Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kit Siang: Soi Lek killing the people’s hope for change

Lim Kit Siang accused Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek today of destroying the people’s hopes by dictating that they had no choice but to accept the status quo in the present administration under Barisan Nasional (BN).

This, said the DAP adviser, was reflected in Dr Chua’s recent reminder to the Chinese community that their hopes should be based on the political realities in Malaysia.

Lim (picture) insisted that the MCA president had missed the point when he challenged PKR to abolish Malay privileges, pointing out that the opposition had never argued over the special position of the Malays as enshrined under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.

The point of contention, said Lim, was the BN government’s “blatant abuse” of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and refusal to implement needs-based affirmative action policies.

“His (Dr Chua’s) theatrics interest no one. Article 153 is not an article of controversy... it does not arise. The point of controversy is that the NEP must go.

“Dr Chua is just trying to create something out of nothing so that the people are distracted from the focal issues.

“Now that the people have some hope that for the first time, they have a proper alternative, he is trying to quash that hope,” Lim told The Malaysian Insider today.

He said Dr Chua should stop avoiding the reasons behind the “political awakening” of Malaysians across creed and colour, which was mirrored in the just-concluded Sarawak polls.

In the April 16 election, the DAP caused an electoral upset when it doubled its seat representation in the BN fortress of Sarawak by clinching 12 of the 15 seats it contested, most of them Chinese-majority areas.

Collectively, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) managed to capture 15 seats in the 71-seat assembly and garnered an impressive 45.5 per cent of popular votes.

Lim said the significant vote swing for the opposition proved that Malaysians were ready for change and have spotted “the light at the end of the tunnel, the glimmer of hope that there can be changes and improvements in the country’s political and economic climate”.

“So I think that what Dr Chua is trying to do is to distract attention from the real issues... portraying that there is no hope and telling the people to give up hope.

“He is saying that the people should be resigned to the injustices and corruption in the country,” he said.

Lim was responding to Dr Chua’s message in a video uploaded by the MCA on broadcast site recently in which the party president declared that he would be the “first to raise my hands to vote for PKR” if the party “dares to amend the constitution and cancel Malay privileges”.

In the 84-second clip, the former health minister appeared to suggest that the Chinese community should accept the current political scenario dominated by Umno and BN as the promises propagated by the opposition created a false sense of hope.

“I admit that the opposition’s words reflect the wishes of the younger generation because they create a sense of hope. But over time people will see that it is a lie.

“So you can have your hope but the hope should be based on the political realities in the country,” Dr Chua had said.

Lim said that Dr Chua’s words appeared to suggest that those who were not willing to accept the status quo or who saw no future in a nation under BN’s rule were welcome to leave the country.

“It means that those who want to migrate should migrate and those who see no future can leave so that the present government can continue unchecked,” he said.

According to a World Bank report yesterday, more than one million Malaysians currently live abroad.

The report stated that policies favouring the majority Malays were contributing to the country’s brain drain while holding back its economy and limiting foreign investment.

“I think it is necessary to put right all these wrongs for the benefit of Malaysians so that everyone, regardless of race, can look forward to justice and equality.

“The poor Malays, for instance, will be able to get affirmative assistance on the basis of need and the non-Malays will be able to feel that they have a rightful place under the Malaysian sun,” said Lim.

He pointed out that this formula was outlined in the Najib administration’s New Economic Model but the government had failed to see its reforms through.

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