Chinese voters want fairness, says PKR’s Chua

By Fazy Sahir, Free Malaysia Today

“When we take over the government, we would make Malaysia the most democratic nation in the world. We would respect human rights. No more cases like Anwar (Ibrahim) who was jailed for six years because justice was denied.

“With this democracy, we would empower the people, strengthen the economy and boost the confidence of the world in our country. Believe me, if this happens we would be better and far richer than Singapore.

KUALA LUMPUR: Alleging that the Barisan Nasional-led government was similar to the rule of former Indonesian and the Philippine presidents Suharto and Ferdinand Marcos, former health minister and MCA vice-president Chua Jui Meng says the rakyat, especially the Malaysian Chinese, despised the unfair race-based policies implemented by the ruling government.

He said this was one of the main reasons why the Malaysian Chinese community almost entirely turned its back against the ruling BN at the historic 2008 general election.

The BN-led government had also failed to be democratic, respect human rights, ensure a sustainable economic climate, was unable to provide equal education opportunites for all races in the country, practises selective prosecution in weeding out corruption and, above all, failed to be fair in administering the nation.

“The main point is that they (the Malaysian Chinese community) wants justice and fairness from the government. They want the government to care for the people, especially the poor. For the Chinese, they will donate money and this is their culture.

“These donations are to assist the poor. This is what they (the Malaysian Chinese) want the government to do. Is this difficult for them (BN) to do after the country’s independence some 50 years ago? The government has based itself on wrong policies,” he told FMT in an interview.

A good majority of the Malaysian Chinese community had traditionally supported the ruling coalition until the 2008 general election. The historic polls revealed a massive decline in the Chinese and Indian support for the ruling coalition.

This resulted in the BN losing the state governments of Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah to add to Kelantan, which was already in the hands of the opposition. The BN also lost its long-guarded two-thirds majority in Parliament.

‘Forever borrowing money’

Chua, who joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat late last year after being in the MCA for 35 years, likened the country’s administration to that of former Indonesian and the Philippines presidents Suharto and Ferdinand Marcos.

“We are forever borrowing money. The situation now is worse than the rule of Suharto and Marcos. The Philippines does not have any oil revenue, but the economy during Marcos’ rule was bad because he stole billions from the people.

“Here everyday we have an expose like Felda. If the case is brought to court, there will be a lot more revealed. The profits reaped by Felda is a lot more than that of Sime Darby or IOI Bhd but profits per hectare had declined. It’s finished…we have just made the Malays (Felda settlers) poor for another year,” he said in the interview, which covered various issues, at a modest restaurant in Damansara.

Chua said the statement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Idris Jala that the government would go bankrupt because of the decline in taxes collected from Petronas, Sime Darby and Felda also raises questions.

“This should not be the case for a country which produces oil like Malaysia. Look at the increasing coffers of Saudi Arabia, Brunei or Norway. What about us? Has our treasury recorded an increase?” he asked.

He said while China was moving fast economically with a 30% annual growth, Malaysia was still dragging its feet in catching up.