Chua Jui Meng: I reject UMNO-dominated Barisan Nasional and go for change

There has been much speculation recently in the media as what my next move in politics would be. Today (July 18, 2009) I make one of the most important decisions of my life, to leave the MCA and to join PKR. A few days ago, I resigned as chairman of MCA Bakri division, a post I have held for 23 years, freeing me to undertake a fresh struggle for the realisation of my vision for reforms. These are contained in the manifestos I wrote during the MCA presidential elections of 2005 and 2008.

Today I announce that I am resigning as a member of MCA. Now I announce I am joining PKR. Today I am persuaded that I am standing on the right side of history at a defining and critical moment of our nation’s history. What has compelled me to do so?

The 2008 general elections witnessed the passionate desire of 52 percent of Peninsular Malaysians for change. This astounding voting power gave birth for the first time to a two-party system. As a result, we have seen a hitherto unseen phenomena of UMNO leaders saying “if we do not change, the people will change the government”.

Out of this desperation, Malaysians see the UMNO-led government making some movement towards appeasing the people. That is the fruit of people’s power.

Two-party system undermined by UMNO

Today we see this nascent two-party system under threat, the unrelenting harassment by the Umno-led government to divide and destroy the two-party system, the hard-earned gains of last year’s general election.

We see the abuse of power in the use of the federal institutions to harass, persecute and prosecute the leaders of the opposition, institutions that were supposed to protect the rights of the citizens of Malaysia.

The tragic death of 30-year-old Teoh Beng Hock is the consequence of one such institution (MACC) going overboard in its action. The seizure of power in Perak, the wooing of PAS by UMNO to form a unity government based on race and religion, the farcical persecution and prosecution of Anwar Ibrahim once again for sodomy despite the reports of two hospitals – one from General Hospital Kuala Lumpur – to the contrary, all these are indicative of a pattern of attempts to topple this precious two-party system.

It seeks to remove the people’s new-found choice to choose between two political fronts. If this conspiracy succeeds UMNO will continue to be the dominant political party going back to its old ways unfettered.

It is in these times of trouble and crisis for PKR and Pakatan Rakyat that has precipitated my decision to join them. It is in these difficult circumstances that I want to contribute in humility to the preservation of this two-party system. My hope is that ordinary Malaysians will stand up and be counted in the struggle to protect, preserve and promote the growth of this system. Count me in.

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