA to achieve a lot for the people over the years.

One example is the fact that 20,000 youngsters graduate annually from UTAR, a college conceived and built by the MCA.

While the Chinese are either sitting on the fence or supporting the DAP, Dr Chua warned that the country would see, not a two-party system, but a two-race system.

He said if the Chinese voters were blind to the realities of politics in the country, they would sit in the Opposition while the Malays form the Government.

Dr Chua said they were off on a tangent, on their own, nursing anger against the Government.

But, he said, the Government has become inclusive and has started political, social and economic reforms that were gradually transforming the country.

His overall message to the assembly delegates is – if they (the Chinese) refuse to see the reform direction the country is taking they would end up the losers.

Dr Chua has promised that if the Chinese voters, for some reasons, don’t give their support to the MCA and if its performance is worse than in 2008, the party will stay out of the Government altogether.

MCA proposes New Deal for Malaysians

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak (right) greets MCA President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek (3rd, left) after giving his speech at the party's 58th AGM today. At left is MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. BERNAMA 

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 2, 2011): MCA has proposed a New Deal to snag voters and regain full support for the party, as well as for the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Party president Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who officiated the party's annual general meeting (AGM) today, to embrace this new deal, which will "give every Malaysian, their children, and grandchildren confidence and hope that their future is in Malaysia."
"The world has changed, and Malaysia cannot sit still when the world moves ahead with more progressive policies that do away with ideological dogmatism," said Chua, lauding Najib's push for legislative reform and the repeal of the Internal Security Act, among others.



"Laws, policies, ideologies and beliefs that have outlived their relevance must be changed. If we do not do away with them or adapt to the times, they will act as stumbling blocks that impeded the progress of the country and its people.

In a wide-ranging speech, Chua in his opening address during the party's 58th AGM held at the MCA headquarters here, also reiterated the party's vow that it will not accept any government posts if it does not gain the support of the Chinese community.

"Delegates will pass a resolution that the party will not take up any government posts if the MCA does not fare better than in the 2008 general elections.

"Such a move is to respect the wishes of the voters, and should be construed as such and not as a threat to the voters," Chua said.

Chua had mooted the decision in April, when he announced that the party will refuse to take Cabinet posts if it does not turn the tide of support from the 2008 elections.

"Hopefully this decision will create greater awareness of the need for unity among MCA members, and that the survival and destiny of the party is in their hands," said Chua.

Elaborating on the new deal, the MCA president said it is for a fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive government.

"The government should listen more to concerned Malaysians who are now more vocal and politically conscious than before," said Chua, adding that there should be more channels for peaceful dissent, and that routes and places be designated for protests.

"However, organisers of demonstrations must ensure that it is peaceful with no threat towards human life or property," he said.

Chua also proposed that the government should work towards abolishing the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

"The MCA feels the press should have the liberty to exercise self-control, as there are already other laws such as the Sedition Act and the Official Secrets Act to check on any wrongdoing," he said.

Chua also called for the University and University College Act (UUCA) to be reviewed.

"MCA believes that the UUCA should be amended to allow students to be engaged in political activity to respect their rights as voters," he said.

Chua also touched on the economy, saying it must be made free from the encumbrances of cronyism and nepotism, corruption and unfair business practices.

"The rakyat wants a just society and a fairer business environment that emphasises on meritocracy, inclusiveness and transparency," he said, adding that "doing business should be simpler, minus all the red tape."

However, the new deal should not be seen as an attempt to rewrite the so-called Merdeka contract.

"I know there will be groups who will attack me for even suggesting it. But let us be bold and brave enough to rework it to make it more suitable for the times and to meet the aspirations of all Malaysians," he charged, adding that the government and the party should rise above narrow self-interests.

MCA seeks New Deal

Reports by FOONG PEK YEE, NG SI HOOI, EDMUND NGO, ELWEEN LOKE, FLORENCE A. SAMY, MAZWIN NIK ANIS, RUBEN SARIO, SIRA HABIBU, RAHIMY RAHIM, REGINA LEE and PRIYA KULASAGARAN > Photos by DARRAN TAN, AZHAR MAHFOF, SAM THAM, LOW LAY PHON and CHAN TAK KONG

KUALA LUMPUR: A “New Deal” based on fairness and bravery is needed to give the people confidence and hope that their future is in Malaysia, said Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

The MCA president said the New Deal must embrace everyone as well as erase policies and laws which are unjustified and considered stumbling blocks.

“The time to act is now. The New Deal should give every Malaysian, their children and grandchildren confidence and hope that their future is in Malaysia,” Dr Chua said at the opening of the MCA's 58th annual general assembly at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

Urging Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to take the giant leap forward and offer all Malaysians a new deal for the future, Dr Chua said Barisan Nasional should not allow “the baggage of the past to be a millstone around the necks of our children and grandchildren”.

Presidential address: Dr Chua delivering his keynote address at the MCA’s 58th annual general assembly at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. — CHAN TAK KONG / The Star
“Malaysians need a New Deal that is fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive of all Malaysians to address today's concerns of the young and future generation. It should encompass political, social, economic and educational issues and epitomise the very core expectations and aspirations of the people at large.”

He noted that the aspirations of the younger generation might not be the same as that of the older generation.

He added that the Government and leaders must tailor their policies and programmes to the young.

“They must have faith that their aspirations can be met, and that we (Barisan) will facilitate those aspirations and not be a hindrance to them,” Dr Chua said.

The MCA president said there was a need for Barisan to sit down and work out the New Deal, stressing that such efforts must not be seen as an attempt to completely rewrite the so-called Merdeka social contract.


“I know there will be groups who will attack me for even suggesting it.

“But let us be bold and brave enough to rework it to make it more suitable for the times and meet the aspirations of all Malaysians.”

Dr Chua said the policies formulated immediately after 1969 must change with the times, pointing out that the world had changed.

“The new leadership of the MCA wants the New Deal to also embrace a government that is constructive and which can unite all races.

“We must always pursue the middle path, reaching out to a younger generation who may feel alienated.
“We want a nation that is fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive of all Malaysians.”

Dr Chua said the Government should listen more to concerned Malaysians who were now more vocal, active and politically-conscious than before.

“As leaders, we must always be ready to listen. Politicians should never pretend to know everything,” he stressed.

He said a caring government would take care of everyone's needs and expectations, from education and employment to security and law and order, as well as the impact of inflation.

“The Government's duty is to reassure all Malaysians that they have a rightful place in the country. All Malaysians will benefit as the country develops to become a high-income nation by the year 2020. The expanding economic cake should be shared fairly and equitably by all Malaysians.

“Bumiputras should not be jealous of the success of non-bumis, and non-bumis should also not be jealous of the progress of bumiputras. We are 1Malaysia.”

MCA calls for a new deal based on fairness (Update)

By FOONG PEK YEE

KUALA LUMPUR: A new deal based on fairness and bravery needs to be drawn up to give the people confidence and hope that their future is in Malaysia, said MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
"The new deal must embrace everyone and erase policies and laws which are unjustified and considered stumbling blocks," he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak acknowledges the standing ovation from delegates at the MCA's 58th annual general meeting. 
“The time to act is now. The new deal should give every Malaysian, their children and grandchildren confidence and hope that their future is in Malaysia,” he said at the opening of the MCA's 58th annual general assembly (AGM) at Wisma MCA here .

Urging Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to take the giant leap forward and offer all Malaysians a new deal for the future, Dr Chua said Barisan Nasional should not allow “the baggage of the past to be a millstone around the necks of our children and grandchildren”.

“Malaysians need a new deal that is fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive of all Malaysians to address today's concerns of the young and the future generation.

"It should encompass political, social, economic and educational issues and epitomize the very core expectations and aspirations of the people at large.”
 
In a highly-charged speech Dr Chua said the coalition must rise to the occasion, rise above narrow self-interest and do away with “ideological dogmatism and laws, policies, ideologies and beliefs that have outlived its relevance in today's political landscape.”

 
Dr Chua and his deputy Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai welcome Najib on his arrival for the 58th MCA annual general meeting at Wisma MCA on Sunday

He noted that the aspirations of the younger generation might not be the same like that of the older generation, and that the government and leaders must tailor their policies and programmes to the young.

“They must have faith that their aspirations can be met, and that we (Barisan) will facilitate those aspirations and not be a hindrance to them,” Dr Chua said.

The MCA president said there was a need for Barisan to sit down and work out the New Deal, stressing that such efforts must not be seen as an attempt to completely rewrite the so-called Merdeka social contract.

“I know there will be groups who will attack me for even suggesting it. But let us be bold and brave enough to rework it to make it more suitable for the times and to meet the aspirations of all Malaysians.

“Let us rise above narrow self-interests. The time to act is now.”

Dr Chua said policies formulated immediately after 1969 must change with the times, pointing out that the world had changed.

Dr Chua and his deputy Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai welcome Najib on his arrival for the 58th MCA annual general meeting at Wisma MCA on Sunday 
“The new leadership of the MCA wants the New Deal to also embrace a government that is constructive and which can unite all races. We must always pursue the middle path, reaching out to a younger generation who may feel alienated.

“We want a nation that is fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive of all Malaysians.”

Dr Chua said the government should listen more to concerned Malaysians who are now more vocal, active and politically conscious than before.

“As leaders, we must always be ready to listen. Politicians should never pretend to know everything,” he stressed.

He said a caring government would take care of everyone's needs and expectations, from education and employment to security and law and order, as well as the impact of inflation.

Dr Chua, who called for more channels for peaceful dissent, also proposed that designated places and designated routes be allowed for protest and that the applications for police permits must be transparent.

On political transformation, Dr Chua said politicians should go beyond the politics of cohesion, threat, race and religion.

He regretted that there were one or two Barisan leaders who were seen as aloof, arrogant and abusive, and their attitude had not gone down well with the rakyat.

Dr Chua, who likened their behaviour to that of “big brothers” or bullies, said their behaviour would only heighten the people's anger and negative perceptions of the Barisan and the government.

The MCA chief also called on Najib to ensure that all frontline civil servants to emulate the police by learning at least two additional languages besides Bahasa Malaysia.

On education, Dr Chua called for a timetable should also be set for the authorities to make English a compulsory pass subject in the SPM examination.

He also called for mother tongue languages to be encouraged at all national schools and should eventually be made compulsory.

“If such initiatives are planned properly with a staggered timeline, they are achievable.”

Touching on the economy, Dr Chua said the award of projects should not be based on a “know-who” basis, and the expanding economic cake should be shared fairly by all Malaysians under the 1Malaysia concept.

He also urged Malaysians not to see each other as competitors but instead team up to compete with the world outside.

On the rising cost of living and many people not being able to make ends meet, Dr Chua proposed the government help them via special one-off monetary relief like cash handouts to the poor, senior citizens, pensioners, and assistance like school books, uniforms and transportation for school-going children.

The government, he added, should also consider some form of monthly allowance for the poor.

Dr Chua also cautioned the people of the Pakatan's practice - talk but don't walk the talk apart from being “consistently inconsistent”.

He reminded the people that the opposition's populist policies might generate the “feel good” factor; but they would neither address their needs nor generate high income or better living standards.

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