Tuesday, April 2, 2013

MCA issues ‘report card’, says passed with flying colours

The MCA gave itself top marks in a self-praising performance report card charting its contributions to the Chinese community and claimed credit for Putrajaya’s implementation of policies targeted towards recapturing Chinese support.

Among the party’s success listed in the report card released today are MCA’s purported role in driving the Najib administration’s political reform and pushing Putrajaya to help spur the growth of Chinese schools.

“These are based on accurate figures, not spins like what the DAP does,” MCA President Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek (picture) told reporters at the report card launch held at the party’s headquarters here.

The report card will be used as part of the party’s campaign in Election 2013 and comes in an A2 size format listing MCA’s contributions on the left while rivals the DAP and PKR’s are on the right.

Virtually all of the space given to the opposition in the report card says “no contribution”.

Under the vernacular education segment of the report, the party claimed it played a big role in pushing the Najib government to increase allocations to Chinese schools (SJKCs) under its annual budget while several SJKCs were expanded and seven new ones were constructed.

It also claimed credit for the government support towards independent Chinese schools and recognition of students graduating with its Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) including Putrajaya’s decision to allow those under the programme to apply for student loans and grants for top scorers pursuing overseas education.

And while Datuk Wee Ka Siong, the MCA deputy education minister drew brickbats and angered the Chinese community over the Pahang BN government’s refusal to allow a Chinese independent school to be built in Kuantan, the party claimed it played a key role in the reversal of the decision to allow its construction.

On May 20, more than 4,000 people were reported to have attended a rally in Kuantan to push for the setting up of a Chinese independent school.

There are currently 60 Chinese independent schools in Malaysia, but none in Pahang.

The Chinese community has held two major rallies this year to voice out their demands on Chinese education.

On the economic front, the report card said MCA played a crucial role in pushing Prime Minister and BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak to liberalise the economy.

It also claimed to have helped in Najib’s decision to implement the RM900 minimum wage policy while it alleged the DAP and PKR made no contribution to this.

The federal opposition bloc Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had long made the floor wage battle part of its campaign fodder and it had recently included the proposal in its polls manifesto.

PR, however, proposed the floor wage be set to RM1,200 but MCA had rejected the idea and sided with most businesses who called for a review of the policy.

MCA was accused of being pro-business for its proposal.

Dr Chua said the MCA should be proud of the achievements and dismissed allegations by the DAP that it had failed Chinese voters.

“I think we can be proud of our little achievements we’ve made but I think we are really bad at self-promoting,” he said.

The MCA, the second biggest component party in BN, has seen a steady decrease in Chinese support since 2008.

In an analysis published by Singapore’s Sunday Times recently, it noted that Johor, which is Dr Chua’s homestate, will be the battleground that decides MCA’s survival in Malaysian politics.

The southern state which is Malaysia’s entryway to the republic has long been a bastion for the ruling BN coalition, including founding member MCA, which has strong roots there securing more than half of the Chinese party’s 15 parliamentary seats, he noted.

However, he said the party will be facing an uphill battle in the 13th general elections as PR will be concentrating its effort to sway the Chinese voters to its side.

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