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by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday
): MCA President Ong Ka Ting is facing trustworthiness test and “credibility suicide’ if he continues to issue assurances to the Chinese community only to the Chinese press. Many Chinese newspapers front-paged Ong’s statement that MCA understood the concerns of the Chinese community to the various challenges faced and had pursued their concerns in Cabinet and at the highest levels on the following 6 areas namely the racial imbalance in the civil service, foreign investment and direct sales guidelines, top Chinese students unable to get scholarships, religious freedoms, Chinese primary schools’ problem, and SME’s loans problems.
Such assurances would carry more weight and meaning if a similar statement had been issued by Ong to the English and Malay press. Is Ong again indulging in “sandiwara” politics of saying one thing to the Chinese but another to the UMNO? This is no different from MCA frequently playing the hero in the Chinese press but keeping silent and supporting policies discriminating against the Chinese community in Cabinet.
Ong must boldly state to all mass media that discriminatory policies that does not encourage competition in this age of globalization is wrong. Such discriminatory policies are counter-productive and will harm the country as proven by the drop in Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) from RM US$4.62 billion in 2004 to US$ 3.97 billion. For the first time in history Malaysia even lost to Indonesia in FDIs when Indonesia drew in US$5.26 billion. This is a warning red-light signal for Malaysia to wake up.
Even economist Datuk Dr Zainal Aznam Yusof from the National Economic Action Council admits that loss of competitiveness in Malaysia over the last 10 years is the main cause. He added that only with greater liberalization can Malaysia reverse its declining FDIs and arrest the loss in competitiveness.
DAP can not understand why MCA leaders have kept silent whe Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi claims that despite discriminatory polices like the New Economic Policy the Chinese are better off than the Malays. This is wrong as can be attested by the many discriminatory policies that marginalizes the Chinese community such as the New Economic Policies, quotas and granting of government procurement and scholarships. DAP have received many calls from the Chinese community expressing unhappiness at the false impression given by Abdullah.
No one likes to be discriminated against but what has angered the Chinese community is that the government is not appreciative of their sacrifices and continues to wrongly blame them as a scapegoat for UMNO’s policy failures. For instance when Malays ask why they have not got their rightful share from the NEP, UMNO leaders blame the Chinese community to distract attention from the fact that all the wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few UMNO leaders.
Clearly UMNO leaders do not wish to share their wealth with the poor Malays and find the easy way out to use the Chinese as a bogeyman and scapegoat as a solution to such difficult political problems. The time has come to stop such practices and ensure there is a fair and equitable distribution of economic wealth based not on race or political affiliation but on needs and that we are all Malaysians with equal political rights.
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP