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Press Statement by Lim Guan Eng in Penang on Thursday, 28th February 2008: 

Gerakan and MCA should abolish the New Economic Policy, build all the 132 Chinese primary schools required in the country and remove the discrimination between Bumis and non-bumis if they are to prove that they are bodyguards of the Chinese community and not bodyguards of UMNO 

Both MCA and Gerakan should take a Malaysian and democratic perspective and not an ethnic perspective towards nation-building. Both parties should recognize that the greatest threat towards democracy and the rights of all Malaysians is a BN one-party state and UMNO’s political dominance.

MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and Gerakan President Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon wants to prove that they are bodyguards of the Chinese community and not bodyguards or lackeys of UMNO, they should adopt the following three actions:-

1. abolish the New Economic Policy(NEP),
2. build all the 132 Chinese primary schools required based on needs in the country; and
3. remove the discrimination between bumis and non-bumis.

How can Ong claim that MCA and UMNO are political parties of the same standing and seniority when MCA Vice-President Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn publicly admitted that MCA is No.2 to UMNO’s No.1? Ong claimed that the Chinese enjoyed economic stability, development and wider access to higher education and Koh claimed that Chinese students received more government scholarships.

The Chinese business community is not optimistic about our country’s economic prospects as long as the government continues with the NEP. As for education, MCA claims credit for getting approval to build 6 new Chinese primary schools. When Dong Ziao Zong estimated that 132 new Chinese primary schools are needed, which is not even 5% of the needed requirement? No mention is made of whether the new Chinese primary schools will be funded by the government funds.

Malaysians and the Chinese community do not want to be treated like political beggars satisfied with an achievement rate that is not even 5%. If only six schools are approved after every general election, then we may need 21 general elections or 100 years before achieving the 132 new Chinese primary schools. Ong Ka Ting may be able to wait 100 years, but I believe the Chinese community is not willing to wait like Ong Ka Ting for 100 years.

Furthermore Koh Tsu Koon’s claim that the Chinese students get more scholarships is untrue when 80% of the Public Services Department (PSD) scholarships are awarded to bumiputera students since 2000. (see table below). That is why both the categorization and discrimination between bumis and non-bumis must stop.

Year Bumiputera Non-bumiputera Total
2000 598             79.95% 150           20.05% 748
2001 609             80.03% 152           19.97% 761
2002 999             79.98% 250           20.02% 1249
2003 1314            79.98% 329           20.02% 1643
2004 1187            79.99% 297           20.01% 1484
2005 1040            80.00% 260           20.00% 1300
Total 5747            79.99% 1438          20.01% 7185

Unless both MCA and Gerakan can fulfill the above three actions, the Chinese community will see them as bodyguards not of the Chinese community but bodyguards of UMNO. UMNO’s political dominance has harmed democratic institutions such as rule of law, independent judiciary, the supremacy of Parliament 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.

A victory and every single vote for MCA, Gerakan, MIC or SUPP equals to a victory and every single vote for UMNO. To save democracy and the rights of all Malaysians, it is necessary to reduce or break UMNO’s political dominance by first dealing with UMNO’s bodyguards in MCA and Gerakan by reducing their votes.

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General


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