by Lim Kit Siang
It should be the front-page headline news of the MCA newspaper The Star today, but it was tucked away in page 4, regarded as less newsworthy than Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding (entire front page with pic and headline ‘You look beautiful’), “PM – Innovate to compete: Relying on foreign labour a threat to economy, SMEs told” (p 2), “A sea tunnel, after two bridges – Penang’s proposed third link in the pipeline” and “Hostile witnesses an obstacle, says MACC panel” (p 3).
It finally appears in p 4 of Star “Party will give up posts – MCA presidential council backs Chua’s stand” beneath another Chua Soi Lek story “Stop fanning racial flame, Soi Lek warns opposition”.
This is what even journalists in MCA’s own newspaper, the Star, think of the newsworthiness and importance of Chua’s “shock announcement”.
Many Malaysians thought that MCA leaders are finally taking a political stand because they are moved by the latest World Bank report entitled “Malaysia Economic Monitor: Brain Drain” and adverse news headlines like “Malaysia’s brain drain getting worse, says World Bank” and “NEP, brain drain holding back Malaysia, says World Bank” which said among other things:
- More than one million Malaysians live abroad and that policies favouring Malays are holding back the economy, causing a brain drain and limiting foreign investment.
- a gloomy picture of the Malaysian brain drain situation today saying that it not only grew rapidly but is likely to intensify, further eroding the country’s already narrow skills base.
- that the number of skilled Malaysians living abroad has tripled in the last two decades with two out of every 10 Malaysians with tertiary education opting to leave for either OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries or Singapore.
- foreign investment could be five times the current levels if the country had Singapore’s talent base.
- Migration is very much an ethnic phenomenon in Malaysia, mostly Chinese but also Indian.
- Governance issues and lack of meritocracy are “fundamental constraints” to Malaysia’s expansion because “competition is what drives innovation”.
Are the MCA leaders finally telling the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Umno leadership that unless Umno and Barisan Nasional government walk the talk of the “New Economic Model” and genuinely introduces 1Malaysia transformation in all aspects, government, economic as well as political, including denouncing Utusan Malaysia’s latest “1Melayu, 1Bumi” call, they see no purpose in MCA continuing in the Barisan Nasional Government?
But this is not the case.
Chua announced that MCA would give up all government posts if the MCA’s performance in the next general election is “dismal” but that it will continue to be in the Barisan Nasional.
He declared: “Our stand is to be with Barisan through thick and thin. We are also very confident in our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s leadership.”
Chua has gone out of his way to demonstrate that the MCA’s latest decision is not to be construed as a threat or pressure to Umno but he has no qualms whatsoever about threatening the Chinese electorate!
Chua should not have too inflated an ego about himself or MCA. For instance, in the other Star report today “lambasting” DAP for “playing up racial issues detrimental to a multi-racial nation like Malaysia”, he mentioned about his online posting about meeting Facebook fans in Johor Baru which was “taken out of context by DAP leaders”.
For the record, I do not know what Chua is talking about as I have never visited his Facebook. For that matter, I believe I can speak for the other DAP leaders and I will be very surprised if there is a single DAP leader who has ever visited Chua’s Facebook.
- Lim Kit Siang is the MP for Ipoh Timur and the DAP adviser