MCA president Chua Soi Lek gushed praises for Prime Minister Najib Razak at the party’s annual general meeting, while taking pot-shots at “one or two” BN leaders who made his life a misery the past year since it became apparent he was not the man who could help MCA regain the hearts and minds of the Chinese community.
Indeed, Soi Lek’s weaknesses were evident in the 166-point speech sprinkled all over with ‘Sir’ but glaringly lacking in crtical issues, to the extent that many in the huge auditorium at the MCA building in Kuala Lumpur felt their faces going pink.
“Sir, you have undertaken the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme to ensure that we become a high-income nation by 2020,” Soi Lek told party delegates who had come from all over the country.
“I applaud you for the changes you announced in conjunction with Malaysia Day to do away with the ISA and Emergency Laws and to liberalise the Printing Presses and Publications Act. You have done what the public wants but what previous Prime Ministers were not willing to do. You have shown courage and leadership. It takes political will and MCA supports you 100 per cent on this.
Giant step forward but to where?
The 64-year Soi Lek also patted himself on the back for raising a ‘New Deal and having the courage to urge Najib to take “one giant step forward”.
“I know there will be groups who will attack me for even suggesting it. But let us be bold and brave enough to rework it to make it more suitable for the times and to meet the aspirations of all Malaysians. The aspirations of the younger generation may not be the same as ours. As the government and leaders of the country, we must tailor our policies and programmes to the young,” said the MCA president.
He then rattled off what he envisioned the New Deal would be like in terms of democracy, press freedom, the economy, minimum wage policy, cost of living, engagaing the people and education. (scroll below for the full text of his speech)
But sad to say for him and the MCA, he steered clear of the core issues of worsening corruption, the ineffectiveness of Najib’s pie-in-the-sky economic policies and the issue of racial equality. On these critical matters, he did not or as his rivals said “dared not” touch.
Closing an eye on all matters that do not suit him
Soi Lek also had no sympathy for the family of the late Teoh Beng Hock, brushing it aside as a political gimmick stirred up by the Pakatan Rakyat. This despite the second deathfall that took place in the MACC earlier this year – of Ahmad Sarbaini, a senior Customs officer whose family, just like Beng Hock’s, have insisted foul play was involved.
“Soi Lek has tried to create the impression of being bold, to speak out without fear and favour against the hegemony of the Umno but his New Deal doesn’t contain anything new at all,” PKR vice president Chua Jui Meng told Malaysia Chronicle.
“Soi Lek is accusing the Pakatan of playing with emotions. Yet, his own speech is aimed at making himself look good with Najib. Worse still, on closer scrutiny, where is the new deal on corruption, meritocracy and competitiveness? If this is the best Soi Lek can do, he is not the man who can effect any change for the Chinese or transform the MCA, that’s the disappointment for the MCA members.”
Himself being bullied
But Soi Lek did try to show he could pack a wallop in his punches. He did not name any names or even the party involved, but it was clear he was referring to Umno Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz when he mentioned “one or two” BN leaders, who were recalcitrant in national unity efforts.
Nazri had likened him and the MCA to being “abused wives” who did not have the courage to leave their husbands (Umno) even though they were being abused. Soi Lek and his team had shot back then but their angry statements were promptly dismissed as mere squeaks of gas, even by the Chinese community.
Today, he revisted the insult, which many Chinese watchers said should have been the last call for the MCA to walk out from the BN. But Soi Lek, whose sex scandal has forced him to toe the Umno line or face prosecution for unnatural sex charges, could only managed a watery rebuke.
“Sadly, it has been perceived that one or two BN leaders are aloof, arrogant and abusive. Some are also known to be loose cannons. They get into the headlines for the wrong reasons. For the sake of stability in BN, the MCA has not responded in a way it perhaps should. The attitude of this small group of BN leaders has not gone down well with the rakyat. They project themselves as a “big brother” or rather bullies,” complained Soi Lek.
“Sir, they seem to have been afflicted with the “four diseases” you have diagnosed – delusion, amnesia, inertia and arrogance. If allowed to fester, it will heighten the people’s anger and negative perceptions of the BN and the government.”
Indeed, Soi Lek should have saved his breath since he could not share with ‘Sir’ and the rest of the audience exactly what could be done to stop Umno from bullying the MCA, let alone the Chinese community. -MalaysiaChronicle