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Liou Chen Kuang - competent, honest, friendly & willing to serve Machap constituents will be DAP's candidate for the N.8 Machap by-election

Press Conference

by Lim Guan Eng


(Machap, Friday): The DAP Central Executive Committee Candidate Selection Committee has decided yesterday on Sdr Liou Chen Kuang, 33, as the DAP's candidate for the N.8 Machap by-election on 12 April 2007. Sdr Liou is a successful young businessman and married with two young children. Sdr Liou is competent, honest, friendly and ever willing to serve Machap constituents.


Despite his defeat to the late MCA State Chair Datuk Poh Ah Tiam in the 2004 general elections, Sdr Liou has continued to serve Machap constituents and handled their problems. With his knowledge of the local terrain, Sdr Liou enjoys grassroots support in the Kampung Permai Machap Umboo and Kampung Machap Baru New Village. The DAP Melaka State Committee has also indicated that whatever the outcome of the by-election, Sdr Liou is ready and willing to return to Machap and continue serving the constituents.

DAP hopes that the voters in Machap can give this young successful businessman who has committed himself to stand together with Machap voters for the future, the opportunity to represent them, handle their problems, be their voice of hope and speak fearlessly against injustices.

"Machap Demokrasi" will be DAP's rallying cry for the Machap by-election

DAP has also decided to adopt "Machap Demokrasi" as the rallying cry for the Machap by-election. Adopting "Machap Demokrasi" is intended to focus the minds of the voters in Machap of the importance of democracy to survive in Malaysia.


Democracy is rule of the people through their representatives selected by them through a political process of elections. Elections  must be free, fair, neutral and independent. For a healthy democracy to function, there must be:-

1.    frequent consultation between the people and their representatives on decisions that affects them;

2.    participation by the people in this political process as well as decision-making; and

3.    accountability for decisions made by their elected representatives to the voters.


The announcement by Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam of building the new 220 feet telecommunications tower for RM 400,000 to replace a similar one in Kampung Permai Machap Umboo is one example of the lack of a healthy democracy. The previous telco tower was built 2 years ago without consulting Kampung Permai Machap Umboo residents, neither allowing them to participate in the decision-making process nor accounting to them their concerns and worries.


The building of the telco tower next to the Chinese primary school stirred strong objections from the residents worried about their health. If all three elements of consultation, participation and accountability were fulfilled, then there is no need to affect the health of residents for 2 years and  waste money to build a new one. The people of Kampung Permai Machap Umboo have to wait for a by-election, a strong challenge from the DAP and a government desperate to get their votes before their wish can be answered.


Clearly the lack of an alternative in the form of a strong opposition to play the role as a "check and balance" to the government was critical to the original decision to ignore protests from the entire village and stubbornly build the telco tower. If only one party wins all, the ruling party will feel they are not answerable to the people and can abuse their power as they like. 

Confucious said that “a wicked government is more ferocious than a rapacious tiger”. Some of the wickedness include:-

  • Corruption becoming more rampant until Transparency International ranking for, Malaysia has declined from No. 37 in 2003 to No. 44 in 2006. The ACA Director-General is himself investigated for corruption and sexual crimes or the Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohamad Johari Baharom is investigated for the RM 5.5 million “freedom for sale” scandal involving the release of 3 kingpins of black society triads, one of the three allegedly the younger brother of a MCA Deputy Minister.

  • Malaysians suffer the worst income inequality between the rich and poor in South-East Asia with the share of income of the bottom 40% of the population declining from 14.5% in 1990 to 13.5% in 2004 whilst the share of the top 20% of the population increased from 50% in 1990 to 51.2% in 2004.

  • Stubbornly persisting with an outdated New Economic Policy (NEP) based on mediocrity, quotas and crony capitalism when globalization stresses on competitiveness, merit, accountability and transparency.

  • Discriminating Chinese and Tamil primary schools in terms of development funds and refusing to take action against contractors responsible for charging RM30,000 for RM3,000 repair work.

  • Unfair contracts against national interest given to highway concessionaires where total amount of toll collections and government compensation paid of RM 62 billion far exceeds the RM 27 billion construction and maintenance cost.

  • Refusal by the Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam to explain his Southern Hospital Medical Fund where RM 908,242.33 was raised by him fro the public since 19.12.2001 to help poor patients pay their medical bills but a large portion was used to help Datuks-datuks and his own family members pay private hospital bills.

  • The failure to share Petronas’ profits of RM 70 billion in 2005 with the people as compared to Singapore government’s distributing cash to the people despite not having a single drop of oil. Such injustice is even more severe with the refusal of the government to reduce petrol prices even though the average price of oil this year is less than US61 per barrel, which was the international price of oil when the government increased fuel prices by 30 cents on 28.2.2006.

  • EPF spending RM 11.9 billion of our cash cash to take over RHB Bank. Including the RM 2.3 billion already spent earlier on RHB Bank, total investment of RM 14.2 billion represents nearly 22% of total equity investments of RM 65 billion. EPF’s poor track record in financial institutions as witnessed by its subsidiary company, Malaysia Building Society Berhad (MBSB), with the highest non-performing loans in the banking industry ranging from a high of 62% in 2002 to 34% in 2005 when the industry average is 4-5%.

In a dictatorship the three elements of consultation, participation and accountability are not present. Decisions are made by the few in their own interests at the expense of the many. A one-party state as a result of elections that are not free, fair, neutral and independent can also give rise to such an "elected" dictatorship, where one party controls all.


The Elections Commission has failed to perform its duties in conducting elections in an impartial manner. Electoral offences committed by the ruling parties are ignored whilst unjust and discriminatory actions against opposition parties are condoned. The refusal to fix polling day on a weekend is just one such example to disadvantage the DAP as voters who are young and working outstation numbering 2,410 or 25% of voters (and normally support the DAP) will find it difficult to return to vote.


So arrogant is the BN of winning that Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam is not only confident of securing a bigger majority than the 4,562 votes obtained by Datuk Poh in 2004, but is talking of making DAP lose its deposit. Should Mohd Ali achieve his dream of making the DAP lose its deposit, a healthy democratic culture will not survive but will be replaced by an "elected dictatorship". With such extensive abuse of powers by BN, it is crucial that the voters of Machap reject BN not only to sustain a healthy democracy, strengthen DAP to play the "check and balance" role as well as ensure that the people are the real rulers of Malaysia. 

To be truly Malaysian and not be divided by race or religion, we have to engage with decision-makers who impact on our lives. Let us participate in the political process by first choosing honest and competent leaders who can make a positive difference and give us hope to a more unified Bangsa Malaysia. Only a sense of belonging and shared destiny in Malaysia can ensure that Malaysia belongs to us ordinary folks, accords us political equality and equal economic opportunity as well as ensure social justice. 

"Machap Demokrasi!"



* Lim Guan Eng,  Secretary-General of DAP

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