Chua Soi Lek’s Desperation for Support from Hardcore Chinese

by Syed Zahar, Malaysian Digest

MCA’s president Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek really got himself in hot water following his call for gradual removal of the 30 percent bumiputera equity in the recent Chinese Economic Congress. His proclamation expectedly received onslaughts of protests and remonstrations from Malay leaders particularly those from Umno. Some Malay and Muslim organisations – namely, Ikatan Rakyat Insan Muslim (IKIMM), Federal Territory Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kiman), Malay Consultative Council (MPM) and Perkasa – went to the extent of lodging police reports against Chua over his controversial statement. The ultra-Malay right-wing pressure group Perkasa even demanded for Chua to be arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for “degrading national interests”.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (left) was one of the first Malay leaders to speak out with displeasure over what Chua said. Of course his immediate superior was on an overseas vacation at the time when he publicly reminded Chua not to make statements that could “cause anger or be prejudicial to other races” but, strategically, it was more appropriate for the Umno’s deputy president to come out and invoke the Malay people’s stance against Chua. This is because Najib has to uphold his Mr 1Malaysia image and any strong statement abetting Malay rights would risk him being deemed a hypocrite by non-Malays. Meanwhile, Dr Chua has now denied questioning the New Economic Policy (NEP) at the congress, saying he merely suggested ways to increase the country’s competitiveness and achieve the Najib administration’s high-income nation goal.

Chua’s controversial statement on abolishing the 30 percent bumiputera equity rule was anything but a slip of the tongue and I don’t think he’ll lose his Malay friends for it. It just looks like Barisan Nasional (BN) is cooking up some drama where Chua stars as both antagonist (of the hardcore Malays) and protagonist (to the hardcore Chinese). The new MCA president was merely expressing the sentiments of the hardcore Chinese to garner their support and gain political mileage.


We all know of the Chinese votes having swung towards the Opposition since the 12th General Election and this fact was apparent during the past by-elections since then. To make things worse, members of MCA had elected Chua – a leader with moral issues as a proven track record – to be their frontrunner in total disregard to what the Chinese community and the rest of the country would feel about their decision. This just gives the impression that MCA leaders are more concerned about their self-interest than the interest of the Chinese community. Why else would they risk the community’s as well as the party’s future by electing a man whose acts of infidelity has been witnessed by the whole nation as their president? Their motivation could only arise from personal favours and possible threats from Chua. After all, at this juncture, we still don’t know who else from MCA were involved in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.