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PRACTICAL: Chua explains party's role vis-a-vis Barisan Nasional
KUALA LUMPUR: IN a plain-speaking style, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek addressed all the traditional allegations thrown at the party and Barisan Nasional, parading a body of data to back his cogent arguments.
In his second debate with the much younger Lim Guan Eng, the secretary-general of DAP, Dr Chua, 65, said BN had always sought to balance the needs, sensitivities and expectations of all races.
To a question posed by moderator Datuk Michael Yeoh that many urban voters perceived that MCA had not done enough for the people and MCA's plan in regaining the people's vote, Dr Chua said:
"DAP likes to tell the Chinese that they are marginalised.
"If you look at the statistics of the country, the household income and property ownership of the Chinese is still the highest in the country compared with the Malays and Indians. The poverty and unemployment rate of the Chinese is still the lowest among the three races."
He accused DAP of constantly inciting the Chinese against MCA and questioned why DAP, which prides itself on being a multiracial party, only dared to contest in Chinese-majority constituencies.
"MCA may be a mono-ethnic party but our party constitution is very clear -- to protect the legitimate interests and the rights of all people in accordance with the Malaysian Constitution.
"We have to balance the needs and sensitivities of all races. No particular race will feel happy. In the same way, we sometimes feel that the government is giving too much to the Bumiputeras.
"At the same time a lot of Bumiputeras are not happy with the government.
"So this is the politics of balancing, but we believe that it is accommodation and not confrontation that will deliver our objectives."
Lim, 50, took digs at Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai for the WWW15 registration plate and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen on the RM1 million to set up a Facebook-page allegation.
Lim sought to rally his supporters by bringing up the National Feedlot Corporation and the Port Klang Free Trade Zone issues.
Yeoh had this question for Lim: Is DAP a Chinese or multiracial party?
Lim replied that DAP had been a multiracial party since its inception and has multiracial MPs and in fact an Indian chairman.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, one of the three panellists, asked Lim to explain Pakatan Rakyat's proposed funding of all the initiatives proposed in their manifesto, Buku Jingga, namely its populist policies of abolishing road tolls, study loans and making up income households to RM4,000, that total RM200 billion.
Lim squandered his chance to explain and instead joked that Chor must have read the wrong Buku Jingga and went off tangent in reiterating that the Penang state government was getting stronger every year and said Transparency International had praised the DAP-run Penang state government for its transparency on open tenders.