I have just attended the New Straits Times Live chat with online readers. I find the session interesting with varieties of questions. Below are some excerpts of the session of which I have summarized and categorized. Enjoy reading!
On Malaysia Politics
Q: What is the biggest challenge to Najib and his deputy??
1. To reform UMNO and BN ... to make it a more people friendly party.
2. To regain the support of the non-malays and at the same time to hold tight to the Malay support
3. To reach out to the younger generations that BN is the party of choice and the party of hope.
4. To overcome economic challenges confronting the nation
5. To continue to ensure racial harmony and peace since the intense politicking has affected to a certain extend racial relationship in Malaysia.
6. Finally the government must deliver what it promise tak boleh cakap tak serupa bikin
Q: Do you think that the 4 failed by-eelctions by BN is a referendum to Najib's administration??
A: I think its only three by-elections and I think its not fair that the by-elections is referendum of Najib's administration. He became the Prime Minister on the 3rd of April and the by-election was held on the 7th. Whether he likes it or not he has to carry the baggage of the previous administration. In by election, local issues often play a prominent role. Since voters would want to take this opportunity to vent their frustrations if local issues are not resolved. I think its only three by-elections. It is not fair to say that the by-elections are referendum on najib's administration. He became the prime minister on April 3.
Q: Besides your career fortune, u do need to consider your nations obligations upon serving the MCA for more than 20 years, we still someone who can speak for right of rakyat. Your ideas and opinions are our ONE MALAYSIA dream, NOT 1Malaysia UMNO's dream instate.
A: Najib's satu Malaysia is very clear that every malaysian is a state holder in the country and as a state holder we are entitled to all rights and priviledges as enshrined in the constitution.
Q: Our PM initiate the 1Malaysia slogan. How practical is it? We often hear or see people said - Chinese - Chinese Malaysian / Indian - Indian Malaysia. We should address ourselves MALAYSIAN rather than indication of the race of it... Please comment.
A: One Malaysia slogan means every rakyat malaysia irrespective of race will be treated fairly and equally by the government that when we are a Malaysian chinese and I practice Chinese culture and speak my mother tongue it does not make me in any way less malaysian.
Q: Isn't it too little too late for Najib to claim credit for removal of bumi quota, when it's being forced on Msia due to wto/gatts?
A: Who else can claim credit? He is the prime minister, he chairs the cabinet and the decision was made by him.
Q: Datuk Seri, what is your take on the future that one day the PM of Malaysia will be of another race?
A: Possible. If there is hope and dream, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
Q: Good Day Doctor, I am one of your frequent blog visitors and I like the way your critical thinking endure... Question, What if u were appointed as Education minister, how would you perceive the best policy that fit in the 1malaysia slogan?
A: There is freedom of education and every Malaysian is entitled to pursue his educational academic goal. No hindrance should be placed by the government for the advancement of Rakyat in achieving this goal. The government can help the Bumiputra but must not deny the opportunity or retard the progress of the non-bumiputra as far as education is concerned.
Q: Datuk Seri, what is your take on the chaos in Perak State Assembly?
A: It is obvious that the Barisan Nasional has a simple majority. However, the way the state government was constituted was done in haste and they should have gone through a proper state assembly sitting and passed a vote of no confidence against the PKR state government before they formed the BN government. Because it was done in haste it looks as though BN was out to grab power.
Q: How do you think BN is handling the Perak issue?
A: Both sides have gone to the courts. Now everybody is anxiously waiting the court verdict. BN could have handled it better. They have neglected managing the perakians feelings. So there was bad PR on the part of the BN's government.
Q: You've stated some good articles in your blog esp. improvement of the goverment policies and process. Do you think that your ideas is accepted and being analyze for the improvement...?
A: As a component party of the BN we have our internal channel to articulate our thoughts to the BN leaders. And I hope as promised by Najib that his government will listen to the voices of the Rakyat and not a government talking down to the Rakyat.
Q: Why is BN afraid of dissolving the Perak ADUN and call fresh elections across the whole state of Perak? It is clear that most Malaysians vote for their representatives based on their political affiliation ie BN or PR. With the 3 PR MP deciding to be independents, it can be said that the current Perak government no longer represent the wishes of the Perak People. Is BN afraid of losing to PR again?
A: As rightly pointed out by you with the support of the 3 PR adun, BN has a simple majority. We may not have the stability it is still a simple majority.
Q: salam sejahtera datuk seri chua soi lek..the perak MB says sivakumar can still be speaker if he is friendly. its easy said than done. can you comment?
A: Even in partisan politics, both the parties can be friendly. They need not necessarily be confrontational if they understand the meaning of true democracy.
Q: God bless u, how long to be changed? until 2020, we want it soon before 2011 Dr. Chua, please do it for the nations!
A: We are changing
1. liberalisation of certain economic sectors from tourism, health to financial including removal of the 30 per cent quota of the Bumiputra
2. The long standing conversion issues involving one of the spouse and the children,the Cabinet made a long awaited decision which is today welcome by a lot of Malaysians.
3. We are promised more to come. There would be changes to reflect the government is listening to the voices of the Rakyat and it cares for the Rakyat.
Q: Hello Datuk Seri, what has gone wrong and what quick wins are needed to be done by the goverment in order to build the confidence of the rakyat and to bring back their support to BN? Thank you.
A: Be fair to all races. Government leaders must walk the talk. Serve with passion, be humble and sincere. Decision made must be democratic, fair and accountable. It must demonstrate that it cares for the Rakyat. The welfare and well being of the Rakyat is the Government's top priority. No more slogan shouting.
Q: Why are we not getting the truth? Our leaders dont walk the talk. Hope you tell all, and the same goes to the other leaders too, Politics is clean but the politicans make it dirty.
A: Its true. Politicians makes politics dirty.
Q: Do you agree that BN should stay away from the coming Penanti state seat by-election in Penang? What do you think of BN chances there?
A: I agree that BN should boycott the Penanti By-election. Why let the PR to call the shot. It is obvious that a lot of this by-elections are orchestrated by PR.
Q: Do you think Eli Wong should quit? Considering her case was 'different' to yours...
A: Eli Wong did the right thing of admitting, apologising and going off. Since the party supported her, she has every right to continue. Come the next general election, the Rakyat will pass the verdict. Good Luck to her.
Q: Doc, please shed some lights into the PKFZ scandal and how it shld be resolved?
A: PKFZ scandal can be resolved as promised by the minister of transport that he will be transparent and accountable.
Q: Being a Johorean, what do you think of the controversial crooked bridge to Singapore? Should it be built as strongly recommended by former PM Tun M?
A: Having a bridge ,we need the cooperation of the Singapore Government. A unilateral decision by the Malaysian Government without the cooperation of the Singapore Government will give rise to a lot of legal problems which will occupied a lot of time and money of both the governments.
Q: Datuk Seri, do you fear that come the next general elections and BN is not longer the ruling government?
A: I have no fear. In fact, I am confident that BN will be the government with a bigger majority in Parliament and possibility of winning two of the four opposition states.
Q: Does the Johorean still support BN these days. I believe the support of non-Maly were toward PR and the Malay support have divided into two. Could BN lose more seat in Johore in the PRU-13? Do you think PR would topple BN in the next GE?
A: Johor has always been the BN fortress but if there is a split within UMNO, MCA then we may lose some seats.
On Crossing Over
Q: Dear Datuk, is it true you will be leaving Barisan and join the opposition party?
A: I have given all my answers in my interview with the Nut Graph that I would leave only when I do not have a proper political platform to continue to function. I still have faith in Barisan Nasional if BN can change and reform. I still believe that BN with a track record of 52 years can still lead the nation. Najib and Muhyddin can form a good dynamic team if they can be in touch with the Rakyat, say the right thing and do the right thing. We need experienced leaders to manage a multiracial country like ours.
Q: I guess it would better for you to leave the party
A: Well I have served the party and it has given me the opportunity to serve for the last 25 years.I still have hope that I can still continue to contribute to the party and the nation.
Q: Welcome on board, hope to seek comments upon Dr. Chua to leave the sinking boat and make full use of his political talent to save the nations not only Chinese community.
A: MCA is going through a bad time after the 308 general election. We need to reform and change. If we can do that then I don't think we will sink.
Q: I have a feeling that you have been approached by party Gerakan, or vice versa, and if really so, I believe you and your supporters may consider Gerakan rather than PKR, (of course, only if you consider leaving MCA, after all, i don't know how you can stand being marginalized there), don't you think so?
A: To be honest, I never considered joining Gerakan.
Q: Is it true that you have been invited personally by Anwar Ibrahim to join PR? And that if you crossover you will bring your son and a few ADUNs over??
A: There have been attempts made by the PKR for me to jump ship. But, I have not reached the crossroad yet. When I am about to jump I will let you know. My son was elected as BN candidate and its only fair that he either continue to serve as a BN or if he wants to jump ship he has to resign.
Q: 80% NTV7 viewers support u to leave the "Ostrich's Boat" why wait? wasting ur life and nations money! Do u hear our voices, nations voices - it is multiracial's voices upon u. Dear Dato' Seri.....
A: I still have faith and confidence in BN under Najib and Muhyiddin provided BN change and reform and fulfill its promise of being a really, truly multiracial party.
Q: Dato' Seri, in politics we need to be loyal to the party and also be a team player. Your loyalty to the party is being questioned now - you considering to leave MCA and join PKR ? To be a team player, first you need to work and cooperate with your President - have you done that ? Have you shown to him that you have no agenda to overthrow him and that you want to ensure that he leads the party and you would be there to assist him.
A: You have not read my answer correctly under what circumstances I would leave MCA. I have been a team player for the last 25 years in the party.
Q: MCA president accused u of "creating news for personal agenda" recently, short of calling u a liar. As the MCA deputy president, would u comment on it?
A: Well I am surprised why he call me a news breaker. I was just telling the truth to the Nut Graph with no personal agenda. If I do not tell the truth I may be accused of lying. All politicians needs the newspaper as much as the newspaper needs us. So to be called a news breaker is not as bad as a party breaker. Its up to the Rakyat who is the party breaker now?
Q: Your party President does not seem to be extending an olive branch to you after the party elections although you were democratically elected as the second man in the second biggest component party in the ruling coalition. His actions are seen by the public to be divisive and petty-minded. On the other hand, you seem to be above personal and petty politics practised by your President. Do you think that the culture in MCA is such that the winner takes-it all and second prize is no prize at all? How are you going to serve the party if your President reduces you to a non-factor? Do you think that his actions will damage BN's standing in the eyes of the public? Or would the BN be stronger if he side-lines the Deputy President?
A: You are right that I am above all the personal innuendos and I have taken the path not to respond to any comment which are of personal in nature that I am elected to serve the party and that all the elected party leaders are only trustee of the party for a limited three years term. And it is up to the MCA members and delegates to see who is acting in the best interest of the party.
Q: Dr. Chua, do you think that the MCA President is acting more like a dictator?
A: Your judgement is as good as anyone and you are entitled to draw your own conclusion. This is what democracy is all about.
Q: It seems that your president do not appreciate you and your talents despite being elected by MCA grassroots. Have you reach the point of no return with Ong Tee Keat?
A: I said it tolerance has its limit. Unfortunately it is difficult to quantify not like the H1N1 pandemic virus where there is various level of preparedness.
Q: Dr. Chua, your chief, Ong Tee Keat promised a lot along with you during the MCA Party Elections, how is the delivery progress going ?
A: They have been some reforms but it is small steps and slow. What the Chinese community wants to see is big steps abd bigger reformation.
Q: Datuk Seri, are saying that you have a proper political platform under the current MCA president OTK?
A: I wish I have a bigger and better platform than what I have at present.
Q: Are you frustrated at MCA President Ong Tee Keat ? Who doesn't seem to think that you are fit to hold any positions due to the scandal.
A: I am surprised that he has not taken step to close ranks within the party. As to whether I am fit to hold any position due to the scandal, I leave to the public to judge. I have said it before No Man is Perfect, Everybody makes mistakes and that includes me.
Q: Do you think you still can work well with Mr. Ong TK? is MCA doing something for the sake of msian chinese? Why i cant see it or even feel it?
A: I said I am a team player and I can work with anyone if there is sincerity and commitment. To say that MCA is not doing anything for the Chinese community is not fair. We have perception problem that we are not doing enough.
Q: Dato Seri how do you cope with being MCA no 2. My observation is that I see/hear/interprete no harmony between you and mca no 1 or rather mca no 1 and you ? Please answer sincerely. Thanks.
A: Life has its ups and downs, moments of joys and frustrations, it is never a straight line with that attitude I survive.
Q: Dtk seri, if NST organise a trilingual debate between you and ong tee keat would you say yes??
A: We live in a society where people cannot accept differences of opinion, even in debate. And I see no purpose in having a debate between the number one and number two of the same party.
Q: What is your plan if giving an opportunity for you to revamp the MCA organization. Younger Chinese generation is shying away from MCA organization due to the bad impression given...
A: We have to convince the Chinese that the Chinese expectations and needs is MCA agenda. We need to demonstrate to the Chinese that we are sincere in fulfilling our role in protecting the interest of the Chinese community. We cannot be low profile in resolving our issues . We cannot avoid sensitive issues and we should have the guts to confront it. We need to reach out to the Chinese especially the younger generation. So our interaction should not be confined just to MCA members.
Q: Dr. Chua, how do you connect 1Malaysia with MCA's Chinese Agenda ?
A: There is no conflict between the One Malaysia concept and MCA chinese agenda. The one Malaysia concept is all embracing all races and chinese is second major race in the country and through MCA the government becomes more sensitive to the needs of the chinese community. So strictly there is no conflict.
Q: Dr Chua is race based party like MCA, MIC and UMNO still relevant?...since the government is trying to rebrand itself into 'One Malaysia'...
A: Race base party takes care of its own ethnic group. But it has to think in the context of a multiracial country. It is still relevant except that we have to reform that whatever we say and do cannot be just one particular ethnic group. We have to reach out to all races,
Q: Datuk Seri, would it be possible for MCA and DAP to work together?
A: It is possible for MCA and DAP to work together if it is for the common good of the Malaysians. Nothing is impossible in politics.
Q: What do you feel about the reputation mca has for links with the underworld?
A: There has been allegations from time to time that MCA leaders being linked to the underworld. But nobody has come forward to provide us the evidence pin pointing any particular leader.
Q: Datuk Seri, do you agree that the senior members and leaders blocking those young people in MCA?
A: There is some truth that some senior leaders do block young people but often this is a breakdown in communication. The young people is ina hurry and the older people feel that the younger people need a longer time to learn the rope and this is the source of the friction.
Q: How bad is the Chinese community sentiment at the moment?
A: The anti-government feeling among the Chinese is palpable. We need to address this issue and Najib and Muhyiddin is aware of it that the government need to reach out to the non-Malay community more frequently. Government also need to demonstrate that it delivers what it promise the Satu Malaysia which is all embracing all races.
Q: To remain relevance to today's political landscape, do you think MCA shld remain its present form of chinese-based party (ie if it ain't broke dont fix it) or change to be a multiracial party?
A: We will continue to be a chinese based party but we cannot be talking all Chinese. We should be more malaysian in outlook and move towards issue centric party rather than ethnic based party.
On Personal and Health Matters
Q: Sir, the fact that your son won the Labis seat to me confirms the fact that you are popular there and would win if you contested in the next election. What would then happen to your son? Would he still be interested in contesting and where would he contest? Of course, I understand that it is up to, first the party president to decide and then the BN chairman, but would he still contest?
A: Hopefully he will be able to contest come the next general election.
Q: Datuk, do you have a blog to disseminate your ideas and reforms since you don't have much say in the party?
A: I am surprised that you did not know my blog. I have been blogging for about a year plus. My blog – http://drchua9.blogspot.com
Q: Hello Datuk Seri, despite being an ex-Health Minister, you are still very controversial. How do you handle this?
A: By remaining calm, sincere in your answer and believing what you do.
Q: Datuk, some lawyers have argued that s377A which criminalises oral sex is obsolete. Do you agree with their view?
A: I definitely agree with you that archaic laws should be discarded.
Q: DS CSL - I like to put my question in Malay if u dont mind. Dalam kes Video, DS maklumkan bhw DS telah diperangkap oleh musuh2 politik dan DS mengetahui siapa mereka. Perkara ini telah lama berlaku dan sehingga kini tiada hasil siasatan polis dimaklumkan. Sebagai rakyat, kami hairan kerana perkara ini amat mudah utk disiasat memandangkan pemasangan CCTV perlu dibuat dgn pengetahuan pemilik hotel tapi sehingga kini tiada hasil dimaklumkan. Siapakah dalang/musuh DS dlm perkara ini?
A: Terima Kasih kerana amat perihatin hal peribadi saya. Saya pun tak faham bagaimana sampai hari ini polis masih gagal mengenalpasti siapa yang memasang video tersebut.
Q: In politics, as the adage goes, there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies? Care to comment.
A: Very true. Often it is common interest that binds politicians together. The question is whether the common interest is personal interest or rakyat's interest.
Q: Does politicians have close friends, I mean really close not the backstabbing ones?
A: Yes. Politicians do have good friends and I have a lot of good friends if not how do I survive over the years politically.
Q: Datuk, you are multi-lingual and fluent in Bahasa Malaysia. How do you do this especially your Bahasa Malaysia which is superb?
A: I was brought up in a Malay kampung in Johor. I used to be the chairman of the Malay debating society in school.
Q: I read your family is very well known in Batu Pahat especially your dad with the Malay community. Is it true? Just enlighten us. Not interested in your politics.
A: It is true that my father is well known in the Malay community. He was operating provision shop, cold storage shop in a largely malay community. In those days they used to have this Hutang business for my father's shop. A lot of them never pay and that is how he became popular.
Q: YES Dato. I am from Batu Pahat. My dad ada hutang your father. But he was such a gem in our town. Although he was never awarded any pingat. But he had contributed a lot to the Malay community.Your father was an example of 1MALAYSIA.That was in the 1960s.God BLESS YOU
A: Thank you Faridah. Please send me some kuih muih as a settlement for Hutang
Q: If u are reborn again, what would likely be your carrer path or life aspiration?
A: I will continue to be a medical doctor.
Q: Datuk, as a personal question, what is your favourite food and ideal holiday destination?
A: My favourite food is hokkien mee. The best holiday destination is New Zealand especially Auckland,Christchurch and Queens Town.
Q: On a personal matter, what do you do during your free time? Do you jog or go to the gym for your exercise?
A: I exercise everyday from 6.45am from 7.45am - brisk walking and some chinese Tai Chi.
Q: Dato Seri, you are a doctor. I want to stop smoking. Any good tips? success stopping for 1 month than I smoke again.
A: Simple .... sheer determination that smoking will deprive your family of a husband and a father. How irresponsible can you be. Then you will quit.
Q: My husband & I are in our 60s. What is your best sex advice for us?
A: Be healthy, exercise, no smoking, keep down your weight and have a lot of imagination.
Q: Datuk Seri, I am 60 yrs old. A year ago I have a quintuple bypass and has stopped smoking since. What should I do to stay healthy and avoid another heart attack. I exercise an hour every day.
A: Besides exercise is your food and rest. Eat more vegetables and fruits. Avoid sugar, salt and oily stuff. Do not keep late nights and wake up early for exercise.
Q: Datuk, if you are given one wish, what are your hopes for Malaysia?
A: Peace, stability and development.