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MCA Should Condemn UMNO Youth For Insisting That Only A Malay Can Be Appointed To Turn Around Malaysian Airlines (MAS) Out Of Its Present Financial Distress With RM 281 Million Losses In Its First Quarter Ended June 30, 2005

Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng  

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): MCA’s failure to condemn UMNO Youth for insisting that only a Malay can be appointed to turn around Malaysian Airlines out of its present financial distress with RM 281 million losses in its first quarter ended June 30 2005, demonstrates a fundamental weakness in MCA President Ong Ka Ting’s leadership and his lack of commitment for a “rakyat Malaysia”.

UMNO Youth President Datuk Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn in opposing the call by MAS Chair to consider appointing a foreigner to lead MAS said that the Malay agenda is more important. For a top UMNO Youth leader to still consider a Malay agenda as more important than a Malaysian agenda after 48 years of Merdeka, is disappointing. What is disappointing is that no non-Malay BN component leader whether from the MCA, Gerakan, MIC or SUPP has the courage to say that Hishamuddin is wrong.

What is wrong with appointing a non-Malay Malaysian to lead MAS. We have many qualified non-Malays such as Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes or even the man behind the wildly successful Singapore Airlines (SIA), Dr. Cheong Choong Kong. Dr Cheong was a Malaysian who taught mathematics at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur from 1968 to 1974. In 1998, Dr Cheong was conferred the title of “Asia’s Businessman of the Year” by Fortune magazine for his “unbroken 27-year record of profitability through turbulent economic times”. 

By regarding a non-Malay Malaysian as unqualified  to lead MAS is not only insulting but also labels non-Malays as second-class citizens. National unity can only be achieved by giving every Malaysian regardless of race and religion a sense of belonging not dividing us as first or second-class Malaysians.

Why Is MCA, Especially Newly-Elected Vice-President Datuk Donald Lim, Silent On The Restoration Of The New Economic Policy (NEP) In The Information Ministry?

DAP questions MCA’s complete silence, especially newly-elected Vice-President Datuk Donald Lim, on the announcement on 26 August 2005 by Information Minister Datuk Abdul Kadeer’s of the restoration of the NEP in the Information Ministry by setting up a special bumi participation committee. MCA and Datuk Donald Lim’s silence can only be taken to mean support for UMNO’s suggestion of restoring the NEP.

Datuk Abdul Kadeer had taken the initiative to be the first Ministry to restore the NEP by forming a special bumi participation committee to ensure that government contracts from his Ministry must be given to bumi companies. This special committee will simplify the application for jobs and loans to make it easier for:

o       bumi contractors to supply and develop Information Ministry contracts; and

o       bumi companies to secure programmes broadcasting time.

For 2005 bumi contractors make up 90% of those supplying and developing Information Ministry contracts as compared to non-bumi companies 10%. As for bumi companies securing programme broadcasting time, in 2005 bumi companies have obtained 67% as (64% in 2004), Chinese 23% (25% in 2004) and Indians 10% (10% in 2004).

With the revival of the NEP in securing programmes broadcasting time, bumi companies securing programme broadcasting time will only increase in future. As the Deputy Information Minister, Datuk Donald Lim should explain why he did not defend MCA’s position of opposing the revival of the NEP in the Information Ministry.

Or is this another example of the insincere and doubled-faced politics of MCA by silently supporting the revival of NEP inside but loudly opposing it in the Chinese newspapers. Clearly, MCA has shown that under the leadership of Datuk Ong Ka Ting is no different from the MCA of Ling Liong Sik that allows the leadership of MCA to be decided not by MCA members but by UMNO leaders.



* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General

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