The delegates at the 58th MCA general assembly applauded thunderously as Dr Seri Chua Soi Lek urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who was present, to take a giant leap forward and offer a new deal to all Malaysians.
Dr Chua said Malaysians need a new deal that is fair, democratic, transparent and inclusive to address today’s concerns and it should epitomise the core expectations of the people.
While the Chinese are either sitting on the fence or supporting the DAP, Dr Chua warned that the country would see not a two-party system, but a two-race system. He said if the Chinese voters were blind to the realities of politics in the country, they would sit in the Opposition while the Malays form the Government.
He then outlined a wide-ranging “New Deal” for Malaysians, include abolishing obsolete laws, relaxing the hold on the media, democratising the economy and liberalising the education system. He also proposed permission for public protests at designated places with a transparent police permit application system.
On the all-important economic front, he said cronyism and nepotism when awarding projects should be abolished and affirmative action based on needs and merits be extended to any group that is poor.
On education, the New Deal hopes that mother tongue languages would eventually be made compulsory in all national schools, and called for Unified Examination Certificate graduates to be admitted into public universities. On calls for English to be made compulsory, Dr Chua said it is time the Government set a time frame to achieve this.
He also proposed a one-off cash payment to poor Malaysian households to help them tide over the rising cost of living and a monthly allowance for the affected households – a move that many Malay and Indian households would also welcome.
His New Deal is within grasp and achievable for the younger generation who wants to see the country reform.
Dr Chua is banking on these reforms, in part already promised by Najib, to carry the MCA into the next general election and win the support of Chinese voters, who make up the majority in 46 parliamentary constituencies.
The Spanker has no doubt he is eyeing the young voters in proposing the new deal, given the MCA’s dismal performance in 2008, winning a paltry 15 parliamentary seats.
The DAP has since been relentlessly “championing” issues of the Chinese community, including inventing grouses out of the air if necessary to push their agenda to take Putrajaya.
The DAP has chosen to conveniently forget that it is the cooperation with Umno and the Government that had allowed the MCA to achieve a lot for the Chinese over the years.
One example is the fact that 20,000 youngsters graduate annually from UTAR, a college conceived and built by the MCA.
While the Chinese are currently either sitting on the fence or supporting the DAP, Dr Chua warned that the country would see, not a two-party system, but a two-race system.
He said if the Chinese voters were blind to the realities of politics in the country, they would sit in the Opposition while the Malays form the Government as the Chinese were off on a tangent, on their own, nursing anger against the Government.
But, he said, the Government under PM Najib has become inclusive and has started political, social and economic reforms that are gradually transforming the country.
The Spanker sees Dr Chua’s overall message to the assembly delegates as this – if the Chinese refuse to see the reform direction the country is taking they would end up the losers.
Dr Chua has promised that if the Chinese voters, for some reason, don’t give their support to the MCA and if its performance is worse than in 2008, the party will stay out of the Government altogether.