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Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 17th January 2008:

Every victory and vote recorded by MCA, Gerakan and MIC is an endorsement of UMNO’s dominance, divisive and discriminatory policies that poses the largest threat to the survival of democracy in Malaysia

MCA President Ong Ka Ting’s claims that a vote for DAP can not be translated as a vote against UMNO is not only illogical but also immature. If a vote for MCA is not equal to a vote for UMNO, why is MCA still in BN obediently supporting UMNO’s corrupt, divisive and discriminatory policies that resulted in the highest income inequality between the rich and poor in South-East Asia?

The Ninth Malaysian Plan admits that the income disparity has worsened with the richest 20% controlling 51.2% of the nation’s wealth whereas the poorest 40% controlling only 13.5% in 2004 from 50% and 14.5% respectively in 1990. Malaysia does not belong only to the top 20% who controls 51.2% of the country’s wealth but also to the remaining 80% of the population who controls only 48.8% of our nation’s wealth. Is it fair that 80% of our population controls so little of our nation’s wealth?

At the same time corruption has gone from bad to worse from No. 37 when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over as Prime Minister in 2003 to No. 43 now under the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Some estimates put that the people receive back only RM 1 for every RM 4 spent on projects. To cover-up its failure to reduce corruption and income disparity between the rich and poor, BN practices UMNO’s system of apartheid stressing Malay dominance to divide the people.

UMNO’s apartheid divides Malaysians between bumis and non-bumis, with an unspoken graded citizenry of first to fifth-class citizenship comprising UMNO leaders as first-class citizens, followed by BN leaders, Muslim bumis, non-Muslim bumis and finally the fifth class citizens of non-Muslim non-bumis. Instead of stressing equal opportunities and assistance based on needs, the New Economic Policy has been perverted to stress on preferential policies of quotas and race.

MCA has blindly supported such discriminatory and divisive policies that have helped to strengthen UMNO’s dominance in BN and government until its own MCA Vice-President Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn admitted that MCA is No.2 to UMNO’s No.1, and cannot sit as equals on the same table as UMNO. As staunch and compliant allies of UMNO, every victory and vote recorded by MCA, MIC and Gerakan is an endorsement of UMNO’s dominance, divisive and discriminatory policies.

That is why UMNO’s dominance is not only the arch-nemesis of DAP and Malaysians, but also the largest threat to the survival of democracy in Malaysia.

For Ong Ka Ting to try to frighten the Chinese that the Chinese representation in government would be affected if it loses 3 parliamentary seats is dishonest and unhealthy political culture

The coming general elections offer a good opportunity to reduce UMNO’s dominance by reducing the number of victories and votes obtained by these UMNO allies and agents of MCA, MIC and Gerakan Ong expressed fears that the Chinese will not be represented in government if MCA loses too many seats. To date MCA has refused to state how many of its parliamentary seats are in danger. Out of the present 31 parliamentary seats held by MCA now, there are only 3 MCA parliamentary seats with more than 60% Chinese:-

1. Petaling Jaya Utara: chinese 76%, malay 16%, Indian 8%
2. Kota Melaka: chinese 63%, malay 34%, Others 3%
3. Kampar: chinese 64%, malay 26%, Indian 10%

The worst-case scenario for MCA appears to be a loss of 3 parliamentary seats. This is one of the quirks of BN’s racial politics that Chinese based parties such as MCA and Gerakan rely on UMNO’s votes to win seats. Historically, it has been difficult for DAP to win seats with less than 60% Chinese support. Presently it is uncertain that MCA will lose all the above 3 parliamentary seats with more than 60% Chinese voters.

For Ong to try to frighten the Chinese that the Chinese representation in government would be affected if it loses 3 parliamentary seats or MCA’s parliamentary representation be reduced by 10% from its present 31 to 28 is dishonest and unhealthy political culture. The Chinese community should free themselves from such fears but vote together with other Malaysian Indians and Malays to establish and strengthen democracy in Malaysia as well as fight corruption.

Confucious famous moral lesson that “A tyrannical government is more fearful than tigers” can only be fully absorbed if we also distance ourselves from those who prop up and support such a tyrannical government. As supporters of UMNO, MCA and Gerakan can not disclaim responsibilities for the abuses of power and excesses by UMNO.

UMNO’s dominance has not only denied Malaysians our rightful share in the benefits of economic development but also caused the loss of our fundamental freedoms and basic human rights. Nation building based on national unity of bangsa Malaysia, justice, democracy and freedom is more permanent and sustainable than divide and rule policy of fears, racial threats, discrimination and oppression.

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General


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