26 July 2013

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad accused the DAP today of trying to set up Singapore in Malaysia where Chinese wield economic and political power instead of sharing power under the Barisan Nasional (BN) concept.

In an opinion piece in Umno-controlled News Straits Times, the influential former prime minister said the DAP had weakened BN senior member MCA until "the idea of sharing with the Malays political and economic power has become insupportable".

He said since Merdeka in 1957, the Chinese had shared wealth and power with the Malays but the idea of a Singapore-like Malaysia seemed tempting and Penang had shown the way.

"The dilemma for the Chinese is whether to make a grab for political power while dominating economic power or to adhere to the principle of sharing which has made this country what it is today.

"That is the Chinese dilemma," Dr Mahathir wrote in the opinion piece.

He defended BN's rule, saying the “kongsi” government had benefited Malaysia greatly by bringing peace and stability without which economic growth and development would not be possible.

"It is unthinkable for any race, Chinese or Malay, to take everything for themselves, to dominate the economy as well as the politics of Malaysia," said the country's longest-serving prime minister.

He said as more young Chinese grow up without the experience of British rule, they were not able to appreciate their gains upon independence and easily influenced by DAP's argument that the Chinese had gained nothing from independence.

The DAP won 38 federal seats in Election 2013 while MCA won only seven. Other Chinese-majority parties in BN also suffered major losses that led the ruling coalition to win only 133 federal seats in the May 5 general elections against the 140 won in Election 2008.

Dr Mahathir wrote the DAP do not see any benefit from the role of the coalition of Chinese, Malays and others upon independence but "in the merit of meritocracy, in the ablest and the most qualified taking all".

But he said under British rule, the Chinese could not go beyond becoming petty traders and shopkeepers in towns and rural areas as big businesses were dominated by British firms and government procurement through crown agents.

"Banks, especially those carrying government accounts were all British. Only OCBC and Ban Hin Lee Bank (a small bank) were Chinese owned. They did not do much business with the government," Dr Mahathir said.

But no limits were placed on Chinese business expansion after Merdeka although some of the European firms and businesses were acquired by the government, he said adding the Chinese also bought up companies or replaced the British firms.

"Independence has clearly benefited the Chinese much.

"So successful were the Chinese under the Barisan Nasional 'kongsi' government that they can now venture abroad, buying foreign companies, setting up businesses and undertaking contracts all over the world, especially after Malaysia became better known internationally," he said.

Dr Mahathir also pointed out that Chinese Malaysians became millionaires and billionaires after making their first million in Malaysia.

He reasoned that the Chinese were not well-represented in the government administration because the Chinese see limited opportunities as salaried workers. Most of Malaysia's civil service is now dominated by the majority Bumiputera community.

"Even when they join government service, they tend to leave early to go into business. There is a distinct dislike for the uniformed services," he said.

But he said the average income of the Chinese after Merdeka was far higher than the average national income while the poverty rate was lower than the national rate.

The veteran leader said the Chinese have their own colleges and universities and that many of the private educational institutions at all levels were Chinese-owned and this included private universities.

"To say that the Chinese have gained nothing from independence and the 'kongsi' government, in which MCA is the second most senior partner, is to deny the reality in Malaysia.

"We are not practising meritocracy simply because it will create great disparities between the rich and the poor as well as between the different races," Dr Mahathir said.

But he said the DAP have ignored all these and kept on painting the MCA as the lackeys of the Malays. "This is racist in the extreme," he wrote.

He said in the BN cabinet, MCA leaders sit on the right side of the prime minister, who happened to be "a Malay simply because the Malay party, Umno, is the biggest party in the coalition".

"The Constitution does not preclude the Chinese from being prime minister but it must be with the support of the majority of the people.

"DAP, by undermining MCA is what causes the Chinese representation in the government to be weak. Without  DAP, MCA is likely to garner more seats in Parliament and in the government," Dr Mahathir said. - July 27, 2013.


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