Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Press Statement on remarks made by Perkasa chief

I wish to condemn in the strongest terms the statement by Perkasa chief YB Dato’ Ibrahim Ali for asking the government to delay the development allocations to the Chinese community.

I wish to stress that government money belongs to the people. It should be used for the local community for local development. It should not in any way be used to punish the voters.

I have discussed the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who has given an assurance that Barisan Nasional will fulfill its pledges of development to the voters of Hulu Selangor. Barisan Nasional does not renegade on its promises.

It is the existence of organisations like Perkasa that the MCA finds it difficult in getting the Chinese to support the BN.

Politicians should also be reminded not to utter remarks, especially those that touch on the fabric of culture, religion and race that can hurt other communities. This will run contrary to the 1Malaysia agenda as propagated by our Prime Minister.

Malaysia will not be able to progress if we continue to have people like Ibrahim Ali who professes to champion along racial lines with disregard to the sensitivity of other communities in the country.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Seminar on Government Transformation Programme

This morning MCA has successfully organized a seminar on Government Transformation Programme (GTP). About 200 representatives from the various Chinese Guilds & Associations and MCA Leaders attended the face to face interaction with Y.B. Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Minister in the Prime Minister Department. Below is my speech at the seminar:

Thank you Y.B. Datuk Seri Idris Jala for your presence.

It is indeed a great honour that we have with us today the “Guru” himself Datuk Seri Idris Jala who will give us a better insight to the much talked about Government Transformation Programme (GTP).

GTP is one of the four (4) Pillars to drive change. The objective of GTP is two-folds – first, to transform the Government to be more effective in its delivery of services and accountable for outcomes that matter most to the rakyat; and second, to move Malaysia forward to become an advanced, united, and just society with high standards of living for all. This is in line with the national mission of achieving Vision 2020 - for Malaysia to become a fully developed nation.

The 4 Pillars are:-
  • 1st Pillar: 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now
  • 2nd Pillar: GTP
  • 3rd Pillar: New Economic Model
  • 4th Pillar: 10th Malaysia Plan

It also makes the Government more accountable for the outcomes of policies that mattered most to the rakyat.

We are all here because we want t o know about the transformation plan of the government. To be precise we want to know what is in store for the Malaysian rakyat irrespective of race or creed.

The political landscape is different now and the people are more demanding and are crying out for transparency, fairness and for being able to compete on a level playing ground.

We have to change to suit changing times and cope with situations to stay relevant. There is no room for those who are still in denial mode.

The government must bear in mind that when we transform or initiate changes, it should create an impact to the lives of the people which we represent.

It should not be paying mere lip service and the GTP should not be another public relations exercise of the government to look good.

As the Prime Minister has rightly pointed out at the launch of the GTP Roadmap in January that it is the people who will decide via the ballot box if the GTP does not achieve its objectives and that the Government would be held accountable for its promises.

With those words coming from the Prime Minister himself, I am sure that the government has no choice but to ensure the success of the programme.

You may be wondering what the GTP roadmap is all about. Well this is why we have our friend Idris Jala here. But basically the roadmap describes the programme in detail and covers the approach taken in the transformation journey and explains how the GTP is guided by the principles of 1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now.

It is also outlines the Government’s approach to building 1Malaysia and its commitment to the six National Key Result Areas (NKRAs).

And just last month, the New Economic Model which aims to transform the country into a high-income nation was unveiled.

Drawn up by group of experts, NEM will among others, recommend action on reducing subsidies, providing a wider safety net to cover more people, improving the skills of the locals, addressing the question of affirmative action and redefining the poor and seeking ways to help them.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in unveiling the thrust of NEM had said that the framework will review various economic policies to suit the new economic reality including affirmative action to ensure fairer and more equitable distribution of wealth based on needs and merits.

On this note, it is MCA’s fervent hope that the Government will walk the talk and ensure the implementation of economic and social-economic policies are implemented fairly and justly for the sake of all Malaysians.

There must be political courage and not political patronage when policies are carried out and there should not be any flip flop decisions or policies which would not go down well with the people as well as foreign investors.

There must be consistency and well thought out policy formation which is transparent.

On 1Malaysia, it is based on the concept of fairness to all. This means no group should be marginalized and support and opportunities should be provided on the basis of need and merit.

It should be clearly spelt out how does the ordinary man in the street will benefit from these flurry of initiatives. How does it translate to a better lifestyle and livelihood of those in the rural areas and how will those with lower household incomes improve their overall quality of life?

While the government is engaging the people in line with its transparent approach in governing the country, the various political parties should also help give their input to the transformation programme.

MCA which has an enormous outreach with its 1 million strong membership base could well make use of its ready resources by getting feedback from the people with regards to the transformation programme.

Leaders should gather feedback, reaction and suggestion from the Rakyat. In doing so, they can feel the pulse of the nation and carry back the right messages from the people to the government.

Likewise, Chinese guilds and associations, business leaders and non-government organizations should also provide inputs so that a more well represented programme can be churned out.

There is no time to waste now. Malaysia cannot afford to lost its way or lost out. Countries such as South Korea had taken off after initiating reforms and making their economies competitive.

We don’t have time to waste on divisive issues. We will be left behind if we still remain the realm of yesterday of being a divisive and divided nation.

On this note, the government must bear in mind that in must harness the best brains for the country and can ill afford the threat of an exodus of brain drain if its policies gave rise to resentment and anger.

It is timely that we review and relook on the incentives to attract the best brains back to our country to propel the nation toward the goals of its economic initiatives.

A country may have the right geographical advantage, the best resources but without the best talents to carry out its initiatives, it cannot propel itself to join the ranks of the high-income nation.

In its push for reforms, one of the key initiatives should be affirmative action based on need and not ethnicity. With such political will in mind, a major policy shift can be realized and this by itself could arrest the brain drain and attract investments in higher value activities. Any initiatives undertaken by the government should from now on be in line with the consultative approach of engaging with more stakeholders.
It should be guideline towards a strong foundation of truly 1Malaysia in the making and not just a political jargon so to speak.

A journey of hundred miles starts with the first step and Malaysians have taken many more steps than this to make what Malaysia is today. So let us now open our ears and allow Idris Jala to take us on a journey to enlighten us on this well thought out ambitious plan which comes under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department.

It is just the beginning of a brighter Malaysia. The journey has just begun.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chua backs youth leader in Perkasa tiff

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has come out in defence of an MCA Youth leader’s criticism of Perkasa and refused to be pressured into sacking the latter.

The party president pointed out to The Malaysian Insider this afternoon that, if anything, the MCA had its own method of dealing with disciplinary problems involving its members and would follow the due process when it was deemed fit.

He also defended Loh Chew June, the Youth wing’s deputy secretary-general, and said that “on the surface”, the leader had not committed any wrong.

“You cannot simply call on a party to sack its member. We, in MCA, have our own disciplinary committee to investigate these matters,” he said.

Dr Chua added that Loh had a right to speak his mind on whatever topic, as long as he did not breach the party’s code of conduct.

“However, on the surface, I do not think he has breached any code of conduct,” he pointed out.

Loh, along with Penang Gerakan chief Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, has been at loggerheads with Malay rights group Perkasa when the duo criticised the organisation, calling it “racist”.

Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah took offence to the criticism and called on both Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders to apologise within 48-hours from Friday or he would pressure Gerakan and MCA leaders to sack them.

Arman’s demand has fallen on deaf ears, however, with both Loh and Teng refusing to succumb to the threat, and today continued to criticise Perkasa, claiming it was anti-1 Malaysia.

Loh also went further to tell Perkasa to apologise to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, for failing to adhere to the premier’s ideals of 1 Malaysia.

Taking note of this, Arman told The Malaysian Insider today that he would hold another press conference tomorrow and proceed with his plan to “exert pressure” on MCA and Gerakan to expel the two party leaders.

Meanwhile, Dr Chua said the MCA would soon hold a press conference and issue its views on Perkasa, whose formation has caused a ripple in the political scene in Malaysia.

Seen by some to be the conscience of Umno, with its main struggle centred on protecting the rights of Malays, Perkasa has also been deemed to be the thorn in Najib’s increasingly liberal administration.

The verbal sparring between Loh, Teng and Perkasa gave indications that Najib would likely face strong opposition from the non-Malay parties in the BN if he should side with the Malay rights group entirely.

“We will give our statement soon on what we feel about Perkasa. For now, as far as the MCA is concerned, any party member can speak their mind as long as, like I said, they stick to the party rules,” said Dr Chua, before declining to say if the MCA was agreeable to Perkasa’s ideologies.

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As a concerned MCA member, I am trying my best to help in the process of rebuilding and repositioning of the party.

Therefore, I welcome party members and members of public to post your constructive suggestions and opinions on my blog on how to rebuild and reform the party, eventually enabling MCA to regain support from all party members and the community.

Thank you for your suggestions.