MCA president Chua Soi Lek should stop ethnicising issues and patronising the rakyat with simplistic arguments, asserts Francis Loh.
Since he is MCA chief, it is expected that Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek would criticise and exchange barbs with his political opponents in the DAP and the other Pakatan Rakyat parties. Nothing wrong with that, even welcomed. But he should not patronise us the rakyat with the usual simplistic and ethnicised arguments, like Ibrahim Ali is prone to do.
For instance, it was reported (The Star, 3 February 2012) that he had resorted to that age-old boring refrain: that the DAP has been misleading the Chinese into believing that a vote for the party would help realise their hopes of getting fair treatment and a top Chinese leader. In fact, for Chua, “Chinese voters did not understand that a vote for the DAP would only help Pas realise its objective of forming an Islamic state and implementing its brand of hudud”.
Chua made these remarks even when the Pas leadership had just sacked the extremist Dr Hasan Ali from the party and got him removed from the Selangor State Exco for expressing views and acting in opposition to PR policies and positions that had been agreed upon and adopted.
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Earlier, Chua had criticised the PR government in Selangor for not delivering on its electoral promises: “95% of pledges not honoured in Selangor” (The Star, 16 January 2012).
I am not bothered about his criticism of the PR government; nor about how he calculated that it was 95 per cent and not say 85 per cent or 25 per cent of pledges that had not been honoured. Rather, I am concerned about how Chua tried to ethnicise the issue by focusing attention on how the Selangor PR government had yet to build a single Chinese school in the state whereas his MCA had succeeded in persuading the federal government to make available land and funds to build several Chinese schools, fought for scholarships for Chinese students, and won them entrance into particular courses in the universities. Kudos to the MCA for achieving these things.
But is the PR government in Selangor all about Chinese schools?
More recently (The Star, 6 February 2012), Chua called upon Penang CM Lim Guan Eng to refrain from being a political ‘street fighter’ and instead focus his attention on resolving woes faced by Penangites like a true statesman.
On closer scrutiny, it is Chua himself who appears to be the street fighter. Do criticise the PR governments for their weaknesses and failures. But don’t patronise the rakyat with silly arguments!
As well, stop spinning the age-old record of old-fashioned ethnic politics. For we are now in a global digital era of building a new politics wherein the rakyat , especially the young, are more concerned about issues of deepening democracy, reforming the economy, and joining hands with people of other races to build a new Malaysia. Say No to the Ibrahim Ali-style of politics!
Dr Francis Loh is president of Aliran.