Soi Lek says Chinese drawn to fair policies, not largesse

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — MCA President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said today that the Chinese community is no longer concerned with bread and butter but “intellectual” issues such as the fair implementation of policies.

His remarks come amid growing concern in Barisan Nasional (BN) over the loss of support for the ruling coalition from Chinese voters.

MCA, as the main Chinese party in BN, has come under severe pressure over its inability to regain support from the community who are now seen to be overwhelmingly backing Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) DAP and even PKR and the Islamist PAS.

Dr Chua pointed out that the implementation of government policies was a major factor affecting support for BN.

“Well today, I would to say that the Chinese in general are not just concerned with bread and butter issues or rice issues as they call it. The Chinese are more concerned with intellectual things for example fairness, accessibility to education, fair and equitable accessibility to education, scholarships, questions like promotion, judiciary, and crime,” he told reporters at MCA headquarters here today.

He cited as an example the weakness in implementing government policies and the lack of good governance.

The MCA president said that many Chinese businessmen feel government officers have too much discretionary power.

“But certain government officers still impose thirty percent Bumiputera quota on certain permits and licences. Although the prime minister has promised any further policy changes would not be top down but we still see that a lot are still top down.

“A classic example is this proposal to ban the import of second hand spare parts. I think there is a need to be more consultative in our approach especially when it comes to implementation and introducing new policies,” he said.

Barisan Nasional (BN) saw its first by-election loss in East Malaysia during Sunday’s polls in Sibu when SUPP’s Robert Lau Hui Yew polled 18,447 votes against DAP Wong Ho Leng’s 18,845 votes.

The decline in Chinese support for the BN was mirrored in both the Sibu and previous Hulu Selangor by-elections.

In Hulu Selangor, only 28 per cent of the Chinese who voted had chosen BN while in Sibu, the DAP has claimed to have secured about 70 per cent of Chinese support.

Chinese votes for BN in both by-elections continued their decline from Election 2008 despite BN’s campaign of dispensing government largesse.

However Dr Chua was confident that BN was still relevant to the Chinese community and confident that government policies will reflect public interest.

“Of course MCA is still relevant. It is easy to say that it is not relevant. Today if we are not in the government, who are going to address all these issues.

“We just have to fine tune and we have confidence that under our prime minister, who is a good listener, that the policies of the government will slowly be reflective of the wishes of the rakyat including the Chinese community. We are still very hopeful and confident,” he said.

18/05/10

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