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MCA: Don’t blame Chinese M’sians for BN’s loss

PETALING JAYA, 13 April 2009: Don’t blame Chinese Malaysians for the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s loss in the Bukit Gantang by-election — that’s MCA’s response to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who called the community there “unappreciative”.

MCA Information and Communication Bureau head Lee Wei Kiat was referring to Muhyiddin’s remarks in an interview with Utusan Malaysia on 12 April in which he said “the drop in Chinese support is like as if there is no appreciation towards what we (the BN) are doing.”

Lee, in a press statement today, said the MCA “took exception” to the remark and said there were larger issues that explained why Chinese Malaysians in Bukit Gantang voted for the PAS candidate.

“It is not the mere allocation of RM1 million during the campaign period that the Chinese [Malaysians] are hence expected to be indebted to the BN and therefore vote BN. Non-Malay [Malaysians] do not like to be treated as beggars where only at by-elections, more road upgrading works are performed, (and) allocations to schools, non-governmental organisations and charities pick up,” Lee said.

The question posed by the Utusan reporter to Muhyiddin was why, even though RM1 million was given to a Chinese school during the by-election, Chinese Malaysian voters still did not support the BN.

Preliminary analysis of the 7 April poll shows that about 75% to 80% of the Chinese Malaysian vote went to PAS. The BN captured about 57% of the Malay Malaysian vote.

Children being entertained by a lion dance organised by Gerakan in an effort to woo voters
in Bukit Gantang who are keen opposition supporters

Lee said for the BN to win back Chinese Malaysian support, it would have to do much more than making contributions during by-elections.

“An entire overhaul in the drafting and implementation of government policies is needed where every Malaysian citizen is accorded equality as guaranteed under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.

“Malaysian citizens have the right to a decent life, free of bigotry, adoption of meritocracy, full and even access to equal development where aid is delivered on a need basis and not racial hegemony,” he said.

Other reasons

Lee said other reasons for the BN’s loss included the lack of Malay Malaysian votes to carry the coalition through.

He noted Bukit Gantang was a predominantly Malay-Malaysian seat, where the ethnic group comprised 63.5% of the electorate. While the BN had increased its share of the Malay Malaysian vote, it was still not enough for the coalition to win.

Lee also raised local issues in Bukit Gantang that contributed to lack of Chinese Malaysian support. He noted the dissatisfaction of fisherfolk in Kuala Sepetang over matters that affected their livelihood, such as diesel subsidies, red tape in applying for licences, and seemingly selective enforcement by marine police days before voting.

Land title issues were also another long-standing problem that “raised resentment”, Lee said. These concerned applications for renewal of leasehold land titles, and inability to claim ownership of Temporary Occupation License (TOL) land despite people having lived and worked there for generations.

Lee also cited a list of other “troubling” issues on the national front such as the implementation of the New Economic Policy, racial preferences in the intake and promotion of non-Malay Malaysians in the civil service, selective police enforcement against civil liberties in peaceful vigils or demonstrations, and misuse of the Internal Security Act.

Religious issues that caused non-Malay Malaysians unhappiness included conversions without consulting family members, decisions imposed by the religious authorities such as in the case of burials, inheritance claims, and determining the faith and custody of a minor whose religious identity is under dispute.

“These have only served to alienate the non-Muslim community,” Lee said.

Lee also said the recently concluded Umno general assembly last month did not inspire confidence in non-Malay Malaysians as a party leader had asserted that independence was forged only by Umno and the Malay rulers, forgetting the other communities who had played their part.

Lee said the history of the Chinese in Malaya and then Malaysian had shown their loyalty to their country.

But he believed that corruption, cronyism, perceived judicial bias, racial and religious discrimination and intolerance had reached a head and caused non-Malay Malaysians, particularly those in the peninsula, to favour the opposition in the March 2008 general election.

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12 Responses to “MCA: Don’t blame Chinese M’sians for BN’s loss”

  1. PM says:

    Most Umno politicians are not to be trusted. They say one thing about One Malaysia, and then they do the exact opposite, as is the case with Muhyiddin – who has indeed sounded rather arrogant since he became DPM. Giving non-Malay [Malaysians] “crumbs” during by-elections, and he thinks we should be eternally grateful to Umno. The fact is, it is racists in Umno who should be grateful. Their existence as politicians is due to the rakyat, and not the other way round.

    To my mind, MCA should walk away from these untrustworthy Umno folks, or the party will disappear during the next GE. What is the point of MCA barking each time an Umno politician plays the blame game with non-Malay [Malaysians] as the scapegoats for their problems?

  2. S Tan says:

    Now we are talking. It is indeed puzzling that after all this time, Muhyiddin is puzzled and clueless about why non-Malay [Malaysians] are so fed up with BN. It either shows that Umno does not give two hoots to the non-Malay [Malaysians] or the MCA was dumb. Either way, it is a little too late in the day to act puzzled!

  3. johnny soo says:

    We rakyat are not stupid. Please don’t think that we must vote BN when BN announces some goodies before any by-election. Even if there are no by-elections, the goverment still needs to upgrade whatever are bound to be upgraded. Please wake up, DPM before making this statement.

  4. Kenny says:

    This is the most frank and realistic assessment of the reasons for the Chinese Malaysian rejection of BN that I have heard coming from the MCA to date.

    It’s brutally frank and pulls no punches. It does not try to blame the Chinese Malaysian voters or Opposition parties.

    My hats off to MCA’s Lee Wei Kiat. But will his bosses support him when the backlash from Umno comes?

    Umno should take heed of all the reasons cited instead of expecting Chinese Malaysians to be grateful for their citizenship based on a (non-existent) social contract.

  5. Din haron says:

    Muhiyiddin, tak tahukah yang Umno itu rasuah, sombong, banyak janji yg tidak ditunaikan dan banyak lagi kalau hendak disenaraikan. Bukankah Pak Lah sendiri yang kata dalam ucapan terakhir beliau. Malah PM yg baru sendiri pun dah kata trend “government knows best” sudah berakhir. Adakah mesej ini tidak sampai kepada TPM? Atau pun adakah PM buat benda lain, TPM buat benda yang lain. Nampaknya Najib juga akan jadi Pak Lah, cuba untuk berubah tetapi kepimpinan di bawah menentang. Kesian Pak Lah terperdaya lalu berhenti.

  6. jamesloh18 says:

    If a marraige is not fair, or there’s bullying involved, walk off. Why stay and be miserable? This is common sense, of course if the perks are too good…..

  7. Eric says:

    Kudos to you Lee Wei Kiat. You said it all, time to jump to a multi-racial Opposition party in order to walk the talk?

  8. Andrew I says:

    Too little, too late. Where has the MCA been all this while?

    Together with Cinderella’s other fat and ugly stepsister, they’ve been having a ball until now.

    Unfortunately, the Prince has found Cinderella, and she’s certainly more pretty in rags than them squeezed into all those expensive dresses.

  9. Malaysian says:

    Still going on about blaming losses or victories by race. We are looking at the performance of our elected reps or parties. Not dramas or attacks when somebody says something rightly or wrongly. People who have been tarnished by corruption are still around, we are tired of this.

  10. Sumat says:

    Lee Wei Kiat is in the right “place” but in the wrong party.

  11. dominik says:

    I feel happy that MCA’s Lee Wei Kiat has spoken his heart out on the dismal performance of the BN.

    This “trick” of giving the “rakyat’s money” before an election does not work anymore. The money does not belong to the BN. The money comes from the rakyat and to give back to the rakyat for development is only normal and there is nothing the rakyat should be grateful to the BN for. It is the duty of the government of the day to help all Malaysians have a better standard of living.

    This statement that “People should be grateful” could be used during the 1980s but not now. Majority of citizens especially the young ones can think and decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. This comes with education and the young ones are educating their older ones (parents/grandparents) about citizen’s rights.

    In the old days, we used to have teachers who entered the political arena, and corruption was on a smaller scaled. Now, most MPs are businessmen/women. How to be poor? If they were to declare their assets publicly, all are millionaires. Don’t you think?

  12. BHYeoh says:

    Mr Lee, hats off to you for your response to our DPM’s remarks. I am sure the backlash from Umno Baru will surely come. Perhaps you could be slapped by rogue Umno Youth leaders, like in the past.

    Too bad your boss, Mr Ong Tee Keat, will not [be brave enough] to stand by you citing that your personal opinion is not the stand of the MCA. PR needs people who will present facts factually. Batang Ai could still be taken in by their obsolete crumbs given out during elections.

    Di Semenanjung taktik ini sudah dikuburkan.Hanya orang Barisan Nasional yang percaya ia boleh diteruskan. Kononnya, rakyat mudah lupa, mudah diperdaya dan terus diperbodohkan.

    Mr Lee, people of such caliber like you hardly come by. The last person from MCA who stood up was Datuk Lee Kim Sai. After that, the Chinese Malaysians were taken ‘Ling Long Sik’ (Hokkien word for going round and round heading nowhere) for many years.

    Race-based political parties in Malaysia are heading for doom in the next general election. So, MCA make your choice.

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