Soi Lek to DPM: Move with the times, drop May 13 talk
MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek today urged Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to recognise that the socio-economic conditions in Malaysia have changed and thus there was no need to invoke memories of the 1969 racial riots.
In a statement, Chua expressed ‘disappointment’ with Muhyiddin’s statement yesterday, adding that discussions on the country’s future need not be clouded by racial sentiments.
“The socio-economic conditions in Malaysia today are totally different from that in 1969 and Malaysians are capable of having rational discussions without beating the racial war drum.
“All we ask for is a fair share. Rest assured that the MCA has no plans or interest to deprive other communities of what is rightfully theirs,” said Chua (left).
Chua and Umno leaders have been engaging in a war of words following the MCA-organised Chinese Economic Congress on Saturday, which among others, called for a reduction in the federal government’s 30 percent bumiputera equity targets.
Defending the congress’ 13 resolutions, Chua said neither the MCA nor the congress had touched on special rights of the bumiputera community.
Instead, MCA was promoting the fact that in order to develop Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020 – as targeted by the 10th Malaysia Plan and the New Economic Model – changes would be needed to attract the RM115 billion in private investment annually.
Expanding the economic cake
The MCA president argued that the target can only be achieved by liberalising sectors such as oil, gas and telecommunication as well as subsidy cuts and implementing open tender systems with price preference for the bumiputera.
“An expanding economic cake is like a rising tide that lifts all boats so that all Malaysians will have a fair share of wealth distribution,” he said.
“At no time did we talk about the special rights of the Malay community. We reaffirm that affirmative action should be based on needs, merit and be market-friendly.
“We advocate that the bumiputera should be given price preference for certain economic sectors when the economy is liberalised for open tenders.
“To enable the bumiputera to compete on a more equitable basis, we propose for a gradual reduction of the 30 percent bumiputera equity and the introduction of price preferences,” he said.
Chua dismissed Muhyiddin and Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein’s claims that MCA was showing disloyalty to BN.
He said that MCA’s loyalty should not be questioned as it has stuck with Umno and the coalition throughout the years and through numerous crises.
“MCA is sensitive of its role within the Barisan Nasional but we have a role to play as Chinese-based party so that we can continue to be relevant,” he said.
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