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Chinese New Year Message By Lim Guan Eng In Petaling Jaya On 6.2.2008: 

Choosing Hope By Changing From A One-Party State To A Democracy With Checks And Balance 

Whilst we welcome the Year Of The Rat, Chinese New Year is celebrated with a sense of history in the backdrop of the impending 12th General Elections. Malaysian Chinese will pray for peace, prosperity good health and success but also for the wisdom to make the correct choice when the country goes to the polls soon. 

Never has a general elections weighed heavier on the nation’s voters than the 12th general elections. There is a sense that this is a defining moment in our history whether we continue with failed policies of division or discrimination or change forward with new policies to meet the challenges of globalization, competition, merit and recognition of human potential as the most important economic resource.                                                                                            

After 50 years of Merdeka, there is a sense of under-achievement. That we have under-performed and failed to realize our potential. Many Malaysians, especially the young, are united by the common feeling that we as a nation should and can do much better. 

Malaysians feel helpless that we continue to be led by BN wakil rakyats that insult our intelligence with the lack of  substance in their speeches or shame us with their lack of content in their character. Malaysians should therefore give themselves hope by choosing change from a one-party state to a democracy with checks and balances. 

We should stop playing UMNO and MCA’s game of racial politics that has MCA encouraging 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, we should be focusing on institutionalising democratic rights that can protect the rights of all Malaysians including the Chinese. 

Is it too much to ask for fair treatment, not RM 4.50 in development funds per Chinese primary school student when national primary school students get RM 33.30 each, or only 6 new Chinese primary schools when we need 132 new ones or that the government fully fund the building of the 6 new Chinese primary schools instead of being sponsored by the Chinese community. 

Even though we celebrate CNY as Chinese we are Malaysians at heart, Malaysians first and last. Let us not be divided by  race and religion but unite as Malaysians to address 8 core issues that affects our daily lives.

1.  Institutionalising democracy with electoral reforms of clean and fair elections, reintroduce local government elections, abolition of all laws that are against basic human rights and freedoms as well as end all discriminatory practices based on race, religion and political affiliation;

2.   Need for shared prosperity and hardships by reducing the burdens caused by rising prices and inflation. DAP proposes a RM 40 billion stimulus plan to give a yearly RM 3,000 to individuals earning less than RM 3,000 a month and a yearly RM 6,000 to families with combined incomes of less than RM 6,000/-;

3.   Introducing the Malaysian First Economic Policy based on equal opportunity, needs and performance;

4.   Crime prevention by employing 100,000 more policemen to patrol the streets and establishing the Independent Complaints and Misconduct Commission(IPCMC) to restore public confidence in the integrity and effectiveness of the police;

5.   Quality education centered on excellence and needs. Education should not be politicized but all schools, including Tamil and Chinese schools, should be treated fairly based on needs;

6.   Fighting gender discrimination and youth empowerment;

7.   Promoting good governance with integrity by fighting corruption; and

8.   A healthy environment with clean air and water. 

MCA and Gerakan have eyes but do not see, ears that do not hear and hearts that no longer feel by blindly supporting extremist UMNO wakil rakyats who destroy Chinese temples in Penang, Buddhist temples in Melaka and Hindu temples everywhere, want to take down the Christian cross from mission schools or choose tp insult women, minorities and disabled with derogatory remarks. We can no longer support parties that still nominates such MPs that do not meet minimal standards of decency, compassion and intelligence. 

We need to send a strong message of disapproval against UMNO’s political dominance by reducing BN’s votes by 10%. 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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