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Press Statement By Lim Guan Eng In Petaling Jaya On 4.2.2008 

Malaysians Have A Clear Choice Between MCA’s Support For Perpetuating UMNO Political Dominance And DAP’s Reducing UMNO’s Dominance To Establish Democratic Institutions Promoting National Unity, Protects People’s Rights, Respects Their Voice And Ensuring A Shared Prosperity 

MCA leaders have eyes that can not see, ears that can not hear and hearts that no longer feel if after 50 years of Merdeka, MCA can not see the damage to democracy in Malaysia and the harm to the lives of ordinary Malaysians caused by UMNO’s continued political dominance. What is the point of MCA President Datuk Ong Ka Ting launching a new book of his work and interaction with the people when he fails to address the people’s sense of discrimination, deprivation and disrespect whether economically, politically or socially? 

Ong said that the DAP’s intention to weaken support for MCA will only hinder the party from bringing development to the Chinese community. This is wrong in three critical areas One, Ong is still talking about the rights and development of the Chinese community when all evidence points to MCA’s support for UMNO’s political dominance resulting in divisive and discriminatory policies that has eroded national unity and failed to reduce the high income inequality between the rich and poor. The NEP’s success in reducing poverty can not hide its abject failure in preventing Malaysia from the dubious honour of having the worst income inequality in South-East Asia. 

MCA has made the strategic error of playing UMNO’s game of racial politics by concentrating on the interests of the Chinese community instead of all Malaysians under Bangsa Malaysia. That is why MCA encourages a higher birth rate amongst the Chinese to protect Chinese political influence. UMNO likes to play this racial game of politics because it is certain to win. Instead of encouraging higher birth rates amongst the Chinese community, MCA should be talking about democratic rights that can protect the rights of all Malaysians including the Chinese. 

Two, MCA’s development is given in the form of political patronage and not as of fair entitlement. Development should be based solely on needs and merits that is colour-blind, gender and religion neutral as well as free from corruption. Instead, MCA advocates development that engenders corruption and comes “at a single rush” only once every five years during general elections. Even these election promises made in the pastare not fulfilled.  

Privatisation and deregulation has not improved quality of services at a reduced cost and instead added extra financial burdens to the people. For instance highway toll hikes has continued despite the extraordinary profits earned by toll companies and setting up Independent Power Producers(IPPs) to break the monopoly of power generation by Tenaga Nasional Bhd has only caused higher electricity tarrifs despite guaranteed returns and generous gas subsidies given. No wonder Malaysians see the privatization exercise is seen as piratisation of public resources where only profits are privatized whereas losses are socialized. 

Development should be both institutionalised and depoliticized, given on a needs basis and not as political patronage. For instance Education Minister Datuk Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn only announced the approval of 6 new Chinese primary schools just before the general elections. Why were they not built earlier when they were needed? To date the new Chinese primary school in Kuantan announced in 1999 general elections have still not being built after 9 years.  

No mention is made of whether the new Chinese primary schools will be funded by the government funds. What is 6 schools when Dong Ziao Zong estimated that 132 new Chinese primary schools are needed, which is not even 5% of the needed requirement? Malaysians and the Chinese community do not want to be treated like political beggars satisfied an achievement rate that is not even 5%. If only six schools are approved after every general elections, then we may need 21 general elections or 100 years before achieving the 132 new Chinese primary schools.  

Development must be based on needs and given as and when required, not timed once every 4 or 5 years just before elections. Ong should ask himself how the government has helped the Chinese community when they are denied the right to bid for government contracts and projects. Like other Malaysians, the Chinese community wants to be treated fairly and equally as full citizens, not like political beggars satisfied with the crumbs thrown to buy their votes. 

Third, Ong pretends to ignore the central premise that UMO’s political dominance has harmed democratic institutions such as rule of law, independent judiciary, the supremacy of Parliamant as an expression of the democratic expression of the people as well as allowed rampant corruption to go unpunished, escalating crime unchecked and an electoral process that is not clean, fair and violates the principle of one-man, one vote. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and UMNO’s political dominance should be reduced by reducing the votes of UMNO’s allies in MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP. 

UMNO’s political dominance have resulted in divisive and discriminatory policies that have harmed national unity; treated Malaysians as political beggars where development is based not on needs or merit but as a form of political patronage; and damaged democratic institutions in Malaysia. For these 3 reasons, MCA’s premise for perpetuating UMNO’s political dominance is wrong, detrimental to Malaysians interest and dangerous to democracy.  

The likelihood of MCA losing parliamentary seats are slim. So confident is MCA and BN, that MCA and UMNO leaders are even talking of winning back DAP seats in Federal Terrritory and Perak. Malaysians can no longer endorse UMNO’s political dominance. A victory and every single for MCA , Gerakan, MIC or SUPP equals to a victory and every single votefor UMNO.  

Malaysians have a clear choice between MCA’s support for perpetuating UMNO political dominance that divides and discriminates Malaysians or DAP’s reducing UMNO’s dominance to establish democratic institutions promoting national unity, protects people’s rights, respects their voice and ensuring a shared prosperity for all.

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General


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