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Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 16th January 2008:

“A tyrannical government is more fearful than tigers” – Malaysians’ interests can be best protected by reducing the strength of UMNO’s allies and agents in MCA and Gerakan to send out an important message of rejecting UMNO’s dominance and its unfair and divisive policies

MCA President should explain how Malaysians can break or reduce UMNO’s dominance in government that has not only created injustice, denial of fundamental human rights, national disunity but also breeds corruption and abuses of power. We have seen that “A tyrannical government is more fearful than tigers”.

Malaysians’ interests can be best protected by reducing the strength of UMNO’s allies such as MCA and Gerakan to send out an important message of rejecting UMNO’s dominance and its unfair and divisive policies. It is sad that instead of working with the people to break or reduce UMNO’s dominance, MCA has chosen to continue supporting UMNO.

It is not just UMNO’s failed policies such as the discriminatory New Economic Policy but also divisive policies of establishing an Islamic state, denial of fundamental human rights freedoms including freedom of religion, tolerance of corruption, refusal to share the country’s wealth to reduce the hardships of inflation, failure to combat crime and lack of respect for the rule of law that has disturbed and angered many Malaysians.

Malaysians are also unhappy that UMNO leaders who do not respect the rights of minorities, women or rule of law continue to be selected as wakil rakyats. Amongst the controversial assemblymen likely to be fielded again are Umno's Port Klang Assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros and Cempaka Assemblyman Datuk Mad Aris Mad Yusuf. Zakaria had extraordinary wealth in excess of his allowance as Assemblyman which enabled to build a mansion in Klang without the approval of the local authorities and had defaulted on assessment payments for more than 10 years whilst Mad Aris is allegedly involved in at least eight land deals.

Or the Penang Deputy Chief Minister Dato Haji Abdul Rashid bin Abdullah for ordering the destruction of a Chinese temple. Other UMNO MPs likely to be fielded again by BN are those who called women having to go through their monthly periods as “bocor’ or UMNO Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said asking Customs Department to close one eye in carrying out its duties? Instead of opposing such disreputable leaders, Ong Ka Ting and MCA in the spirit of BN will still support such UMNO candidates by asking Chinese voters to vote for them.

So dominating is UMNO that even MCA Vice-President Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn publicly concedes that UMNO and MCA are not equals but UMNO is the “boss” whilst MCA is a mere No. 2. Under UMNO’s dominance, the only logical alternative left to send a strong message of disapproval to UMNO is to defeat or reduce the votes of UMNO’s allies and agents such as MCA and Gerakan. Ong is trying to create fear that there will be no Chinese representation in government.

This is unlikely to happen as there are no competitive races in Johor, Pahang and Kedah which are MCA strongholds. Even in other states, very few of the 31 Parliamentary seats presently held by MCA are in danger of losing. DAP challenges Ong to state the worst case scenario of how many parliamentary seats MCA can lose to DAP. Should he fail to do so, the Chinese community and Malaysians should reduce the votes of MCA and Gerakan or even reduce the number of seats won by them to reduce UMNO’s dominance.

UMNO’s dominance is the largest threat to the survival of democracy in Malaysia. The last occasion the people reduced the votes or seats obtained by UMNO’s allies in MCA and Gerakan in the 1990 general elections, UMNO listened. On 28.2.1991, then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made an about-turn and copied DAP’s Malaysian Malaysia in calling for a bangsa Malaysia. After securing landslide wins in the 2004 general elections, UMNO and the BN government has rejected bangsa Malaysia in favour of ketuanan Melayu. The people should elect wakil rakyats that listened to the rakyat and not those that listened only to UMNO.

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General


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